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From the Pulpit

What an avenue to share the everlasting, life-changing message of Jesus Christ! My focus on this website will be to share with the world my views on the theological, cultural, and moral issues of the day. My primary goal is for others to come to the revel

Updated: 2013-05-01T04:10:31.294-04:00


Is God the Center of Your Life?


This week's blog posts will be on the subject of centering one's life around God. When the Israelites finally crossed over the Jordan River and set foot upon the promised land that God had given to them, Joshua led them to renew the covenant that God had made with them. Because of the Lord’s faithfulness in fulfilling all of his good promises to the Israelites, Joshua issued the entire nation a very simple challenge:14Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14-15, ESV) If you are a Christian, if you really claim to follow Christ, do you live like it? I’m not just saying what you do in public..but in your home life? Are you completely devoted to God because of what Jesus Christ has done in your life? One reason why so many families are dysfunctional is because God is not the center of the household. We spend most of our time sleeping, working, watching television, and on the internet. Do we ever just unplug and study the Bible together and worship God together? In order to do so we need to destroy and desert those things in our life that are keeping us from worshiping our God in Spirit and in Truth as well as discipling our families. Quiet times are necessary. But so are communal times with family. How is your life centered around God? Is it? During this week we'll look at three things we must do as families and individuals in order to truly center our lives around God. [...]

Tedd Tripp on Formative Instruction


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Thank God for His Law (1 Tim. 1:8)


"But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully," (1 Tim. 1:8)Paul is stating here that the law is good if used correctly. In other words, the God's law is beneficial for our lives when it is used for its purpose. Romans 7:12 says, "Therefore, the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good."How is that? Well, since God created us, He knows exactly what we were created to do, which is to glorify Him. God's law, which is written on our hearts, in addition to being found in His Word, is there to protect us. It's interesting to really think about what the 10 Commandments are all about:1) "No other Gods before Him." God says to make no other gods before him because he knows that we will be prone to do just that. Any Christian will tell you that we all struggle with putting other things in our lives ahead of God and when we do our lives start to spin out of control because we were created to put God first in our lives.2) "No Idols" - Like the first commandment, we are guilty of serving the created things rather then the Creator himself. (Rom. 1:25) God knows that this also is a path that leads to unfulfillment because we were created to only serve the Lord.3) "No taking the Lord's name in vain" - By bringing disripute on God's name we are slandering ourselves since we are made in our creator's image. Most importantly, we are cursing our loving lifeline.4) "Remember the Sabbath" - God knows that we cannot work 7-days-a-week without getting rundown. We need a day of rest to re-charge our batteries and to, most importantly, thank God for all of the good things He has given us in our lives.5) Honor Your Father/Mother" - At this commandment, God's law switches to our horizontal relationships, or our relationships with mankind. Previously, the first four commandments focused on our vertical relationship with God Himself. God gives us a special blessing if we honor the God-ordained people that he has put in our life to watch over us. Even if they have been horrible parents, we are still to honor them because that brings glory to God and he has made us with a natural love towards our parents that when we suppress harbor unforgiving thoughts that are disastrous for our lives.6) "You shall not murder" - To kill is to kill God's creation which is to kill's part of God's image.7) "You shall not commit adultery" - God has created sex and marriage to be between a man and a woman. He has chosen this relationship to be the foundation that a family is laid upon and society is birthed from. When we get out of line in these type of relationships we are living outside of God's revealed will of what is best for our lives.8) You shall not steal" - Stealing is taking what is not our own and hurts other people deeply.9) "You shall not bear false witness" - Decieving people and being untruthful is the opposite of who God is: Truth Himself.10) "You shall not covet" - To covet is to tell God, "I am not satisfied with what you have given me and I want more." To covet makes us forget God's blessings and make us think that we deserve more then what we have when He has given us all that we need.What's important to note is that these commandments were given because we are all prone to do the opposite. God knew this so he gave us a standard to live by to protect us and bring glory to Him. Therefore, to the law is good if used correctly.[...]

