Archive for September, 2007

For My Wife Or Any Other Lovable Geeks Out There

September 29, 2007

Ed, my dentist and friend, needs to watch this as well:

HT: Barlow

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False Gospel – Both Ways

September 28, 2007

Today Ain’t Your Day (And Tomorrow Ain’t Looking So Good Either)

The hypertext above is a quote from a Tom in the Box piece.  For those who have not discovered Tom and his troupe, may I strongly urge you to check him (them) out. 

In this little bit of satire the Team Tommy skewers the wealth-is-god gospel so prevalent in our culture today.  Those who proclaim a health and wealth gospel are as “another gospel” like as the ascetics who want to live in caves.

 al sends

Children Make the World Sad

September 28, 2007

What is your attitude toward children?  Do you have God’s vision for your family?  Do you see your children like the Psalmist?

Ps 128

1 Blessed is every one who fears the LORD,
Who walks in His ways.

2 When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the LORD.

5 The LORD bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
6 Yes, may you see your children’s children.

Peace be upon Israel!

Jeff Meyers – Provider Of Analogy

September 28, 2007

In the comments section of one of my favorite blogs I once compared the behavior of men, while commenting on blog entries, to 5th graders, walking down the street and punching each other in the arm.  There is no intent to harm in those actions.  They are simply establishing position. Thanks to Jeff Meyers I now have another analogy:

That is painful.

al sends

Only Sinners Need Apply

September 25, 2007

We are sinful. That is a very simple statement of a very profound truth. This week alone, maybe even this morning alone, we have committed enough sin to bar us forever from this table. Who are you to think that you should come and sit at the table of the King of kings and Lord of lords?

Yet it would be even greater sin not to come. Are you a rebel? The Scripture says yes. Do you have iniquity eating at your bones? Your conscience says yes. Is there the poison of asps under all our tongues and an open tomb in our throats and blood-shedding-swiftness about our feet? Our experience agrees with the Word of God that this is true of us.

Let me assure you of something else that is equally true: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The righteous bore the sin of the unrighteousness, so now you, through faith in Him and repentance toward sin, are clean. You have already confessed your sin to God. He heard you. You looked to Christ as you confessed. Christ interposed Himself for you. He ever lives to intercede for you.

So, yes, we are sinful. But we are also clean. We are free. Rejoice. We are raised out of the dust of our wretchedness, so that we can come cleansed and enjoy table fellowship with our Heavenly Father. Christ Jesus died for you. His body and blood speak for you as you take the bread and the wine. Your sins are forgiven, you who are baptized into Him with water and who trust in Him alone.

So come, we believe it, now let us taste and see that the Lord is good.

Vocal Cords from the Soul

September 25, 2007

People gather together and assemble in groups for all kinds of reasons. Parties and concerts, performances and sporting events, lectures and auctions, dinners and spectacles of all sorts. Group gatherings are a regular part of our lives, and they all have their own rules that you learn to follow as you attend them. Yet there is one corporate event that is the most important gathering of your life.

You are the new humanity in Christ Jesus. It is as that new humanity that you gather here each Lord’s Day for the most important gathering of your days. Each week we gather as God’s covenant people, specifically assembling as this new humanity that Jesus is recreating out of the broken mass of the old humanity. And God renews His covenant with us as we assemble before him to hear and pray and eat and drink.

This means that we should never miss the covenant renewal unless we absolutely have to.

This means that we should gear our lives toward being ready for this meeting. We should prepare our hearts by reading the Word and praying. We should settle all accounts with those whom we have offended.

And this means we should think about how we conduct ourselves in the worship assembly. Specifically, when you sing, sing heartily. This is my exhortation to you today. Sing loudly. Sing with gusto. Paul counseled bondservants in Colossians 3:23 never to obey merely because their masters were watching but to obey “heartily.” The word “heartily” is actually a translation of the phrase “out of the soul.” “Obey out of the soul.” In the same way, I am exhorting you to sing heartily – “out of your soul.” Don’t sing and confess and say amen in a perfunctory way, the way, say, you brush your teeth in the morning. How do you brush your teeth in the morning? You do it as a matter of habit. You do it without thinking. You do it because that is what you do in the morning.

