Just do it…
Note: I’m back with a brand new edition. And to save you all some mental anguish I will not be posting any politics related posts. In fact I’m not going to talk about the shut down at all..not going to mention that technically only 17% of the government is shut down. Nor am I even going to talk about how closing the national parks has altered my First Grader’s field trip to the local nature refuge..nor am I going to mention the simple proof the government is not totally shut down is the fact that you are all still receiving mail. I am not going to mention these things because I have an international audience of tens and tens of you who may not even be aware of how ridiculous our government is for fighting over money that it doesn’t actually have. Now on with the list…
1) Rosaria Butterfield talks about her conversion from being a lesbian feminist scholar to Christianity, she’s actively fighting the good fight of the faith and we need to pray for her. Here is a little more insight on her story.
2) One of the terms that is often confused when talking about Calvinism is the term “total depravity” I personally prefer to call it “total inability” because we are totally incapable of acting righteously…but that’s just me…for a better idea of what total depravity is NOT…read this article by my friend Pastor David Shrock.
3) Speaking of the Doctrines of Grace…another question that is often asked is…”if once gained can salvation be lost?” (My answer would be ‘No’ which is just one reason, of only a couple, I’m not a Lutheran) for a better idea of an answer to this question Dr. R.C. Sproul answers it here.
4) Speaking of our Lutheran brothers in Christ…here is a fantastic podcast that rightly takes Paul Washer to task-(there is a second part that I encourage you to listen to as well.) I’ve had some concerns about Washer for awhile now and this podcast helped me to flesh out what those were. (Not surprisingly they are similar concerns that I have with John Piper-but that’s another subject for another time)
5) Here are some interesting, and valid concerns that Dr. Russel Moore has about the new Pope. Concern that i share as it seems to be the first post-modern pope…who seems like he wants to take the RCC the way of the ELCA.
6) Here is a fantastic article by Dr. Albert Mohler on expository preaching, (it’s by Al Mohler and its on preaching so I really shouldn’t have to build this up anymore.)
7) And to end off on a sour note here is a heresy alert twin spin. First, someone apparently needs to teach Steven Furtick what it means to suffer for Christ because he hasn’t got a clue. Secondly, what would you think of a church that does a charity event to raise funds for an abortion clinic? Not much, well me either. But that is what this church is doing.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
If faithful gospel preaching means declaring only positive, reassuring things, why did the apostles suffer rejection?
— Ray Ortlund (@rayortlund) July 30, 2013
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Could fellow Youth Ministers around the country take a cue from AWANA. I think so.
As a blogger, I should probably look into the legitimacy of writing a blog post, my only blog post of the week, as a gateway for other blogs. This may be a problem. I’ll look into it..said the procrastinator.
1) My good friend Julia, over at Steak and a Bible is giving away free stuff again. possibly as a way to entice people to read her blog, I would never do that, both of my readers would be insulted. I mean, she has thousands and thousands of readers and…oh..wait a minute….But seriously who doesn’t like free stuff…nobody doesn’t like free stuff, so you should go check it out.
2) What is Evangel-ship…you should go to Greg Steirs blog to find out.
3) Looks like Rob Bell is going to be on Oprah. Boy, those two are like peas in a pod eh? Super-ambiguous Universalist Spirituality calling it self Christianity guy meet Super-ambiguous Universalist Spirituality calling itself Christianity girl. This event is called ‘Super Soul Sunday’, whatever that means…Is it because we’re all our own little superhero? Who knows. It certainly looks like something to miss to me.
4)I’m the father of three kids, and the question of how can we raise Godly kids is something I’m asked a lot and have had to wrestle with myself. Here are ten very good suggestions on doing just that.
5) The balance between legalism and licentiousness is a constant struggle for the sincere Christian, the question that is most often asked by the more legalistic crowd is Does Grace make you Lazy?
6) Porn is a real, and dangerous problem. One that I have fought in the past, and with its pervasiveness through the internet, a growing problem among our children. This article in the UK Mail looks at the effect all this is having on the still developing young minds of young men and women.
7) And speaking of porn, look what our oldest Baptist University in America is celebrating. Is it our Christian heritage? No. Our Lord and Savior Christ? No..forget all that stuff, they did a long time ago…and now they celebrate nudity week! I’m sure there won’t be any problems with rape or sodomy or sexual assault with this little soiree will there?
8) BONUS: Here’s a bunch of really good links I wanted to pass along last week, and the week before, but as you can see…I didn’t post. I’ve been super busy and I’m a bad (or is it good) procrastinator. Anyway, instead of giving you a bunch of links to read through one at a time here they are all at once…here’s an awesome post over at TGC from Jared C. Wilson. An awesome post over at TGC from Trevin Wax, and here’s a good article over at TGC from Andrew Hess. And finally here are two excellent articles from Ligonier, one is called the Tyranny of the Weaker Brother and is an interesting read, well worth your time and the other one is on the origin of the oft used phrase, Soli Deo Gloria. Enjoy!
