Saturday, September 24, 2005

Lost in wonder, love and grace

tomgee's blog
For some reason, I keep forgetting to put a link on my page to the tomgee's blog. There are some wonderful posts there and you ought to take a look. Sorry for the delay in getting you on my blogroll, tomgee! Hope to fix that tonight!

PyroManiac: Some recycled thoughts for the weekend: Brian McLaren and the assurance of faith

PyroManiac on Brian Maclaren and the Emerging Conversation

Here is an excellent and brief summary of some of the key problems within the Emerging Church movement. There are some great links at the end of the article, too. The Pyromaniac has a gift for summarizing that I truly envy! It is almost like he was an editor or something...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Discerning Reader is Done

I well remember the day I came across The Discerning Reader website - what a joy! Great books at great prices! I started buying from Rob and his crew immediately and except for one small oversight in shipping was always a happy customer.
Then things started to change.
There was an edginess in editorials and some sweeping generalizations that made me a little nervous. Nevertheless, I kept up with the DR and the associated websites.
Then came the ejection of all things "reformed" and the embrace and defence of the New Perspective on Justification.
Then came this sad statement on the website I read today:

We're done.

I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians.
Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Mahatma Gandhi

Obviously, Rob was hurt by some Christians. I am praying he turns to Christ alone in that pain. And I would urge you to pray the same.

Bible Centre Days May be Numbered...

Thanks to Tim for posting that Bible Centre may not last for long. I wondered how they got around that little copyright issue...

Bible Centre - One Well-Loaded Website!

Bible Centre
I just found this site for the first time - have you seen it?
A great stash of some excellent research materials. Owning the book is always better (in my mind), but if you can't afford or find it, here is a great place to get your information!
Some highlights of available materials:
* F C Keil & F Delitzsch - Commentary on the Old Testament (10 volumes)
* Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich - The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (10 volumes)
* Colin Brown - New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology
* Brown, Driver, & Briggs - Complete Hebrew-English Lexicon
* J H Thayer - Greek-English Lexicon (unabridged)
* International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
* Walter Elwell - Evangelical Commentary on the Bible
* Walter Elwell - Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
* Walter Martin - Kingdom of the Cults
* Philip Schaff - History of the Christian Church (8 volumes)
* Flavius Josephus - Complete Works
* Andrew R Fausset - Bible Dictionary
* Robert Dabney - Systematic Theology
* Charles G Finney - Lectures on Theology
* Jacob Arminus - Complete Works
* John Calvin - The Institutes

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tom Ascol Preaching at TBS on Saturday, October 1

The Ruminator sends the following invitation:

The Jonathan Edwards Centre for Reformed Spirituality will be holding special lectures on Oct. 1, 2005.

Dr. Tom Ascol of Founders Ministries will be giving a lecture at 10am in the Greenway Chapel of Jarvis Street Baptist Church. His topic will be "C.H. Spurgeon and Family Piety."

Dr. Ascol is also the editor of The Founders Journal; pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida; and a regular conference speaker. Recently Dr. Ascol has joined the "blogosphere" with The Founders Blog that is well worth reading.

There will be no cost for this lecture, but there will be a freewill offering to help cover costs.

Following the lecture there will be a luncheon provided by Toronto Baptist Seminary. The lunch will be $10 for what I'm sure will be a very good chicken meal! This will be followed by the annual TBS Convocation in the auditorium of Jarvis Street Baptist Church where Dr. Ascol will be the keynote speaker.

Your attendance would be both encouraging and appreciated. We will be graduating a small number of students and I am sure that they would love to have you there to celebrate with them. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Lust , Dress and The Christian Woman

Here is part of a transcript from the Revive Our Hearts radio program with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I found the transcript after searching for an Al Mohler quote that Joshua Harris makes in his book Not Even A Hint (I read the book for the first time today and think it is quite excellent!) This particular interview was entitled, Helping Our Brothers and addresses how Christian women can avoid tempting Christian men to lust by the way they dress.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: "...Josh, get us started. How can girls help guys in their battle against lust? And here we're about talking about single, married, younger, older, this is a lifetime issue. It's a human issue, not just a male issue. Talk about the impact that we as women have on the men around us.

Joshua Harris: I think it's just so helpful to realize that we are in this together, that it's not the battle of the sexes; it's Christians as brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul urged Timothy [1 Timothy 5:2] to view younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

And that is really the perspective that we want to have, to recognize that "I can actually play a part in helping others find their joy in God" and assuring that I'm not a stumbling block to them.

But that plays out in the way you act around men, the way that you dress. Clothing is a big issue, obviously. But I think of a quote by Dr. Al Mohler, who is the President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

We were having a conversation, and he made a statement that really floored me but I believe is so true.

He said, "Men are tempted to give themselves to pornography; women are tempted to commit pornography." He's not saying that women are tempted to pose in pornographic magazines or something like that, but the desire can be to dress in a way or act in a way that is primarily designed to stir up lust or desire on the part of a man.