I am saying to you, though, to sing from your soul. Let the volume knob be on high. I don’t care that your voice is not great. Your soul is full. Let your voice be heard – by your church family, by the principalities and powers who are intimidated by your praise, and by your Heavenly Father, who loves your zeal.

Come, new humanity, you are at no mundane sporting event. You are at no mere lecture. You are at the meeting point of heaven and earth, where God renews covenant with His special possession, His people of promise. Sing and confess and pray out of your soul, for the glory of the Triune God.

Talking Past One Another

September 22, 2007

It is good to see the discussion, but there seems to be a bit of:

“You despise tradition!”

“No I don’t.”

“Yes you do.”

“I Love the bible”

“Sure, but you hate the fathers.”

Like I said though… it is good to see folks at least talking.

 Al sends

You Aint So Smart

September 18, 2007

We are very excited about some doings at Providence Church here in Pensacola, FL. We are preparing to move our church onto the campus of the University of West Florida. UWF is a small town university with a small town feel. A good portion of the student body is local, but they also have dorms and students who remain on campus over the weekends. We look to impact those men and women with the gospel.

In our Bible study after the sermon one Sundatruth.jpgy a student from UWF was in our midst and asked a very important question. While not a direct quote his question went something like this:

“How do we confront the culture at the university with the truth, when the culture does not hold that there is anything like truth?” Good question, one we should be ready to answer.

While pondering that question and seeking to provide an answer, Dan Phillips shows us how we ought not handle ourselves in the public square when contending for the truth. He says, basically, that we are not all that smart. We have been given insight into the things of God by the grace of God. That being the case, we should be full of humility, contending for the truth not because we are right and like to be so, but because Jesus has been revealed as the Son of God and He is Truth. Taking the focus off of us (those on path to life everlasting) to the One True God (true Life itself).

Proverbs, being full of proverbs and not laws, has this to say in chapter 26:4-5

4 Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.

If we join the professors from the philosophy department on campus, saying that “to understand reality we must understand there is no reality outside of ‘self'” just to gain entrée into the discussion, our battle is lost before it began. We have answered the fool according to his folly. That (as Dan Phillips might say) is arrogance. The same arrogance shown by the unbeliever.

We are contending for the destination not the journey. So don’t waste your time with foolish speculation. Get to the crux of the matter by doing two things:

1. Exposing their poor foundation. Their certainty that there is no certainty is not sustainable logically, so by answering a fool according to his folly (v. 5) you show him or her that they are on sinking sand. They operate under the banner of truth; they just don’t realize it. Wave in front of their face.

2. Point them to the foundation of all truth: In John 18:37-38 Pilate questioned and Jesus answered: 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.” The life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the truth. It is the destination of all our witnessing and living before the unbelieving world.

Remember: …God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong… You ain’t so smart.

al sends

The Divine Warrior’s Women, Battles, and Death

September 18, 2007

This is a sermon I preached at Providence Church on September 16, 2007. The theme for this series is “Christ the Divine Warrior.” May the Lord bless you with it.

There is probably no more colorful, exciting or puzzling story in all the Bible than that of the judge Samson. I remember having my imagination captured by the strongman Samson as a child in Sunday School. He was the hero who slew a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass, who ripped apart a lion with his bare hands, and who brought down a whole temple by single-handedly knocking over its columns. And then there is the riddle contest and the revenge with the 300 foxes tied together with torches and set loose to burn down the grain fields of the Philistines. Yet I also remember hearing about Samson losing his great strength when Delilah tricked him into having his hair cut, and I remember hearing about Samson becoming enslaved and being ridiculed by the Philistines. These stories capture the imaginations of children and adults alike, but what does it all mean? Is this Samson something like a Hebrew G.I. Joe? Or was he a superhero for a biblical comic strip, like a pre-incarnate Bibleman? (more…)

This Would Actually Be an Improvement

September 13, 2007

An anagram for “Federal Vision” is

Loafer divines.

An anagram for “The Federal Vision” is

Heat (or hate) over infidels.

So: if that bunch of loafer divines weren’t up to their shenanigans, then there wouldn’t be so much hate over these infidels.

Now that’s theological discourse!