A Plea Against Biblical Ignorance (1 Tim. 1:7)


"...desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm," (1 Tim. 1:7, NKJV).

In verse 5, Paul stated that the commandment of God was to love each other from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. One of the consequences of not loving in this way was that some had turned aside to idle talk and had strayed from the faith (v.6).

Verse 7 states that another consequence of not heeding sound doctrine was that they desired to be seen as teachers, but because of the lack of their knowledge of doctrine they had no idea what they were even teaching.

I think a good number of our Southern Baptist churches have men who desire to be teachers of the Bible but are ignorant of what they speak because they are not biblically literate or they do not know the chief doctrines of the faith. Pastors everywhere should reinforce doctrine in their churches so that our they are not filled with teachers who do not possess the unenviable attribute of "ignorance on fire."

SEC South Park


If anyone is familiar with the cartoon South Park and is familiar with SEC football, this picture should make you laugh. Click on the picture for a closer view.

Vote Naturally Tomorrow


As we come one day closer to election day, I'd like to post Dr. Norman Geisler's "two declarations."

The first decleration is the Divine Lawgiver View which is based on natural law - which states that that all human beings are aware of certain laws that exist for the purpose of governing human conduct and protecting the rights of individuals. This is the context that our country was founded on. This declaration is also known as The Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men." (Unshakable Foundations, p.200)

Nowadays, however, our culture has eschewed the historically universal belief in a natural law to that of a positive law...meaning that man has posited or made morality. Essentially, our country has a Naturalistc Evolutionist view of things, which can also be known as The Declaration of Contingency. Indeed, if the D of I were written today it would sound more like:

"We hold these relative truths to be self-evident, that all Homo sapiens have evolved slowly; that they are endowed by nature with certain contingent and relative rights; that among these are the right to kill their babies, the right to full autonomy and the right to pursue what makes them happy. That to create and secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Homo sapiens." (Unshakable Foundations, p.200)

Vote based on the only law that makes sense and won't lead to the degredation of human life and society...the natural law.

Stray Sheep will Talk (1 Tim. 1:6)


"...from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk," (1 Tim. 1:6, NKJV)

In verse five, Paul stated that the purpose of God's commands is to love from a regenerated and thus, pure, heart, as well as a good conscience and a sincere faith that only the Holy Spirit can give. However, there will always be those in the church, who, either because they are unsaved or because they are living a carnal life, will cause disputes in the church and continue to talk about things that have no eternal or kingdom significance.

Many churches get involved in petty arguements and disagreements centering around personal preference as opposed to biblical commands. Paul is warning Timothy, as well as pastors everywhere, that there will always be thoes "idle talkers" in the church who have strayed, missed the point, and have turned away from sound doctrine. Because of this, it is the pastor's duty to constantly teach and reteach sound doctrine in order to correct the stray sheep and protect the ones that are prone to wander away from the flock.

In a day where many churches simply ignore doctrine, these words from Scripture should be well heeded.

True Love (1 Timothy 1:5)


(image) "Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith," (1 Timothy 1:5, NKJV)

Paul states that the purpose of this divinely-inspired and directed letter (v.1) is that all believers would be filled with love. Where does love come from? Love comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.

Jeremiah 17:9 states, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"

If the heart is deceitful and sick how can a brother love others with a pure heart? The only way one's heart can become pure is by being washed and cleansed through the blood of Jesus. When one accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior by asking forgiveness of sins and placing their faith in Him, he is regenerated and becomes a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17).

Because of this, it is possible for one to love with a pure heart, a good conscience, and a genuine faith. These three attributes are only possible by regeneration. Paul commands Timothy to ensure that the Ephesians (as well as church members today) are living Spirit-filled lives instead of sin-filled ones.

