Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas by Whitestone

My friend, Whitestone, posted an excellent blog entry on her reflections regarding celebrating Christmas. Check it out. She also relates from her personal testimony, what life was like as a young girl where she writes: "Our last winter there we subsisted on rabbits, squirrels, and corn meal mush." And also, how she first heard of Jesus through the song, "Jesus Loves Me."

The article starts out like this:


Christmas Eve We Celebrate the End of Death

Whoa! To some that might sound like a weird title. "We Celebrate the End of Death?" And some might wonder, "How do you get THAT out of Christmas?"

Click here to read the whole thing.

And if you want to see some pictures of Whitestone's old Homstead, click here.

Have Merry Christmas, and may our Lord Jesus Christ be exalted in the hearts of His People. Let all that has breath praise his most Holy and Glorious name.

Ps 150:6
2Ti 1:10

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Capitol Visitor Center

Dr. John Piper's article "Writing Religion out of Our History", over at the Desiring God blog pointed me to a recent article written by United States Senator, Jim DeMint. Although I read this article several days ago, it's contents continue to prick my thoughts. Both articles point to a deliberate left-leaning intention to misrepresent our nations religious history within the new Capitol Visitor Center. Consider the engraving on a plaque intended to be read by visitors as they enter the new Capitol Visitor Center.

We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution.

I encourage you to read both Dr. John Piper and Senator DeMint's articles.

Click Here for Dr. John Piper on Writing Religion out of our History.

Click Here for U.S. Senator Jim DeMint's article on the new Capitol Visitor Center.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Young, Restless, Reformed

You may have heard of the fairly new book by Collin Hansen:

Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists, written by Collin Hansen (Crossway, 2008; 160 pp, paperback, ISBN 978-1-58134-940-5)

Not having read the book, I found the Banner of Truth Trust review by Erroll Hulse very intriguing. It appears to me that Mr. Hulse not only gives a condensed description of Hansen's book, but also adds additional insight.

It was beneficial for me to read this review as an encouragement and a refreshing of the providential outworking of the Doctrines of Grace within America and England over the past 100 years or so.

You can read the full article, here.

Errol Hulse closes his article with D. A. Carson's endorsement of Hansen's book, I'll do the same as Carson's words speak to me with timely admonishment.
"This is not the time for Reformed triumphalism. It is time for quiet gratitude to God and earnest intercessory prayer, with tears, that what has begun will flourish beyond all human expectation."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Reformed Pastor-3

The Reformed Pastor

By Richard Baxter

Yet another email from my son with his progressing thoughts on Baxter's book, The Reformed Pastor.

The first observation you will note below is the definition of Reformed, like my son, I to have been reflecting on J.I. Packer's "helpful observation" these past few days.



One thing that just keeps coming to my mind as I read this book is Packer's helpful observation made in his introduction, that the word "Reformed" in the title was not used by Baxter to refer to Calvinistic doctrine, but to being renewed in practice.

"By 'reformed' he means, not Calvinistic doctrine, but renewed in practice."

In light of that, the title 'The Reformed Pastor' should be understood to mean 'The Renewed Pastor.'

In pages 72 to 86 Baxter supplies numerous stirring and convicting motives for us to 'take heed' to our own walk with Christ. There is so much meat in this section that it is a bit painful to condense it for you. So I will supply the main points and the comments which struck me the most, and of course, the verse upon which this book is based, Acts 20:28. The following is so plain, I don't think there can be much that I can contribute to it. There is such a degree of strength in it that my words would but water it down.

"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseeers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Acts 20:28

"1. Take heed for you have heaven to win or lose..."

" concerneth you to begin at home, and to take heed to yourselves as well as to others."

"O sirs, how many men have preached Christ, and yet have perished for want of saving interest in him?"

"How many, who are now in hell have told their people of the torments of hell, and warned them to escape from it?"

"a holy calling will not save an unholy man."

"2. Take heed to yourselves, for you have a depraved nature and sinful inclinations."

"Sin dwelleth in us, when we have preached ever so much against it."

"In us there are, at the best, the remnants of pride, unbelief, self-seeking, hypocrisy, and all the most hateful, deadly, sins."

"3. Take heed to yourselves, because the tempter will more ply you with his temptations than other men."

"he knows what a route he will make... if the leaders fall before their eyes"

"As wise and learned as you are, take heed to yourselves, lest he outwit you... The devil is a greater scholar than you, and a nimbler disputant..."

"4. Take heed to yourselves, because there are many eyes upon you, and there will be many to observe your falls."

"5. Take heed to yourselves, for your sins have more heinous aggravations than other men's."

"It was a saying of king Alphonsus, that 'a great man cannot commit a small' sin'"

"a. You are more likely than others to sin against knowledge, because you have more than they..."

"b. your sins have more hypocrisy in them than other men's, by how much the more you have spoken against them."

"6. Take heed to yourselves, because such work as ours require greater grace than other men's."

"we have seen some private Christians of good esteem, who, having thought too highly of their parts, and thrust themselves into the ministerial office, have proved weak and empty men, and have become greater burdens to the Church than some whom we endeavored to cast out. They might have done God more service in the higher rank of private men, than they do among the lowest of the ministry."

"7. Take heed to yourselves, for the honor of your Lord and Master, and of his holy truth and ways, doth lie more on you than on other men."

"Would it not wound you to the heart to hear the name and truth of God reproached for your sakes; to see men point to you, and say, 'There goes a covetous priest, a secret tippler [alcoholic], a scandalous man; these are they that preach for strictness, while they themselves can live as loose as others; they condemn us by their sermons, and condemn themselves by their lives; notwithstanding all their talk, they are as bad as we.'"

"O take heed, brethren, of every word you speak, and of every step you tread, for you bear the ark of the Lord, you are entrusted with His honor!"

"Never did a man dishonor God, but it proved the greatest dishonor to himself."

"8. Lastly, Take heed to yourselves, for the success of all your labors doth very much depend upon this."

"a. Can it be expected that God will bless that man's labors, (I mean comparatively, as to other ministers) who worketh not for God, but for himself? Now, this is the case with every unsanctified man. None but converted men do make God their chief end, and do all or any thing heartily for his honor; others make the ministry but a trade to live by."

"O sirs, all your preaching and persuading of others, will be but dreaming and vile hypocrisy, till the work be thoroughly done upon your own hearts. How can you set yourselves, day and night, to a work that your carnal hearts are averse to? How can you call, with serious fervor, upon poor sinners to repent and return to God, that never repented or returned yourselves? How can you heartily follow poor sinners, with importunate solicitations to take heed of sin, and to lead a holy life, that never felt yourselves the evil of sin, or the worth of holiness?"

"What, can you love other men better than yourselves?"

"As Calvin saith on my text; 'For never will the man take diligent care for the salvation of others who neglects his own salvation.'"


"he who cherisheth sin in his own heart doth never fall upon it in good earnest in others... a wicked man may be more willing for the reformation of others than of his own... he can preach against sin at an easier rate than he can forsake it..."