Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Are You Believing the Gospel or Assuming You Do? (WHI)

Assuming The Gospel. This is just 8 minutes of the whole Broadcast. But, the story at the end will leave you speechless.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tactics in Defending the Faith Part 11



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 God
18For 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]
Once you've gone through a wonderful study as the Truth Project and you come face to face with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then you can see how these Tactics by Greg Koukl can help you to share this Truth in the Gospel with gentleness and respect. Grace and Peace,
Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!

Subject: Tactics in Defending the Faith

Stand to Reason

Stand to Reason

Tactics in Defending the Faith Part 11: Why the "Suicide" Tactic Works

Greg Koukl


The suicide tactic works because it trades on a fundamental rule of logic: the law of non-contradiction. The law of non-contradiction states that two contradictory statements cannot be true at the same time: "A" cannot be "non-A" at the same time in the same way. All suicidal views express or entail contradictions. They make two different claims that are at odds with each other. The contradictions "A is the case" and "A is not the case" may be explicit or implicit.


Explicit contradictions are usually obvious:


"I never, never, repeat a word. Never."
The contradiction: I don't repeat a word. I do repeat a word.

"There are no absolutes. Absolutely."
Contradiction: There are no absolutes. There are absolutes.

"This page intentionally left blank."
Contradiction: This page is blank. This page is not blank.

"I used to believe in reincarnation. But that was in a former life."
Contradiction: I don't believe in reincarnation. I do believe in reincarnation.

"I'll give you three good reasons you can't use logic to find truth."
Contradiction: You want to use logic to disprove logic.

Implicit contradictions often are hidden and require further reflection to see.
"My brother is an only child."
Contradiction: My brother has a sibling (me). My brother is an only child.

"I never tell the truth." (Now what?)
Contradiction: It's true that I never tell the truth.

"Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours." Yogi Berra

"Ask me about my vow of silence."

Sometimes suicide is a more subtle.


Radio caller: "You shouldn't be correcting Christian teachers on the radio."
(Then why is he calling this radio program to correct me?)

"You shouldn't force your morality on me."
(Why not? Are you telling me it's wrong to say that other people are wrong?)

The Suicide and Columbo tactics work well together. As you pay attention to a person's viewpoint and notice that his or her view commits suicide, point it out with a Columbo question.


In order to recognize a point that commits suicide first, identify the basic premise, conviction, or claim. It's not always obvious. Next, determine if the claim undermines itself. Does the statement satisfy its own requirements? Is there an internal contradiction? Can the idea be stated in the form "X is the case" and "X is not the case" at the same time? If so, it commits suicide.

Next time: Taking the Roof Off

For more extensive tactics training go to www.str.org and look for Tactics in Defending the Faith Mentoring Series or STRi DVD interactive training in our online store or call Stand to Reason at 1-800-2-REASON.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration - Alistair Begg


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. 
 
I also have respect for those who wrote the paper and also for many who have subsequently signed it.Why then have I chosen not to append my name as one of the initial signers? Because of my convictions about the nature of the Gospel, and the importance of Christian co-belligerency being grounded in it. The activity of the Christian as a citizen engaging in co-belligerency over civic and moral issues is not the same as the declaration of Christians mutually recognizing the reality of each other's faith. This is what I wrote to Chuck Colson:  
 
"Thank you for sending me the amended document. I care deeply about these issues, but I cannot in conscience sign on with those with whom I have fundamental disagreements on the nature of the Gospel. (I just re-read Calvin in the Institutes, Book IV, section 18.)"This particular section of Calvin's Institutes provides us with his response to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the mass.It was maintained at the meeting in New York that this document was not to be viewed as a product of ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together). However, in light of the evangelical leadership behind the declaration, it is hard not to take into consideration the most recent ECT paper on "The Blessed Virgin Mary in Christian Life and Faith". In examining the place of Mary, the writers "acknowledge the primary authority of Holy Scripture." This at least gives the impression of a concession to Roman Catholicism. Protestant theology affirms the sole authority of Scripture. Sadly contemporary evangelicalism seems little concerned with the solas of The Reformation and is therefore susceptible to initiatives, which make something other than the Gospel, the basis of unity and the focus of our declarations.I am reminded in this connection of the declaration of Jude.

"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.

Alistair Begg

(updated and expanded November 25, 2009)


 

Do Not Sign! 245,000 Signers! Manhattan Declaration from Focus on the Family

Please DO NOT SIGN THIS...
Give it a lot of thought first...
Listen to John MacArthur on this issue:

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


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 infinite
worth, 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 document
that exhorts us to champion Christian truths in a Christian manner. It stands for something.
Then, after you've read the declaration, consider adding
your 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

Preaching the Book God Wrote, Part 1

Selected Scriptures
Code: A226



John MacArthur

Preaching the Book God Wrote, Part 1We 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. [1] 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"? [2] 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." [3] 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. [4]

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. [5]

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. [6]

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." [7]

---
Endnotes:

[1] 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] 2 Tim 3:16-17

[3] 2 Tim 4:1-2, emphasis added

[4] 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.

[5] D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971), p. 222.

[6] Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward An Exegetical Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981), pp. 7-8.

[7] R. B. Kuiper, "Scriptural Preaching," The Infallible Word, 3rd rev. ed., ed. Paul Woolley (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1967), p. 217.

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

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Gospel Preaching at My Church!!! Praised God For Such a Blessing

Praise the Lord for the Gospel being Preached!!!!
I hope THIS is the direction our church is heading.


5 Rhetorical Questions &
5 Great Truths
11/29/09-Greg Hafer


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