TWEET OF THE WEEK
They are killing Christians in Pakistan. Over here we’re looking for the church with the rockin’est band.
— jaredcwilson (@jaredcwilson) September 23, 2013
In french “Potpourri” means “the Stinking Pot” or so I’m told…I don’t speak French so I wouldn’t know. What I do know is that this week’s edition of “the Seven” is a literal mixed bag, or potpourri, as it were. Enjoy.
1) Have you ever thought about how the preaching in your church might actually increase sin among the members of your church? This article by Jared Wilson explains how that happens.
2) This blog post from a mother in Texas made the news…and as you read you’ll see why. It seems Christians aren’t normal, when normal is defined as letting your kids do whatever they want, that would be true. Do you think she has a point?
3) Humor can help us realize some uncomfortable truths, this post by The Unappreciated Pastor is a satirical look at signs that you, as a pastor, might not last long.
4) Are you comfortable living the Christian life? I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable with how comfortable I am…this post over at “The Cross is All” may help move you.
5) As the old emergent church grows up and reveals itself to be nothing more than liberal “Christianity”-which isn’t Christianity at all-some of the founders of the emergent church are doing their things as is Dan Savage who is launching a new website, you can read about it, and read a very Christian response to it over at Denny Burk’s blog. It is well worth your time.
6) Is this America? Because It sure doesn’t feel like it is sometimes…especially when a church is having trouble getting the necessary paperwork to install a cross on its own property. You can read about it here. And in a similar vein it’s going to get hard to faithfully preach in San Antonio where the freedom of speech and freedom of religion are crossing some fuzzy lines. And the USAF is punishing some of its veterans for their personal religious beliefs.
7) And to end on a light note here are 18 Awkward Church Stories from Back Row Baptist. After #6 we could use a laugh.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Everyone wants to be like Jesus, but no one wants to turn tables, rebuke false teachers, or wash the feet of doubters.
— Burk Parsons (@BurkParsons) September 5, 2013
It is said that potato chips were invented when a customer complained that Chef George Crum’s french fries were too thick…and out of spite, the chef then sliced the potatoes super thin, fried them and viola potato chips. There are times in life that we can all relate to Chef Crum…doing things out of spite to prove a point. And sometimes those things turn out crispy and delicious. Sometimes they don’t. I hope as you read this article, a follow-up to Thursday’s post on Sola Scriptura, that you would find this post to be a fuller and more satisfying articulation of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura and how it’s not only completely Biblical, but essential.
My previous post did a good job of explaining how functional and useful Scripture is to not just tell us about God but to bring us to full maturity as a Christian…so I won’t reiterate those points here. What I am going to attempt to do is lay out some common misconceptions about what exactly Sola Scriptura is and then try to explain the idea more fully…using scripture, of course, to support my arguments.
Sola Scriptura is the belief that the Holy Scriptures are the sole, sufficient, infallible rule of faith. The importance of affirming and defending this doctrine stems partly from the need to know God personally for salvation and to know his will in order to carry it out in our lives:
Sola Scriptura, along with the other four Solas of the reformation, were the central points of disagreement with the Catholic church and the reformers, but it was Sola Scriptura, that Luther really dug his heals into. Luther loved the Bible and was particularly vexed by his fellow German’s neglect of if. He comments on this at end of a sermon on the Monday after Easter, 1530:
You should diligently learn the Word of God and by no means imagine that you know it. Let him who is able to read take a psalm in the morning, or some other chapter of Scripture, and study it for a while. This is what I do. When I get up in the morning, I pray and recite the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer with the children, adding any one of the psalms. I do this only to keep myself well acquainted with these matters, and I do not want to let the mildew of the notion grow that I know them well enough. The devil is a greater rascal than you think he is. You do as yet not know what sort of fellow he is and what a desperate rogue you are. His definite design is to get you tired of the Word and in this way to draw you away from it. This is his aim. (WA 32, 64)
Ultimately, though, Martin Luther loved the Bible because it was there that he had found Jesus Christ and the good news that we are justified by faith not the works of the Law. For him, this was the reason Scripture was written and the reason for reading and hearing it, as indicated here: Read the rest of this entry
The challenge has been doled out, the challenge: “Sola Scriptura has no scriptural foundation”…au contraire.
Though usually in my blog I have much to say in this instance I believe I will let the Holy Scriptures speak and leave well-enough alone.
The Bible is God’s own Holy word to us. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God. (WCF 1. 4)
2 PETER 1:19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 TIM 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work
1 JOHN 5:9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.
1 THESS 2:13 And we also thank God constantlyfor this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of men (WCF 1.6)
2 TIM 3:15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
2 THESS 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word:
JOHN 6:45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me
1 COR 2:9-12 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:
2 PETER 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.
PS. 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
PS. 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly. (2 Pet. 1:20–21, Acts 15:15–16)
The supreme judge by which all controversies of (the Christian) religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.
MATT 22:29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
MATT 22:31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God
EPH 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
ACTS 28:25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
So you see, there is all kinds of evidence for Sola Scriptura…you can either accept it…or reject it.