Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Frankly, …

I keep thinking I'd like to try my hand at debating Frank Turk, but there are 2 problems:

  • He's smarter than me.
  • I can't find anything we disagree on.

Here's an example.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The End

Regarding the death and end of Bob Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse magazine, Albert Mohler said

You will no doubt hear many Christians who are going to be tempted to say they would not want to be Bob Guccione on the day of judgement. Well, that is certainly true, but in truth every single sinner who does not come to know salvation in Jesus Christ is going to face the full justice and judgement of God. On that day, Bob Guccione will not stand out from the mass of sinners, because every single sinner will be seen with his or her sin fully exposed.

What we see in the death of Bob Guccione is another signal of the fact that human sinfulness is just as ugly as we must know it to be.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Looking around

In this essay, the inimitable Frank Turk laments that when he moved to Little Rock he was unable to find a Southern Baptist church that looked, well, like a church in 2 years of looking. This is at once what I want to say and convicting to me with respect to my own behavior.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Liberation theology of the right

Todd Wilken:

You have written that there is a liberation theology of the left and there’s also a liberation theology of the right. Of course a criticism of many of those who were supporting Glen Beck and his Restoring Honor rally was that President Barack Obama is a “liberation theologian.” What do you mean by a liberation theology on the right?

Russell Moore:

Well I think liberation theology is any kind of theology that seeks to bypass the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and the empty tomb in order to get to some temporal value.

And so I think on the left you’ve got a liberation theology that says what we’re looking for is freeing the oppressed and we’re looking for all these — which may be good and right in and of themselves, but when you get to them apart from the Gospel you’re getting something other than the Gospel.

The same thing happens on the right, where you can take values that can be good in and of themselves and can be commendable, but you seek to get to them some other way than through the Gospel.

That’s essentially exactly what is happening in the third temptation of the Lord Jesus. Satan says to him, “You can have all of the kingdoms of the world if you just bow down and worship me.” Jesus refuses to do this even though Jesus ruling over the kingdoms of the world is obviously a good thing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

John 6:29

This evening as part of my personal study in John's Gospel, I read John 6:29: “Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ ”

I very nearly couldn't believe what I read: If I believe, it's God's work.

I consulted about 20 translations (via All the translations that simply deliver the words from the original language into English had translated this verse very nearly as it's quoted above (from the ESV); the translations that do more interpretive hand holding of the text provide something similar to the Good News Bible: “Jesus answered, ‘What God wants you to do is to believe in the one he sent.’ ”

Perhaps the latter gives the correct sense of the words. But the words say that my belief is God's work.

John's Gospel is filled with stuff like this:

  • Nicodemus said, “We know you are a teacher sent by God;” Jesus replied, “You must be born again to see the Kingdom of God.” Why did Jesus’ reply seem to have nothing to do with what Nicky asked?
  • The woman at the well said, “Give me this [living] water so I won't have to come back to the well;” Jesus replied, “Go fetch your husband.” Was Jesus answering her question or not?

Am I all wet? Do you have more examples of this kind of response by Jesus, especially from John's Gospel? Is this irrelevant?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


There is nothing hidden from the Lord’s eyes. There are no secrets with Him. Alone or in company, by night or by day, in private or in public, He is acquainted with all our ways. He who saw Nathanael under the fig-tree is unchanged. Go where we will, and retire from the world as we may, we are never out of sight of Christ.

— J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Everybody! Everybody!

A while back, I wrote a little essay about what's in Calvinism. (You can probably find it if you look hard enough.) The idea was to give some definitions so that at least Christians could be sure we're talking about the same thing.

But almost all of the arguments could be avoided if everybody understood that Calvinists (real ones, not ones born of anti-Calvinist imaginations) believe the following 2 things.

  • The Gospel must be proclaimed freely to everyone.
  • Everyone — everyone — who repents and believes the Gospel is saved by God.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wash your hands

Apropos to this blog’s whimsical (IMNSHO) title, washing your hands after making a difficult decision can help you get past it. But sometimes it isn't enough.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The amazing Justin Taylor posted this: Imperatives – Indicatives = Impossibilities. It expresses something I have been trying to say for a long, long time, but never found the right words.