No Other Doctrine (1 Tim. 1:1-4)


I've never been one for Scripture memory. Why? Well, (1) I'm lazy, and (2) even though there is much value in memorizing Scripture, I never enjoy learning "parts" of ideas. Therefore, I am making myself memorize Scripture in a way that will make sense to me. Dr. Andrew Davis, pastor of First Baptist Durham, NC has a wonderful (and relatively easy) way to memorize entire books of the Bible. It seems like a chore, but with just a little time and dilligence it can be done. And what a blessing it can be!I've chosen the book of 1 Timothy to memorize. Because I don't have the best memory and have a nack of proctrastinating, I'm going to use my blogalism to make me accountable. Therefore, six days a week, I'm going to be posting my verse for that day, followed by a short "Charlienopsis" of how the Apostle Paul's words apply to us today. Because I'm already into my 4th day, today I'll cover 1:1-4."1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope, 2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith." (NKJV)It's interesting to note that Paul claims apostleship via a decree from God our Savior and Jesus Christ our hope. It is clear that the Spirit guided Paul to write this letter or else he was one card short of a full deck. This letter is addressed to Timothy, who Paul calls his "true" son in the faith.After wishing Timothy blessings in the name of the Father and our Lord, Paul dives right into to the message and a main reason for the letter: Teach no other doctrine! In fact, the NLT says that Paul wanted Timothy to "stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth." Timothy is to rebuke those who are wasting people's time with "endless geneologies," which meant that people were boasting about who they were and from what backgrounds they come from to try to show people how important they were in the faith. Does anything like that happen today? I think I've heard some conversations before that went like this: "Well, my father has been a deacon for 40 years and I was raised in this church," or "My family donated this building to the church so we can't move."Paul is quick to point out to Timothy that this type of babble causes disputes and tears down, rather then builds up the church. Timothy is to ignore and rebuke these dissenters who are more interested in building up their name rather than building up the name of Christ and likewise grow people in the faith. What word for us to hear today![...]

Which 'Jesus' do you Serve?


Michael Estes at In Christ Alone has an intriguing critique of emerging church and liberal eccelsiology centered around arguments made by Schaeffer and Calvin.

Baptism Video


This following link was e-mailed to me by my father. After watching it, I'm not sure if it was really funny or really disturbing. Watch it and you'll see what I mean.

Baptism Cannonball

What Constitutes a Just War?


My good friend, the right reverend, Michael Estes (by the way, check out his recent post on evolution, Christianity, and civil rights), e-mailed me seven criteria for a just war that made up one day while laying on his hammock. They are as follows,

1. Right or legitimate authority - In other words, don't follow Hitler into war.
2. Just cause
3. Right Intention - Go to war to bring about peace.
4. Last Resort - All other measures of diplomacy have been exhausted.
5. Proportionality - Use only enough force to win, don't annihilate the enemy just defeat them.
6. Reasonable chance of success (Luke 14:31)
7. Minimize the neagtive effects - in your country and theirs

The question I will seek to answer, based on these primeses, is, "Did the US go to war with Iraq on just war terms?" Keep in mind these are answers to this question at the time of the invasion of Iraq, c. March, 2003.

1. Right or Legitimate authority - I believe at the time GWBush provided this.

2. Just Cause - I believe that existed as well, at the time. Now...not sure.

3. Right Intention - Yes, we did go to war to bring about peace to the region.

4. Last Resort - All other measures of diplomacy had more then been exhausted.

5. Proportionality - The US is guilty of abiding by this premise in too many ways, unfortunately.

6. Reasonable Chance of Success - I would say so.

7. Minimize the negative Effects - Yes, the US tried.

However, as time has ticked, and we are still in Iraq, I would say that #2 (Just Cause) is debatable. It has now been readily argued that there were no WMDs in Iraq and that issue was one of the main driving points for invasion.

Also, #6, as Michael points out, is pretty up in the air as well.

My Friends are Famous


This is wild...the writer's host in this story, Drew Toney, has been one of my best friends since we were 8. I know some of the people in this article. Anyone who follows SEC football will find this article amusing.

ClayNation Dixieland Delight College Football Tour: UT at South Carolina

Tithing: Net, Gross, and How Much?


