November 28, 2017

The Baptist Catechism--Question 1

I intend to study some Reformed Baptist standards here. I’m starting with The Baptist Catechism, also called Keach’s Catechism after 17th Century pastor Benjamin Keach. It’s easiest to summarize it as a Baptist edit of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. The 17th Century Baptists had a couple reasons for this approach, one practical and one polemical. Practically, it makes sense to just fix what’s already mostly correct. Polemically, they wished to demonstrate that they were not like the lunatic Anabaptist radicals from Muenster, but were real Protestants who differed in thought on the details of the Covenant of Grace. I’ll be using the 2004 edition published by ARBCA with updated language. ... Read more

September 1, 2017

Practical Humility in Prayer

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:5-7) At some point, you’ve probably felt your prayers to be weak and ineffective. That is very discouraging. If I could give you one key thought on this, it would be “effective prayer requires humility”. But, then you say, “Fine, but what does that look like?” It means to be honest about who you are and who God is. Own up to your weaknesses and adore His perfections. Here are some suggestions. You don’t have to use all of them. You don’t have to use any of them. Some of them will probably help you. ... Read more

July 5, 2017

Bible Reading from Proverbs 30:15

Proverbs 30:15a The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. (ESV) In my daily Bible reading, I came across this proverb of Agur. Some of the Proverbs are profound for opening up deep things to us. Some are profound for putting the obvious in front us and daring us to see it. Those who constantly cry for others to give are leeches. “Check your privilege”, “give more to the poor”, “give more to the children”, “give more, give, give, give”. ... Read more

May 13, 2017

True religion is clear

In religion, men appear naturally fond of the difficult and obscure; perhaps, because there they find escape from the disquieting light of clearly revealed truth. (John L. Dagg, Manual of Theology, p. iv-v) ... Read more

May 12, 2017

A look at Art

I never liked art. My exposure to art was in the boring confines of government school. And, any exposure outside of that was to contemporary “art”. Contemporary art is mostly terrible. Postmodernism, cultural Marxism, and academia have each done their part to deprive us of meaning and to excoriate western culture. Contemporary art has been separated from beauty and objective meaning. It has become about novelty and mere emotional provocation. But, then I went to the Philbrook Art Museum, where I saw… ... Read more

May 11, 2017

Ephesians 5:31-32 Revisited

Yesterday, we looked at Ephesians 5:31-32, the congregational unison reading for the forthcoming Lord’s Day. We saw it’s setting and the primary aspects of Law and Gospel in the text, especially as related to the other passages for the day. We looked at what the symbol of marriage shows us about Jesus. Today, I want to come at this from the other side and see that the relationship between Jesus and His Church teaches us about the definition of marriage. ... Read more

May 10, 2017

Unison Reading from Ephesians 5:31-32

The Unison Reading for next Lord’s Day is taken from Ephesians 5, which continues the theme of the Call to Worship we looked at yesterday. Yesterday, we read of the vision of John the Revelator, who saw the Bride of Christ coming to be with her Christ in the remade creation. Today, we read Paul, who interrupts his teaching on marriage to remind us what future reality lies behind earthly marriage. ... Read more

May 8, 2017

Can we control our feelings?

The Bible sometimes commands us to feel certain ways: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). And, sometimes we are commanded not to feel certain ways: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious” (Matthew 6:25). The messages from our culture seem to tell us that this is impossible. “Listen to your heart,” we hear. “I can’t help feeling this way,” they say. Can we really control our feelings, or must we be controlled by them? ... Read more

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