Assuming The Gospel. This is just 8 minutes of the whole Broadcast. But, the story at the end will leave you speechless.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Here is another Tactic in Defending the Faith. I have been participating in the Truth Project and I can see how easy it is to get caught up in discussing the different views of Philosophy, and Science. If you get a chance to view the Truth Project Video series put on by Focus on The Family you'll be really blessed by it. It addresses many issues concerning Truth. At this point there have been a lot of issues discussed concerning Truth. Except one Truth that has yet to be mentioned. This Truth is not found in any of these disciplines (science, history, ethics and philosophy). The Truth I'm talking about is of course The Gospel. This is news that is outside of what man can see and can fathom through those disciplines. This is a message that can only come from God.
1 Corinthians 1:17-19 (New International Version)
17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."[a]
Thursday, December 03, 2009
The release of The Manhattan Declaration (an ecumenical document addressing the issues of life, marriage, and religious liberty) has already generated significant discussion. Since I have been on the receiving end of many questions concerning it, I thought it best to address it directly. The declaration reads in part as follows:"We are Christians who have joined together across historical lines of ecclesial differences… …to speak and act in defense of these truths."
I was present at the meetings in Manhattan in October when the draft of this document was presented.I listened carefully and was stirred by the ensuing discussions.I share the concerns expressed in the document.
"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints."It is quite common for people to view The Reformation as simply a disagreement between two groups of men. The protestant martyrs and their monuments testify to the fact that they died, not on account of ecclesial differences, but because the issue was the way of salvation. (Interestingly, exactly the same was true of the Roman Catholic martyrs!)Are we wise to lay aside crucial historical differences of eternal significance so as to secure temporal advantages? George Smeaton, in his classic work on the atonement observes, "To convert one sinner from his way is an event of greater importance than the deliverance of a whole kingdom from temporal evil."I do not believe it is possible to embrace the premises of ecumenical strategy and still draw the conclusions of evangelical orthodoxy.
In accord with others who have chosen not to sign, my reservation is not with the issues themselves, or in standing with others who share the same concerns, but it is in signing a declaration along with a group of leading churchmen, when I happen to believe that the teaching of some of their churches is in effect a denial of the biblical gospel. I wonder whether it might not have been more advantageous for evangelicals to unite on this matter, rather than seeking cooperation with segments from Rome, Eastern Orthodoxy and the Latter Day Saints. The necessary co-belligerence, as far as I'm concerned, can never be rooted in a Gospel other than that which has been given to us.
(updated and expanded November 25, 2009)
Give it a lot of thought first...
Subject: Please Sign! 245,000 Signers! Manhattan Declaration from Focus on the Family
A historic development within the American church. Join over 245,000 signatures!
Kansas Family Policy Council stands with James Daly and Focus on the Family. Please read the statement below from Jim Daly, President and CEO of Focus on the Family and if you agree, please sign the declaration at http://www.manhattandeclaration.org/ or click on the large Manhattan Declaration at the top of the page. We encourage you to stand with KFPC and sign your beliefs!
As many of you already know, I, along with Dr. Dobson and more than 150 Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant clergy, academics and organizational leaders, recently signed a remarkable expression of collective Christian conscience and commitment. It's called the Manhattan Declaration, and it's intended to make clear a significant point: As Christian Americans who believe each person's life is a gift of infiniteworth, we have an urgent, ongoing responsibility to continue standing for biblical principles in the public square.
Given the magnitude of this document, though, I'd like to share with you now why I was so eager to sign it--and why I hope you will, too.
It is important, first off, to note that the Manhattan Declaration is not a partisan or political statement...Some have referred to these as "threshold issues," meaning they represent the foundation of our faith and the pivot point from which everything else flows. This is the bedrock. If we can't agree on these areas of doctrine, everything else will be of reduced value. These four areas are:
1. The sanctity of human life.
2. The sanctity of marriage.
3. The protection of religious liberty.
4. The rejection of unjust laws.
We have been committed to these baseline principles since Dr. Dobson founded Focus on the Family in 1977. Our conviction on these matters runs deep; motivating our movement has always been the heartfelt belief that these principles are not ours, but the Lord's, and that they promise to help and heal a broken world.
