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The Most Dangerous Prayer a Christian Can Pray

by Darrell Bernard Harrison

Prayer is essential to the Christian life.

It is essential to the Christian life because prayer was essential to the life of Jesus (Matthew 6:1-15, 14:23; Luke 5:16, 22:39-41; Hebrews 5:7.)

Theologian Andrew Murray, who arguably has written more than anyone on the subject of prayer in the daily life of the Christian, once declared, “Abiding fully [in Christ] means praying much.”

Those of us who, by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), have come to faith in Christ, serve a God who desires that we come to Him with our prayers and petitions (Philippians 4:6.)

In fact, He delights in it (Proverbs 15:8.)

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 20:30 -- john_hendryx

Three Types of Calvinist

by Steve Hays

There are different perspectives on Calvinism. Different ways of approaching Calvinism. Differences of emphasis or orientation:
 
1. Soteriological
 
This orientation stresses doctrines like unconditional election, reprobation, special redemption, spiritual inability, sola gratia, monergistic regeneration, perseverance. It has special reference to the human situation. This is typically the focus of Reformed pastors, preachers, and evangelists. 
 
2. Theological 
 
This orientation stresses doctrines like absolute predestination and meticulous providence. It operates at a more cosmic level. It lays more emphasis on God's relation to the world in general rather than God's relation to mankind in particular.  There are people who incline to (1), but distance themselves from (2). 
 
3. Philosophical 
 
This orientation piggybacks on (2). If (2) is true, then everything happens for a reason. There are no random, aimless events. No brute facts. No fortuitous accidents. Everything serves a purpose in a part/whole, means/ends relation. God leaves nothing to chance. Everything unfolds according to his master plan for world history. 


This dovetails with the principle of sufficient reason. There are no inherently inexplicable truths. And that's a condition of intelligibility. In principle, there's a rational explanation for everything, although many things may be inscrutable to humans, given our epistemic limitations.

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 19:36 -- john_hendryx

Why Biological Evolution is not a Scientific Fact.

I recall in one of our discussions you asked me about biological evolution and my thoughts on it. Given the broad nature of this topic at the time I only was able to give you a superficial overview of my thoughts... so today I wanted to give you a more complete explanation. It is a big topic to cover but I will try to be as brief as I can about why I don't believe evolution has been demonstrated to be a fact.  Thanks for your patience.

Let me first confess up front that I affirm the truth of scientific discovery and will not reject facts if they can be demonstrated through the scientific method. I grew up in a secularist him and simply assumed that evolution was true because it is what I was taught in school, on TV and at home. I recall a Time-Life book in our home on evolution that I used to look through frequently above the round table off our den where I ate breakfast and where my parents used to play poker. When I went off to college to the University of Colorado I carried this belief with me as a given unquestionable fact. I even had friends in college who were staunch evolutionists and I attended their debates about it, where they defended the position for biological evolution against skeptics of it. The first time going I simply assumed the other position was laughable so I entered the debate biased against it but the more I heard what was actually being debated the fuzzy nature of the “facts” of evolution began to put sow a seed of doubt in my mind ... and eventually after my sophomore year I took two classes on evolution, including evolutionary biology/the study of DNA. What I learned there was definitely helpful but it only solidified to me the notion that evolution was not actually all that it claimed to be.

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 11:29 -- john_hendryx

For Those Who Seek to Eradicate Christianity

When I hear atheists and liberals mock and attack Christianity I always encourage them to migrate to a country where none of the influences of Christianity are present. I tell them that it would be better for them to live in a country where none of the plagues of Christianity has taken root — Better to go to North Korea, Syria, Cuba, Libya, Burma, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Haiti, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nigeria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Jordan, Algeria, and Angola. Better to go to a country where Christianity has not spread its influence. Better to live in a country where there is virtually no freedom of speech, no free enterprise, no representative government, no civil liberties, virtually no rights for women than live in a country where Christianity has installed and disseminated such vile values.

Better to live in a country where Christianity has no place to install its principal value of high regard for human life, high regard for women, freedom of speech, civil liberties, representative government, free enterprise, and the elevation of human sacredness.

Who wants to be imposed upon by the Good Samaritan with its ethic that extends sacred value and worth to the individual? Who wants an ethical system that’s responsible for ending cannibalism in nations all around the world or the predominant principle of helping the weak and destitute that has alleviated the suffering of the poor to the farthest corners of the globe with the intervention of medicine, hospitals, clean water, welfare, orphanages? In fact, Christians are singlehandedly the largest providers of healthcare, charity and education throughout the world.

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 09:46 -- john_hendryx

Pop Culture Coram Deo Lists Top 50 Christian Pop Culture Blogs

Yesterday Jared Moore, the mastermind behind the Pop Culture Coram Deo Blog listed the top 50 Christian (orthodox evangelical) blogs based on web traffic. We are grateful to see that two of our websites made the list:  Monergism.com at #9 and ReformationTheology.com at #20.

Their list is solely based on Alexa’s 3 month global traffic rankings checked on February 26, 2018. They attempted to only include blogs from evangelical Christians who are considered orthodox, and who interact with pop culture often. Although some of the sites listed may have rankings that are inflated because Alexa does not provide traffic rankings for subsites and subdomains for blogs which use hosts such as Patheos’ and Christianity Today.

Here is the link to the entire list of 50 sites.

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About Jared Moore

Jared Moore was dead in his sin and God raised him to life in Christ Jesus. Because of Christ, he will live forevermore. Jared has served in pastoral ministry in a Southern Baptist context since 2000. He pastors Cumberland Homesteads Baptist Church in Crossville, TN. His wife’s name is Amber, and they have four children. Jared is also a PhD Candidate in Systematic Theology (ABD) and a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Kyle Claunch at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
 
Wed, 02/28/2018 - 11:10 -- john_hendryx

A Sound Conversion

by Richard Sibbes

It is evident that our conversion is sound when we loathe and hate sin from the heart.