It seems most every Christian has an opinion (usually a highly emotional one) on the issue of tithing. The New Testament never explicitly commands tithing (the practice of giving 10% of one's income to God) as was the case in the Old Testament. Scripture does state that,

"Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7, ESV).

The practice of tithing, however, still remains a good "starting point" on giving to the Lord's church. The controversy remains, however, whether one should tithe on one's gross total income before taxes are taken out, or should one tithe after the taxes are taken out of one's income and given to the government?

Dr. Mark Coppenger has an insightful view on this issue. You may read the article in its entirety here. Coppenger says:

"By my light, if we net-tithe, then we give the government the "first fruit" of our increase, and then the church gets a cut of the leftovers. But when you tithe the gross, you say, in effect, to the state, "Whatever you do, I’m giving first to the Lord, and then you can do as you wish to what remains. If that puts me in a bind, so be it, but your tax policies will not determine my manner of churchmanship."

Tithing as a manner of churchmanship is a good idea. Likewise, continuing with the rest of 2 Corinthians 9, verse 8-9 state, "
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, 'He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.'" (ESV)

Therefore, how much should one tithe? One should tithe as much as one wants to be blessed by God. And by using the terminology, blessed, I am not referring to exlusive financial blessings. God blesses in more ways then purely monatarily. So, brothers and sisters in Christ, give abundantly and freely because God loves and blesses the cheeful giver with what is sufficient through His grace.

Happy Reformation Day


Nathan Finn has an informative post on lessons that Southern Baptists can learn from our fathers of the Reformation. His fourth and fifth points are especially exemplary.

Prayer Request


Please pray for Andrew Kinard, the brother of one of my wife's closest friends. He was severely injured while on duty with the Marines while in Iraq.

Not Your Ordinary Afternoon in Ministry (But Should Be)


A good friend of mine, Rev. Andrew Winburn, told me an encouraging story that happened to him earlier today that I feel that all people in ministry should hear. I asked him for permission to post this incredible story and he gladly put his story into words:"All throughout seminary I was taught how to go out of the church doors and engage lost people who have never heard the story of Jesus (thanks, Dr. Reid). No theology degree could have prepared me for what happened today. Just when I thought that my week was overloaded with church work, God showed me that He is in control and offered an opportunity that will encourage any man called by God. My church work is done out of my home office—but today I stopped by the church and the phone went “Ring, Ring:” the voice on the other end of the line wanted to talk with a young pastor…and he wanted to meet in person. The voice on the other line said, 'Before we meet, I want to let you know that I am 24 years old and just came to Columbia from Brooklyn. Last night I read from the book of John in the Gideon Bible at this cheap hotel and I have questions. I’m wearing a yellow shirt and a green book-bag.' Wow!!! Someone from the big city of New York called my little church in South Carolina and wanted to know how to have a personal relationship with Christ. I called one of the deacons and we proceeded to break a few traffic laws in route to the food court at the mall where Rob was going to meet us (safety in numbers). Rob hadn’t shaved in a few days and probably hadn’t eaten in more. 'So tell me what’s up Rob,' I questioned. 'My girlfriend and I broke up,' He said. 'I went to college here so I caught a bus down from Brooklyn. None of my friends from college will let me stay with them—they have changed. My mom lives in Charlotte but we don’t get along anymore. Things aren’t good. But I read John in that Gideon Bible last night. I’ve heard about this personal relationship with Jesus thing but I don’t have it.' Silence. I’m shocked and so is the deacon. I asked some more questions, explained the Gospel to Rob, and told him my story. I told him how Christ changed my life and how Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior. 'I want that,' he said. 'Tell me how to have Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.' Right there in the food court at the mall in Columbia, Rob, with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face, met Jesus. I got him some food, we talked for a long time, and I took him to the bookstore. 'I want you to have your own Bible,' I told him. “Well, all I have is what I am wearing and this book-bag. No Money.” “I’m buying,' I said. 'Wow, thanks. Then get the cheapest one.' Rob then spoke words that I wish most people in SBC churches could say: 'Andrew, you told me how the blind-man was changed by Christ, how people noticed, and how he then told them about Christ. That happened to you. Now I have been changed by Christ. I want my mom to see. Jesus is the first step in repairing our relationship. Will you take me to the bus station? I need to go to Charlotte.' That was the best money I have spent in a while and the happiest I have been after accomplishing no 'church work' on a day that I had more to do than time to do it. Rob will call me again and I will encourage him and offer him discipleship. And the next time my week is in overload with 'church work' I will remember Rob…and remember that God has called me to spread the Gospel and make disciples."What a wonderful and true story! What a blessing the Gideons are who tirelessly place Bibles in every nook and crann[...]