The document is a fresh and lively presentation, a renewed rallying cry to those who have been engaged in this historic effort of spiritual and cultural conversion. This is not a manifesto for culture war; it is a prescription for cultural change. It is also a thoughtful invitation to those who might be sitting on the periphery, perhaps hesitant to join this effort, maybe because they've never been fully aware of the consequences of inaction.
As a unified body, we are acknowledging that our faith is strong and redemptive, but it's not necessarily a comfortable and easy pursuit. Standing up for our beliefs can often come at great cost. But as Dr. George highlighted at last week's news conference, even the secularist philosopher Socrates once posed a relevant question Christians should easily answer today. "Is it better to suffer an injustice," he once asked, "than to commit it?" By affixing our signatures to the Manhattan Declaration, we are answering an unequivocal "yes."
Although many American Christians understandably feel under assault, the degree of faith-based domestic persecution cannot compare with the ghastly violence perpetuated against believers in other parts of the world. In the Sudan, for instance, hundreds of thousands of Christians have been slaughtered not because of what they're doing, but because of the One in whom they believe. It is a wise people who act to protect the freedoms they enjoy.
And so I ask you to join me and my friends and colleagues in embracing and standing up for these crucial biblical principles. How? You can start by reading the document, in its entirety, by clicking here. What I think you'll notice is that, in addressing the issues noted above, The Manhattan Declaration is an excellent example of achieving the balance of Truth and Grace required of us as followers of Jesus. This is a documentthat exhorts us to champion Christian truths in a Christian manner. It stands for something.
Then, after you've read the declaration, consider addingyour name to the list of signers--and urge your friends and family to do the same. We are all imperfect. But if we honor God by promoting biblical principles, resisting our sometimes insatiable and admittedly prideful motivations, He will honor us.
Preaching the Book God Wrote, Part 1
We believe in biblical inerrancy. So what? How does the truth of biblical inerrancy and the authority of God's written revelation affect what we preach and how we minister? There's little point in defending the inerrancy of Scripture if we're unwilling to bow to the authority of Scripture in our approach to ministry.
This article is adapted from a paper written by John MacArthur at the height of the inerrancy debate in the early 1980s.
The theological highlight of 20th Century had to be evangelicalism's intense focus on the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.  Much of what was written defending inerrancy in the 1970s and '80s represented the most acute theological reasoning our generation has produced.
Yet it seems our practical commitment to inerrancy is somewhat lacking. The modern evangelical's commitment to the authority and inerrancy of the Bible doesn't always flesh out in ministry. Shouldn't our preaching reflect our conviction that God's Word is infallibly authoritative? Too often, it doesn't. In fact, there is a discernable trend in contemporary evangelicalism away from biblical preaching, and a corresponding drift toward experience-centered, pragmatic, topical messages in the pulpit.
How can this be? Shouldn't our preaching reflect our conviction that the Bible is the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God? If we believe that "all Scripture is inspired by God" and inerrant, shouldn't we be equally committed to the truth that it is "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work"?  Shouldn't that magnificent truth determine how we preach?
Clearly it should. Paul gave this mandate to Timothy: "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction."  Any form of preaching that ignores the intended purpose and design of God is seriously deficient.
J. I. Packer has eloquently captured the pursuit of preaching:
Preaching appears in the Bible as a relaying of what God has said about Himself and His doings, and about men in relation to Him, plus a pressing of His commands, promises, warnings, and assurances, with a view to winning the hearer or hearers...to a positive response. 
The only logical response then to inerrant Scripture is to preach it expositionally. By expositionally, I mean preaching in such a way that the meaning of the biblical text is presented entirely and exactly as it was intended by God. Expository preaching is the proclamation of the truth of God as mediated through the preacher. 
Some who are known as expositors don't even believe in biblical inerrancy. It might also be the case that most who affirm biblical inerrancy don't practice expository preaching. (Again, the most popular trend among evangelicals these days is decidedly in the opposite direction--toward preaching driven by "felt needs," and other topical approaches to the pulpit ministry.) These are baffling inconsistencies, because an inerrantist perspective demands expository preaching, and a non-inerrantist perspective makes expository preaching unnecessary.