A man may know his hatred of evil to be true, first, if it is universal- he that hates sin truly, hates all sin.

Secondly, true hatred of sin is fixed- there is no appeasing it but by abolishing the thing hated.

Thirdly, true hatred of sin is a more rooted affection than anger- anger may be appeased, but hatred of sin remains and sets itself against the whole kind.

Fourthly, if our hatred of sin is true, we hate all evil,
in ourselves foremost, and secondarily in others-
he that hates a toad, would hate it most in his own bosom.Many, like Judah, are severe in censuring others (Genesis 38:24), but partial to themselves.

Fifthly, he that hates sin truly, hates the greatest sin in the greatest measure; he hates all evil in a just proportion.

Sixthly, our hatred to sin is right if we can endure admonition and reproof for sin, and not be enraged- therefore, those that swell against reproof do not appear to hate sin.

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Source: Richard Sibbes commentary, Psalm 97:10

Sat, 02/24/2018 - 13:44 -- john_hendryx

“I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go”

by D. A. Carson

In EXODUS 4 two elements introduce complex developments that stretch forward to the rest of the Bible.

The first is the reason God gives as to why Pharaoh will not be impressed by the miracles that Moses performs. God declares, “I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go” (4:21). During the succeeding chapters, the form of expression varies: not only “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart” (7:3), but also “Pharaoh’s heart became hard” or “was hard” (7:13, 22; 8:19, etc.) and “he hardened his heart” (8:15, 32, etc). No simple pattern is discernible in these references. On the one hand, we cannot say that the pattern works up from “Pharaoh hardened his heart” to “Pharaoh’s heart was hardened” to “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (as if God’s hardening were nothing more than the divine judicial confirmation of a pattern the man had chosen for himself); on the other hand, we cannot say that the pattern simply works down from “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart” to “Pharaoh’s heart was hardened” to “Pharaoh hardened his heart” (as if Pharaoh’s self-imposed hardening was nothing more than the inevitable out-working of the divine decree).

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 11:51 -- john_hendryx

Scientific Determinism vs. Christian Predictability

by K. Scott Oliphint

Atheist: Sam Harris has written a masterful exposition of the myth of free will. And the reason that free will is a myth, Harris and I understand as committed scientists, is that all that happens is the product of a materially determined process. Since everything that happens, happens according to that process, there can be no real choice for human beings. We, too, are simply products of the processes of our material make-up. Science can continue apace because reality is so marvelously and determinatively predictable. It moves inexorably as it is materially determined to move.

Christian: If I am materially predetermined to believe what I believe, and you are as well, then what we believe is simply a product of our material selves. We have no choice at all about what we believe; and why we believe what we do makes no sense to discuss at all, since the "why" is embedded in our predetermined matter.

It seems to me that you have gotten yourself into an intellectual bind. If the universe is unguided, then what you think about science is nothing more than a random figment of your own imagination. In that case, science cannot ground or found its own enterprise; the best it can do, as David Hume showed us centuries ago, is depend on some kind of subjective "habit." And a habit is no way to try to uncover the mysteries of the universe; because it is subjective, it has no bearing on whether or not the universe is knowable or predictable. For that, something much stronger is needed. What's needed is actual predictability. And that comes only in Christian theism.

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 15:19 -- john_hendryx

Free eBook by Richard Sibbes

Click here to take you to the download page

For some unknown reason, Facebook has blocked all links which go directly to the download page so if you wish to download this eBook please click here to take you to the page. 

The book was first published in 1630, and is considered one of the classics of the Puritan writings. The title of the book is of course taken from a passage in Isaiah, among the so-called “Servant Songs” which foretell the coming of the promised Messiah, and speak of His role as a suffering servant. Verse 3 of Isaiah 42 says: “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgment into truth.” And in Matthew 12: 18-20, right after a healing by Jesus, Matthew said this prophecy had been fulfilled in Christ. The prophecy predicted the manner in which Christ would carry out His ministry during His time in the flesh, i.e. in gentleness and mercy. Sibbes says: “We see therefore, that the condition of those with whom He was to deal was that they were bruised reeds and smoking flax; not trees, but reeds; and not whole, but bruised reeds.”

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 14:17 -- john_hendryx

Bible Logic Fallacies of Synergists

The following numbered items are common assumptions made by synergists in rejecting the bondage of the will and God's sovereign grace in salvation.

Fallacy #1. God would not command us to do what we cannot do.

God gave the Law to Moses, The Ten Commandments, to reveal what man cannot do, not what he can do.

A. Premise #1 is unscriptural. God gave the Law for two reasons: To expose sin and to increase it so man would have no excuse for declaring his own righteousness. Why? Because in the context, he does NO righteousness. As Martin Luther said to Erasmus, "when you are finished with all your commands and exhortations from the Old Testament, I'll write Ro.3:20 over the top of it all." Why use commands and exhortations from the O.T. to show free will when they were given to prove man's sinfulness? They exist to show what we cannot do rather than what we can do. Yes, God gave commands to man which man cannot do. Therefore commandments and exhortations do not prove free will. Nowhere in scripture is there any hint that God gives commands to natural men to prove they are able to perform them.

[Here is the passage Luther quoted to Erasmus to show that law's purpose is to expose our bondage to sin, not show our moral ability to keep it: "Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin." Rom 3:19, 20]

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:11 -- john_hendryx

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