Church Discipline: But for what Exactly?


Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, located in Fort Worth, Texas (where I attended for one semester), recently held a conference entitled “Maintaining the Integrity of a Local Church in a Seeker Sensitive World: The Baptist Perspective on Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and Church Discipline." You can read the entire summary here.Among the scholars present were Drs. Gregory Willis, Mark Dever, Daniel Akin, Stanton Norman, John Hammett, Jason Lee, Emir Caner, and Malcom Yarnell. I'm sure it would have been an excellent conference to attend.One of the issues discussed was that of church discipline. The topic of church discipline has become more prevalent over the last few years and more churches are going back to the historical (and biblical) practice of enacting church discipline.Willis stated, that church discipline "is the canary in a coal mine. When the canary in a coal mine keels over, catastrophe impends. When church discipline is lost, catastrophe impends.”According to Wills, church discipline among Baptists began to decline in the late-19th century and early-20th century. Willis attributed the decline to the rise of pragmatism, individualism and secularization into modern society and culture. He also stated that the decline in discipline also permitted liberalism to make inroads into many Baptist churches.While I agree that church discipline is a much needed biblical tool that shows love, accountability, and eccleiastical committment, there does not seem to be much unilateral discussion on what exactly should be "disciplined."There is a substantial amount of biblical instruction on how to inact discipline. For instance, Jesus words, recorded in the gospel of Matthew 18:"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector." (v.15-17, ESV).Also, in 1 Corinthians 5 Paul begins to shed some light on what should be disciplined:"But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you" (v.11-13, ESV).In case you are keeping a running tally, that means that any church member who is in unrepented sins of sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, reviling (without doing a word study, I'm not exactly sure of what this is), drunkneness, or cheating (swindling), should be disciplined.It is no secret that many churches now are discipling their members, the loving and biblical way. My question is - How does one decide on what exactly should be disciplined? How does one decide greed, for instance?Discipline seems obvious for adultery and drunkennes but the other sins are somewhat vague. If one were to take it extremely literal, I suppose most everyone in the church would undergo some type of discipline! Again, I am for this biblical practice, but how does one practically decide on what exactly to practice it on?[...]

A Successful Costume Party


Last night at our AWANA meeting at the church, we had a costume party. I told the kids last week that they were able to wear anything they'd like, except of course scary/goulish costumes that further the demonic spirit of Halloween. This would include scary costumes such as vampires, ghosts, witches, and Borat.

Well, the question was asked, "Charlie, what if someone shows up wearing one of these costumes?" Well, I said of course, we will not tell him/her to leave. Instead, we'll have to just let the little child stay, even though we would not approve of the costume.

Well, of course, a little girl came with a witch outfit on. So, what did we do? You guessed it! We tarred and feathered her and marched her around the church grounds with torches.

Piper = Bad?


My good friend Drew Jones posted this link on his blog first. Check it'll make you laugh even if the sinfulness of humanity doesn't normally do that for you.

Who's bad?

Emily's Blog


My wife stunned me today when she said that she would like to enter the blogosphere and have a blog dedicated to new mothers. Her blog is here:

More Precious then Jewels

She'll have regular updates and pictures of the baby. All of you guys who have little ones (or soon to be little ones) let them know about my wife's site. She's worried no one will read it and I of course told her that that wasn't true!