Putting it another way, what does it matter that we have an inerrant text if we do not deal with the basic phenomena of communication, e.g. words, sentences, grammar, morphology, syntax, etc. And if we don't, why bother preaching it?
In his landmark work on exegetical theology, Walter Kaiser pointedly analyzed the anemic state of the church due to the inadequate feeding of the flock:
It is no secret that Christ's Church is not at all in good health in many places of the world. She has been languishing because she has been fed, as the current line has it, "junk food"; all kinds of artificial preservatives and all sorts of unnatural substitutes have been served up to her. As a result, theological and Biblical malnutrition has afflicted the very generation that has taken such giant steps to make sure its physical health is not damaged by using foods or products that are carcinogenic or otherwise harmful to their physical bodies. Simultaneously a worldwide spiritual famine resulting from the absence of any genuine publication of the Word of God (Amos 8:11) continues to run wild and almost unabated in most quarters of the Church. 
The obvious cure for evangelicalism's spiritual malnourishment is expository preaching.
The mandate is clear. Expository preaching is the declarative genre in which inerrancy finds its logical expression and the church its life and power. Stated simply, inerrancy demands exposition as the only method of preaching that preserves the purity of Scripture and accomplishes the purpose for which God gave us His Word.
Or, as R. B. Kuiper succinctly stated it: "The principle that Christian preaching is proclamation of the Word must obviously be determinative of the content of the sermon." 
 The doctrine of biblical inerrancy is "the claim that when all facts are known, the Scriptures in their original autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be without error in all that they affirm to the degree of precision intended, whether that affirmation relates to doctrine, history, science, geography, geology, etc." Paul D. Feinberg, "Infallibility and Inerrancy," Trinity Journal, VI:2 (Fall, 1977), 120.
 2 Tim 3:16-17
 2 Tim 4:1-2, emphasis added
 James I. Packer, "Preaching As Biblical Interpretation," Inerrancy And Common Sense, ed. Roger R. Nicole and J. Ramsey Michaels (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980), p. 189.
 D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971), p. 222.
 Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward An Exegetical Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981), pp. 7-8.
 R. B. Kuiper, "Scriptural Preaching," The Infallible Word, 3rd rev. ed., ed. Paul Woolley (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1967), p. 217.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I hope THIS is the direction our church is heading.
5 Rhetorical Questions &
5 Great Truths
Choose Type: Audio | Video
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Remember every day is a day of Gratitude and Thanksgiving.
Grace and Peace,
Subject: Tactics in Defending the Faith
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I often thought their slogan should be "Not a Church at All."
Thank you Lord for William Willimon, the Peculiar Prophet.
Grace and Peace,
|WEEK OF NOVEMBER 22, 2009|
|Join us for our 2009 series "Christ in a Post-Christian Culture" |
The Preached Word
William Willimon author of Peculiar Speech: Preaching to the Baptized.
Listen Now: "The Preached Word"
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Rom 10:14-17).
Find out how!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Grace and Peace,
Subject: Tactics in Defending the Faith
I have been quite busy at work and with church activities over the past couple of weekends so I have missed posting the latest tactics in defending the faith by Stand To Reason. I'll post 2 of them today.
Not long ago several people were surveyed at a Christian Broadcasters convention about when they defend their faith what tactic do they use. The question asked was, "Why is Christianity True"? they answered by their personal experience, life transformation, and testimony. These are the "tactics" they used to defend that Christianity is true. But, it is conceivable that Christianity is True, and no one believes it.
Then they were also asked: When passing on the faith to others, would you share Gospel doctrine or would you share your personal testimony. The answers were predominantly personal testimony except for one who pointed to Gospel doctrine. It was as if they were inclined to give more authority to themselves and their life story rather than giving authority to God's Word and Christ's testimony. There is a big difference between sharing the testimony of salvation from sin, than what being a Christian has meant in your personal life and moral standing. Below is Rev. Ken Jones' response to some of these answers presented on a White Horse Inn broadcast.