Linked using Share this.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ultimate trust

If the history of slavery ought to teach us anything, it is that human beings cannot be trusted with unbridled power over other human beings — no matter what color or creed any of them are. The history of ancient despotism and modern totalitarianism practically shouts that same message from the blood-stained pages of history.

— Thomas Sowell

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What is this message?

[I]ngredients of preaching and teaching that we might want to link with the gospel would include the need for the gospel (sin and judgment), the means of receiving the benefits of the gospel (faith and repentance), the results or fruit of the gospel (regeneration, conversion, sanctification, glorification) and the results of rejecting it (wrath, judgment, hell). These, however we define and proclaim them, are not in themselves the gospel. If something is not what God did in and through the historical Jesus two thousand years ago, it is not the gospel. Thus Christians cannot ‘live the gospel’, as they are often exhorted to do. They can only believe it, proclaim it and seek to live consistently with it. Only Jesus lived (and died) the gospel. It is a once-for-all finished and perfect event done for us by another.

— Graeme Goldsworthy

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And lives that death may die

I know Easter has passed by for the year, but I can’t help posting these lyrics, the words to one of my favorite hymns. I don’t think it has a match anywhere for the simplicity, directness, power of the worship it expresses.

Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne,
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.

Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o'er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,
who died, and rose on high,
who died, eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of peace,
whose power a scepter sways
from pole to pole, that wars may cease,
and all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end,
and round his pierced feet
fair flowers of paradise extend
their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou hast died for me;
thy praise and glory shall not fail
throughout eternity.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Best

If you have been a Christian for over, say, 5 years, it is nearly certain you have heard a sermon about King David committing adultery and murder. I have heard many. This one is the best I ever heard. Settle in: It's over an hour long.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Worship of Idols

I have not (yet) read the articles that this article points to, but they come from a trusted source. Bob Kauflin is an associate of C.J. Mahaney. If you don't know who that is, you should find out.

Update: I have now read these, and I recommend them highly.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More than a teacher

Preaching about Mark 10:1–12:

Jesus was more than a teacher. Did you notice that in our passage? Even up there in verse 3. You know when the Pharisees asked him the question, look at what He said: “ ‘What did Moses command you?’ He replied.” Veeery interesting. Not us like the humble good rabbi should say, but you, as if Moses never commanded Jesus anything.

And even more so when you look again at verse 5 and you think about it for a minute. “ ‘It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,’ Jesus replied.” You see what Jesus is doing there? It is something unheard of for a rabbi to be doing. Jesus is speaking of the motive behind God's law that Moses gave. Huh! Okay, how could he do that? That seems … hmm … Maybe there's a verse in Deuteronomy I didn't know about where God says this. Yeah, you read through all of Deuteronomy, all of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, you won't find any verse like that. How could Jesus claim something like this with a straight face --- unless he was, himself, claiming to know the mind of God, because he was claiming, himself, to be God?

— Mark Dever

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Can you believe it?

Here's another article about The Shack. This one's an indictment of us for falling for this stuff.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Shack as Christian Literature

If anyone is actually reading this, there's a new(ish) essay about The Shack over at Christianity Today. It points out how, in several ways, this silly novel is sub-Christian.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Re: suffering

With reference to Romans 8:22:

If you're in the hospital and you hear a scream across the hall, it makes a huge difference whether you know you're in the maternity unit or the oncology unit. [For those who trust in Christ,] [a]ll of your sufferings, including your death, [are] birth pangs.

— John Piper

Saturday, January 2, 2010

This is big

I know this is late for the “official” Christmas season, but I offer it to you anyhow. This is not so much about a baby (to paraphrase Fozzie Bear: There's a hundred babies around) as it is about the enormity of the incarnation.

You should notice that we almost never hear the last two verses. Does anyone know why? I mean, come on, don't we want the serpent's head bruised in us, i.e., in our own personal walking-around lives? Don't we want Adam's image replaced with Jesus’ image? Are these not the purpose of the incarnation?

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”