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










________________

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.








_________________

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen

Coram Deo!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Parks Family Update

Here is a man that travels all over the world where and when the need is greatest. 
I thought I would share one of the many emails that he sends to let us know where his is going and where he has been.  Sometimes, he will send urgent emails when he is in immediate danger or the people that he is trying to help are in danger.  This is a great servant and family to pray for and to support.

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


Here is a quick update from the Parks Family

I know I am overdue on a newsletter and will get one out as soon as...

 

Micah Garrison Dean Parks is an awesome baby!  He is now a 9 week old chubby little boy who loves to smile and lets out a laugh every now and then.  Sometimes when we hold him he has an amazing beautiful peaceful look that melts our hearts.  Sometimes he tries to talk and all of us just love it.  He only fusses when he is hurting or poopy…just like his dad.  I forgot how fast a new born grows!  All the other kids love Micah.  Carlos is great at stepping in and helping with Micah…watching him, holding him…we are still working on the changing diaper routine…Ilana and Josiah are always playing with Micah.

Carlos finished his first US soccer season.  He is enjoying and doing much better in school here in the US and at midterm had four A's and one B!

Ilana is in 2nd grade and loves school and homework (go figure!  This is definitely not like here dad). 

Josiah is in kindergarten and says school is ok, its all the rules that crimp his style.  He is a very sharp kid…but he seems to have a driving need to put a Josiah touch to all things.  

Sheri is doing great and spends most of here time caring for kids and doing homework.

I spend my days resting and taking it easy…NOT.

 

For me: currently I am on my way to India where we are going to kick off our computer training center in Dumka and visit our agriculture project in Dhoker Jhara, both about 150 mile north of Calcutta.

I have attached an overview of the projects for you.  With these projects we will help many find freedom from the oppressions of poverty and help many know the truth that will bring true freedom to their lives.  Please take a minute to look at the project overview, see what we are doing and pray for the people of this region.

You may have heard of the persecution of Christian is India .  Much of it is happening around Orissa.  This is a horrific situation as believers are being beat and killed, their homes and property destroyed by radical Hindu mobs.  Please pray for these dear believers.  This is a very difficult and dangerous time for many.

 

Have you noticed how they world continues to grow in uncertainty, violence, and fear?  In fact we are feeling some of this at home with the financial mess, the political climate, wars, foreign armies on the move, and the prevalent threat of terrorism at home and abroad.  All this reminds me of the words of Jesus when he said, "Let not your hearts be troubled…"  and remembering the condition for non-troubledness?  "…You believe in God, believe also in me…"  I, as a follower of Jesus have no reason to live a life with a troubled heart.  There is a peace that is not like the world give, a peace that passes understanding, a peace rooted in faith in the eternal God who deeply knows and loves his children and has a plan for good and not for evil for us.  these things must be, no matter who is at fault our first step out of the blocks is to build our relationship with God before all else.  

 

If you want to know more about our projects and how you may be able to join with us drop me a note at Michael.Parks@ghni.org

We also ask that you prayerfully consider joining with us financially.  We have been blessed by many friends joining in to help us with the move and this has been a great help.  But the move and having a baby and school…takes its toll.  So if you would like to join with us financially please click this link DONATE  

 

More to come soon

God bless you

Mike

 

Monday, October 06, 2008

In the INN: "The Courage to be Protestant"


Considering this year's "Program" that my church is going through, and the sermons that are being preached subsequently with this year's program. This week on the White Horse Inn is a very timely and relevant radio program being presented. I would highly recommend that you listen. And ask yourself if what they say is true. Look back through history and see how much the church has changed through the different fads and phases. Look at Charles Finney, Hal Lindsey, Christian Right, Christian Coalition, Bill Hybels, Promise Keepers, Prayer of Jabez, Purpose Driven, Emergent / Emerging Church, and in our realm we now have a flavor of Emergent Church-isms.... Living a Life on Loan / Externally focused church. In other words "Deeds not Creeds".
All of these phases of the church have forgotten:

1) The Holiness of God

2) The Sovereignty of God

3) God's Judgment
4) God's Gospel

And many doctrines that tell us more about God and how He saves us through His Son.


Grace and Peace,

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


In the Inn...
WEEK OF OCTOBER 5, 2008
Join us for the 2008 series "Christless Christianity"

The Courage to be Protestant




Listen Now: "The Courage to be Protestant"

Listen by Real Audio Player Listen by Windows Media Player Download MP3


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Act now and be the first to receive Mike Horton's newest book to be released by Baker on October 31st. We are pleased to announce a special promotion for Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church. The 1/2 off promotion starts October 1st and runs through October 31st . White Horse Inn is placing both 1/4-page color-print and on-line flash ads in 10 major newspapers across the country: Atlanta Journal, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun Times, Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times Company, and Wall Street Journal. The grand finale will be a live web chat with Mike Horton on October 31st 10:00 A.M. PST, 1:00 P.M. EST hosted by the Washington Post.