Grace and Peace,
Thursday, November 19, 2009
"Evangelism does not consist in the rehearsal of what has happened in the evangelist's own soul. Christian evangelism does not consist in a man's going about the world and saying "Look at me, what a wonderful experience I have, how happy I am, what wonderful Christian virtues I exhibit. You can all be as good and as happy as I am if you just make a complete surrender of your wills and obedience to what I say." That is what many religious workers seem to think that evangelism is. But they're wrong. Men are not saved by the exhibition of your glorious Christian virtues. They're not saved by the contagion of your experiences. We cannot be the instruments of God in saving them if we preach only ourselves. Nay, we must preach to them the Lord Jesus Christ, for it is only through the gospel that sets him forth that men can be saved."
-J. Gresham Machen
Monday, November 16, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
A God without wrath brought men without sin into a world without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
It seems as if we need a Second Reformation, especially in America and anywhere American churches have influence around the world.
But, I don't know how or which door to nail a Thesis to, and I'm not saying that I'm the one smart enough to do it, but Luther also believed that a "plow-boy" with the Word of God in his language was more powerful than any Pope.
So, here is just a taste of what we are up against.
As I write this I am in turmoil over the things that I see going on in the church. I wonder how far from the Gospel the church will go and use marketing "schemes" and demographics to determine how to lure people into the church and move to a "seeker sensitive" worship service.
Many churches have a disdain for any kind of tradition, without even understanding why the tradition was brought about in the first place. A simple example is, the removal of the pulpit which has been replaced by a bar/ pub table.
Also, when ever they talk about evangelism and "sharing the Gospel" it has come to a whole new meaning. It is now sharing your "personal testimony" or "your story."
Ironically, The only person I see sharing their story in the Bible is Paul in Romans leading up to these words that sum up his testimony 7:24-25.
If Satan can figure out a way to get us away from telling Christ's story especially in a subtle way, then he has accomplished his task.
This kind of direction, and focus by the church would be called worldliness. If you want to see what kind of churches are doing this, here are a couple examples
Real Life Chruch
The messages are claimed to be "relevant" and "practical" and the emphasis is on how you can apply these things to your daily life. The doctrines and creeds, and confessions have been pushed aside.
The excuse or the reason of, "We need to be about deeds not creeds" as if we have over-done-it with the creeds and the head knowledge and now we need to do something.
However, it has always been the doctrines, and the creeds (oh no traditions, yuk!) that point to the foundation of our faith which is the person and works of Jesus Christ. The only true motivation there is for us in life is the motivation which comes from knowing what Jesus Christ has already done for us. If we are to be the evangelists presenting an evangelistic message, then why would we do everything else but share the Gospel? Here is the Gospel message as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 15
1 Corinthians 15 The Resurrection of Christ
3For(F) I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died(G) for our sins(H) in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised(I) on the third day(J) in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that(K) he appeared to Cephas, then(L) to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to(M) James, then(N) to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born,(O) he appeared also to me. 9For(P) I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because(Q) I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary,(R) I worked harder than any of them,(S) though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.The worship service is not a place for evangelism, it is for the delivering of God's word to edify the saints. It is God speaking through the message preached to remind us of what He has already done for us through His Son Jesus Christ. And it has become apparent we are being swayed and deceived by smooth talkers and flatterers. Lets see what Paul says about that and these tactics that distract us from the Gospel.
Final Instructions and Greetings
In closing here is what Martin Luther said at his trial, as he had written against the smooth talk and flattery of a huge empire that answered to nobody but itself.
And here I stand... I also can do no other.
God help me.
I have removed the parts that may have been deemed offensive to those who have read them and I'm truly sorry for the harshness in my tone and manner. I do believe graciousness should always be the manner in which we challenge each other. Even if you know for certain you have the right view or position. We all have a lot to learn.
It is for the sake of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that these things must be dealt with and not sit silently by. These are not superficial, or secondary issues, or about preferences, traditions, or even about being relevant or about methods. It is about being faithful to Jesus Christ and His message. It is all about Him and anything outside of that ought not be done, at least not by the church.
The church will never die. Even if we never evangelized, the church would somehow continue to grow. Jesus said He will build His church, and that's exactly what will happen. But, we of course will go and evangelize because we are grateful for what Christ has done for us.
Grace and Peace,