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Peace For God’s People

by Richard Sibbes

THERE be two sorts of people always in the visible church, one that Satan keeps under with false peace, whose life is nothing but a diversion to present contentments, and a running away from God and their own hearts, which they know can speak no good unto them; these speak peace to themselves, but God speaks none. Such have nothing to do with this Scripture, Ps. 42:11; the way for these men to enjoy comfort, is to be soundly troubled. True peace arises from knowing the worst first, and then our freedom from it. It is a miserable peace that riseth from ignorance of evil. The angel ‘troubled the waters,’ John 5:4, and then it* cured those that stepped in. It is Christ’s manner to trouble our souls first, and then to come with healing in his wings.

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 13:53 -- john_hendryx

Why The Lord Allows Sin to Remain in the Regenerate

by Thomas Boston

WE have seen already, that though there is a great change wrought on the elect in their regeneration yet that change is imperfect; there shall be no perfect delivery from indwelling sin till death; the body of death; though crucified, yet lives till the death of the body: and it is not so driven out to the outworks, but that it remains, and hath its seat in the main hold, in the soul, even in the mind and will. Experience suffereth not gracious souls to doubt of the being of sin in them, while it occasions them so much struggling and wrestling; yea, while they feel the great strength of it, they are many times ready from thence to call in question the being of grace in them, and to put forth that which was Rebekah's question, in another case, "If it be so, why am I thus?"* And therefore, although we are not to call God to an account of his doings with supercilious boldness, flowing from an obstinate and stubborn heart; yet it may very well be allowed, that we go humbly, and with her inquire of the Lord.

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 12:54 -- john_hendryx

The Magic Equality Wand

by Dr. Thaddeus Williams

Imagine we could wave a Magic Equality Wand that instantly erased inequality around the world. This wand is so magical that it can bring perfect global equality without having to resort to some ever-bloating government regime to oversee and implement equal outcomes. The wand is so powerful it can even wipe away all discrimination from the planet.

We all wake up tomorrow in a discrimination free world with, say, a million dollars in our bank accounts, 4000 square foot homes with Teslas in our driveways, all the best quality name brands in our closets, and an equally wide-open horizon of options and opportunities. No oppressive ‘isms’ or broken systems stand in anyone’s way. For how long could we enjoy a vacation from having to protest inequality?

It would be more like a bathroom break than a vacation.

Since people have different priorities and make different life choices, inequalities would manifest within 5 minutes and grow larger by the day. Donna expands her real estate business. Ben sinks his million into building Ice Town. Ron buys gold and buries it in the woods. Tommy throws a lavish red carpet party, complete with six open bars, a Bengal Tiger, and a shrimp wall. Chris invests in a vegan market chain. Andy blows his on Skittles and Dave Matthews tickets, while Jean-Ralphio is livin’ large with a high end scarf collection and a RoLexus. Gryzzl employees pool their funds for more “chill” tech innovations, while the Animal Control Department relocates to Jamaica and buys a truckload of pot. Nearby Eagletonians pour their funds for caviar, a city-wide HBO subscription, and fill their gated community pools with name brand mineral water.

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 16:26 -- john_hendryx

The Appeal of Idolatry

by David Wells

"Idolatry, ancient and modern alike, consists in trusting some substitute for God to serve some uniquely divine function…  Why do people choose the substitute over God himself?  Probably the most important reason is that it obviates accountability to God.  We can meet idols on our own terms because they are our own creations.  They are safe, predictable, and controllable; they are, in Jeremiah’s colorful language, the “scarecrows in a cucumber field” (10:5).  They are portable and completely under the user’s control.  They offer nothing like the threat of a God who thunders from Sinai and whose providence in this world so often appears to us to be incomprehensible and dangerous.  People who “remain in the center of their lives and loyalties, autonomous architects of their own futures,” Keyes argues, thereby avoid coming face to face with God and his truth.  They need face only themselves.  That is the appeal of idolatry."

- David Wells, God in the Wasteland  (Eerdmans 1994)

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 13:55 -- john_hendryx

The Noble Lie

by Thaddeus Williams

In the era before the 17th century, before Galileo, Kepler and Newton, a fixation on meaning questions often left our understanding of the material world dragging woefully behind. In the era following the Scientific Revolution, we have come to understand the mechanics of the universe far greater than ever before. Yet it appears more meaningless to us than ever. We know more and more about matter but less and less about why matter matters....

Close-minded materialism has ushered us into a kind of teleological Dark Ages. We have become just as naïve about the meaning of the universe as the medieval alchemist was about the mechanics of the universe. But the meaning void left swirling at the center of a materialist’s cosmos will be filled with something. The human heart, like nature, abhors a vacuum.Dr. Loyal Rue offered the American Academy for the Advancement of Science three possibilities for filling the void:

1) Each individual can become the centerpoint of meaning for his own universe of personal fulfillment. Rue calls this “the madhouse option,” which abandons all hope for social cohesion.