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Posted By CalvinNo5 - Chris Allen to Reform-Shire at 10/06/2008 09:00:00 PM

Saturday, October 04, 2008

THE MARK OF A MAN OF GOD


If you get that chance to listen to Sinclair Ferguson you will truly be blessed. He is a wonderful preacher, teacher, Scottsman. Below is a posting by Steve Camp.

Grace and Peace,

Chris


THE MARK OF A MAN OF GOD
...reverence, maturity, wisdom, faithfulness, truthfulness, the fear of the Lord, honor, and discipline

My lips will pour forth praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right.
-Psalm 119:171-172



Sinclair Ferguson spoke at the Desiring God Conference last evening and was brilliant. His message was entitled, "The Tongue, the Bridle, and the Blessing: An Exposition of James 3:1-12."
(Click Here to Listen)
He was Christ-exalting; God-glorifying; and Spirit-empowering. He preached not as one consumed with self-promotion or trying to appeal to an audience. But he preached to an Audience of One as a man who trembled at God's Word and as a tried and tested servant of the Lord Jesus Christ from behind the sacred desk.

He was thoroughly biblical, theological, doctrinal, expositional, exegetical and practical. He spoke with authority; he spoke with grace, but wielding the double-edge Sword of the Spirit with the skill of a surgeon's scalpel and not the recklessness of a machete. He did not frustrate grace, insult the Lord, turn the truth of God into lascivious comedy, contextualize the message, succumb to cultural pragmatics, or introduce demeaning ribald speech marked by the ordure of depravity to communicate these great truths of the Bible.

But with dignity, grace. and truth, he brought honor to the Lord, glory to His gospel, and reverence to His Word.

May his tribe increase.

How I thank the Lord for this faithful soldier, disciplined athlete and hard-working farmer of the faith (2 Tim. 2:3-6). Clearly, this is a man approved unto God, a workman unashamed, who cuts straight the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).

The bar has been set beloved; and it is set very high.

Here is Sinclair's resolutions on the taming of the tongue taken from the book of James. They are powerful, convicting, humbling and encouraging. May they stir your heart as they have mine this very hour.
  • James 1:5 To ask God for wisdom to speak and with a single mind
  • James 1:9-10 To boast only in exaltation in Christ, & humiliation in world
  • James 1:13 To set a watch over my mouth
  • James 1:19 To be constantly quick to hear, slow to speak
  • James 2:1-4 To learn the gospel way of speaking to poor and the rich
  • James 2:12 To speak always in the consciousness of the final judgment
  • James 2:16 To never stand on anyone's face with my words
  • James 3:14 To never claim as reality something I do not experience
  • James 4:1 To resist quarrelsome words in order to mortify a quarrelsome heart
  • James 4:11 To never speak evil of another
  • James 4:13 To never boast in what I will accomplish
  • James 4:15 To always speak as one subject to the providences of God
  • James 5:9 To never grumble, knowing that the Judge is at the door
  • James 5:12 To never allow anything but total integrity in my speech
  • James 5:13 To speak to God in prayer whenever I suffer
  • James 5:14 To sing praises to God whenever I am cheerful
  • James 5:14 To ask for the prayers of others when I am sick
  • James 5:15 To confess it freely whenever I have failed
  • James 5:15 To pray with and for one another when I am together with others
  • James 5:19 To speak words of restoration when I see another wander
His unworthy servant in His unfailing love,
Steve
Psalm 145:21


Chris
http://www.reform-shire.blogspot.com/
Coram Deo!!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Please Be Patient - Under Construction

Hello my Reform-Shire friends. I've been having problems with my postings not appearing for everyone on their computers so to some people it may look like I've been a real slacker and have not been posting for a very long time. So, I've re-formatted my blog. So you may notice a few things different and a few things missing. So, I hope to tweak it as I go, and continue to post as well. Thanks for putting up with these changes. Please do me a favor and if you see a new post leave a short comment ("comments" are an improved feature as well... I hope) even if it is to say hi and to let me know that you can view that posting. Thank you very much and God Bless. Grace and Peace,
Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Christless Christianity - Michael Horton

Christians have always had their differences, but never in church history have there been so many statistics indicating that many Christians today are practicing what can only be described as "Christless Christianity."

Christless Christianity guides the reader to a greater understanding of a big problem within the American religious setting, namely the creeping fog of countless sermons in churches across the country that focus on moralistic concerns and personal transformation rather than the theology of the cross.

Michael Horton's analysis of the contemporary church points believers back to the power of a gospel that should never be assumed.