And so, a woman just asking that question of her own heart and saying, "Am I wearing this because I want to glorify God or am I wearing this because I want men to treat me in a certain way? I want them to act a certain way around me; I want the attention that might come with this particular skirt or this particular blouse," or whatever it might be.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Let me just interrupt you here and read, Josh, an e-mail I received not too long ago, which just illustrates what you're talking about. This woman said, "I am so guilty of being a shamelessly dressed woman." She said, "I thought I wasn't; and when I realized I was, it was too late. My clothing and my behavior had caught the eye of one of the elders of our church."

She said, "This man befriended me. And I was glad to have the attention he showed me and was at the doorstep of divorcing my husband for him."

And then she talks about how the Lord got conviction to her heart, showed her that she was committing sin and needed to stop. And as hard as it was, that the Lord did help her to get free from the situation. And then she says, "My husband forgave me, but this sin is forever before my face."

And I love this evidence of a repentant heart. She says, "I've since changed the way that I dress, the way that I behave." She said, "I'm sure to never be in the company of a man alone." She says, "I don't even take phone calls from our men friends. I cut the conversation short and tell them that I'll have my husband call when he gets in."

So here's a woman who fell into serious moral sin and starting with dressing for the attention of men, not to speak of the sin she led this other man into, which doesn't mean he's not responsible for his own choices and his own sin. But we see here how the impact that men and women have on each other.

Joshua Harris: That's so true, and I think that some people can hear the whole discussion of clothing and think, You're making too big of deal out of this, making it sound like if you wear a particular outfit you're going to fall into immorality or something like that. I think what you have to realize is that our clothing (this is true of men, too) is an expression of what's in our hearts.

And so the starting point of this lady's problems was a heart that desired the attention of other men besides her husband. That was really the starting point and her clothing was an expression of that and that led to a lifestyle that ended up in serious sin.

But just understanding the idea that when you go to the mall, when you try on a particular outfit, you can't separate that activity from the posture of your heart before God. There's a connection there.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Now, Shannon, someone will hear this discussion of modesty, and they will say, "Are you telling me that it's wrong to dress attractively and I'm just supposed to wear bags so that I don't in any way cause men to sin?" How do you respond to that?

Shannon Harris: There's a difference between dressing attractively and dressing to attract. But most importantly, we need to look at our hearts and we want to be serving our brothers.

When we go the mall, we don't want to just be going to please ourselves and, "How can I look better than anyone and what would make me look the most attractive."

Joshua Harris: And I have just been so grateful for Shannon's heart to live this out. I can imagine it would be a real challenge if my wife didn't have a desire to please the Lord, where I'm having to police her clothing or something like that. But she really goes the extra mile in asking me about particular articles of clothing.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And in that way, Shannon is not only helping you as a husband, as a man, but helping other men, other husbands, single men, by her desire to clothe herself in a way that reflects a pure heart.

Joshua Harris: That's exactly right. And that gives me such a sense of safety and trust in knowing that her heart is only for me, knowing that she's not buying clothing with an eye to get attention from other men. And I'm grateful for the fact that she does dress, I think, very attractively, very stylishly and I love the way that she dresses.

If you were here, you wouldn't see her in clothing from centuries past or something like that. But the fact is it is possible in this day and age to dress in a way that is attractive, and yet in a way that is also modest.

You can read the whole interview here.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Speaking of Penguins... (click here for context!)

Gay Penguins Break Up

FOXNews (Friday, September 16, 2005)

New York City's most famous gay penguin couple has split up.

Even worse, one of them has taken up with a female penguin new to the Central Park Zoo (search), the New York Post reports.

Silo and Roy, two male chinstrap penguins (search) native to the South Atlantic, made local headlines six years ago when they came out with their same-sex relationship.

Since then, the pair have successfully hatched and raised an adopted chick — after trying to incubate a rock — and become role models for six other same-sex couples among penguins at the zoo.

That all ended when Scrappy, a single female newly arrived from SeaWorld in San Diego, caught Silo's eye.

"Silo and Roy stopped spending as much time together or building a nest," said John Rowden, curator of animals at the zoo.

Silo promptly moved in with Scrappy, building a new nest with her. Zookeepers were at a loss to explain Silo's sudden conversion.

"Why does anyone bond? Why do people want to get married and divorced?" said Dr. Dee Boersma (search), penguin expert at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Presumably, they've got their reasons."

Silo and his hot-feathered home-wrecker have yet to produce an egg, but they've been busy trying.

On Thursday, Roy, all alone, sat disconsolately at the edge of the penguin area, staring at the wall.

"If you got divorced, would you want to see your old mate around?" reasoned Boersma.

Besides, she added, "he's probably courting other penguins, getting ready for next season."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

And Can it Be We Don't Sing Enough?

I am convinced that most hymnals have done the church a disservice by not including this verse to Charles Wesley's grand hymn, And Can It Be?

The verse offers the worshipper the ability to affirm the inward witness of the Spirit (Romans 8:16 "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God...") that he or she is truly born again by the grace of God. Ponder these words:

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile heaven.

I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

Praise the Lord! Would that we could sing this with all our hearts!