2) The State can make itself the centerpoint of meaning in an otherwise meaningless cosmos. Rue calls this “the totalitarian option” where all individuality and freedom are lost.

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:15 -- john_hendryx

A List of Powerful Sermons and Essays for your Weekend Reading

For your weekend reading I wanted to pass along some classic sermons and essays that have had a deep impact:

Imitating the Incarnation (.pdf)
by B. B. Warfield

The Religious Life of Theological Students
by B B Warfield

Man's Utter Inability to Rescue Himself
by Thomas Boston

The Expulsive Power of a New Affection
by Thomas Chalmers

What Did the Cross Achieve?: The Logic of Penal Substitution
by J. I. Packer

A Day of Sober Rejoicing
by Francis Schaeffer

The Emotional Life of Our Lord
by B. B. Warfield

The Martyrdom of Polycarp
Translated by John Lightfoot

Introductory Essay to the Death of Death
by J. I. Packer

What is Christianity?
by J. Gresham Machen

History & Faith
by J Gresham Machen

The Good Fight of Faith
by J. Gresham Machen

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 13:34 -- john_hendryx

Does All Meaning in the Universe Center Around Human Beings?

Recently a good friend of mine, who is an atheist, who seems convinced of total depravity, sent me a Joe Rogan Experience podcast episode (Parental Guidance recommended) where his guest, a world-renowned physicist makes some astonishing claims. Professor Brian Cox is an English physicist and Professor of Particle Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester in the UK.

Among many of the claims Professor Cox makes in the podcast episode, my friend asked me to comment on the segment where he said that since we are all there is in the universe, all meaning the in universe centers around humans. He claims we ought to locate the miracle in the here and now. This is the miracle. We are living it right now.

Here are a few comments in response to this idea put forward by Professor Cox:

Without knowing what the purpose of a typewriter is, we cannot determine its worth or excellence. Similarly, we cannot realize human excellence if we don't have a grasp of human purpose.  Apart from this, we end up with only practical and emotional outcomes. Modernity has in many ways, stripped us of a telos, or our search for an ultimate end. But without an external, objective source of meaning and purpose, we are left with only being informed and driven by subjective feelings.

I would argue that people flourish the most, not when they invent their own meaning and value, but when they tap into their value and meaning as God’s image-bearers.

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 16:53 -- john_hendryx

Do Not Grow Weary in Declaring God's Word

There has never been a time when so much sound biblical teaching has been available at the fingertips of the ordinary person. And, thank the Lord, much of it is free. On the other hand, there has never been a time when such a vast amount of poor and heretical theology has been available to the same people. So much that I cannot keep up with it all.

Many of our brothers and sisters are held captive by bad or inconsistent theology... theology that will not be able to bear the weight of the onslaught of ideologies and plausible arguments being waged against the Church. We should not behave angrily as if this was entirely their fault. It seems plausible to many Christians because that is all they have ever known. So we must patiently, with gentleness and respect pluck them from the fire by openly declaring the whole counsel of God. Is it sad that one of the greatest mission fields is the visible church itself and it grieves me to see it, but we must press on and simply carry out our role to proclaim the word of God, and let Him determine the results. So do not grow weary. He is sovereign and will take your faithful work and make it fruitful.

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:12 -- john_hendryx

A Page from Hell's Playbook: the Subterranean Origins of Certain Equality and Justice Doctrines

by Dr. Thaddeus Williams

If I were the devil—which some of you may believe after reading on—if my sworn mission was to devour the Christian faith from the inside out, then here is what I would NOT do. I would not slither into a Sunday service, breathing blasphemy and dragon fire, bragging about my triumphs at Auschwitz, commanding the congregation, “Deny that God is God!” I would not be an idiot.

I would dress up to look like justice, compassion, or equity, or some other ideal Christians would be quick to ‘Amen!’ I would sink my teeth and suck the true, biblical content from those words—not that many of the Enemy’s people know the true, biblical content of those words to begin with—then inject it with the venom of new meaning, a meaning that is antithetical to the Enemy’s definition of such silly words. Then I could get nearly every faithful Tom, Dick, and Sally to deny the Godhood of God while they think they are merely being more just and compassionate. I could get them to deny the Gospel itself while they think they are merely caring for the oppressed. Even better, I will include in that injection certain policies that are almost certain to further hurt the oppressed, the same policies I’ve used over and over to crush image-bearers. It’s the perfect evil trifecta I try to achieve in all my ploys. Rob worship from the Enemy, dupe the Enemy’s church, and inflict even more oppression on as much of that despicable race who bears the Enemy’s obnoxious image as possible.

Sat, 02/09/2019 - 17:47 -- john_hendryx

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