On Ordination


I had the privilige to go to the ordination of a good friend of mine yesterday. So far, I have been to three ordination councils (including my own) and they were all vastly different. I know this difference is what some would call a hallmark of being a Southern Baptist, but I'm not so sure that historical attribute is very wise. Allow me to explain.

My ordination was, in my opinion, fair. I was ordained at the church where I currently serve. The Director of Missions for the local assocation was there, as was another area pastor and all the deacons of the church. After figuring out that I was not a heretic, my question and answer session quickly went the route of "what are you going to do for our church?" This was fine for me.

A few months later I went to an ordination council at a church across town. The makeup of men in the room was similar to my council. Only, this church was ordaining a former staff person. After over an hour of questioning, it was evident that this candidate, who is about 20 years my senior, did not have a working knowledge of any major doctrine and left me even questioning his salvation. Believing that God is the "most high" is not a sufficent answer to "What does it take for one to be saved." My pastor and I were the only lone dissenters and the council ordained this man to be a preacher of the Gospel because he "meant well" and had a "good heart."

The council I went to yesterday (in a neighboring city) was even more different. The questions were tougher and the candidate knew his stuff and it wass probably run the way a council should be run.

This all leads me to ask the question: "Should the Southern Baptist Convention have some type of standard for ordaining ministers?" If we did, how would we do it with 40,000 churches across the country? I know it is not a part of our tradition to do so (which doesn't make it wrong or right), but I feel that some action needs to be made.

Like I said, I've been to two councils that were run sufficiently. However, I've also been to one that would make most Christians cringe. Whether it be an associational, state, or convention-wide process, something needs to be done because the convention is running the risk of sending out un-qualified people who will ultimately lead sheep to danger.

This is Your Day!!


There was a pamphlet in my church box today sent by Ann Lee Ministries. It claims (I realize a piece of paper cannot make a 'claim') that she is coming back to the Sumter area, "by popular demand."

She advertises that this meeting will be a Miracle Service on Friday Night, October, 27th. I'm sorry, I didn't realize that one could plan when miracles would happen - especially the day and time.

The pamphlet also says:

"This is your night! Come expecting your miracle for healing, for financial blessing, for whatever you need from God!"

Ok...miracle healings...there is Scriptural warrant for that. What there is not Scriptural warrant for, is wholesale heal-fests. If someone had that kind of power, they ought to be going to hospitals every second of their day.

- financial blessing - Does God want us to be rich? Scripture states that "the love of money is the root of all evil" and Jesus said himself it is hard for the rich to come to Him. But once we have Him, he'll make us more money! I don't think so...

- whatever you need from God - really? God, I need the Gamecocks to win this week, can you do it? God, I need some of my hair to grow back. God, I need more money....I don't think so. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS NOT ABOUT WHAT WE GET FROM's about glorifying Him.

God is not some genie in a bottle that grants your every wish. People like Ann Lee (who has appeared in Benny Hinn Magazine) are giving people false hope. Ann, if you could really heal people, why don't you do what Jesus and the Apostles did and go find the people to heal and not hold a "dynamic service" where they have to come to you.

This kind of stuff is not new of fact its getting old.

This Week's Sign That Jesus is Coming Back Soon


Joel Osteen now has a board game.

I first noticed this story on Russell Moore's blog. But, its definitely worth re-hashing since Dr. Moore was more then kind.

Listen to this heretical game description:

The game is, "an entertaining and educational way to take inventory of yourself and accountability of your actions. Climb the mountain as you

• Enlarge Your Vision

• Develop a Healthy Self Image

• Discover the Power of your Thoughts and Words

• Let Go of the Past

• Find Strength Through Adversity

• Live To Give

And • Choose to Be Happy

Each new plateau represents a challenge and a chance to open up and experience these steps first hand as you learn to live Your Best Life Now."

I really don't know what to say about this other then, "WHAT?!" Only a few of these 'goals' are even close to being biblical. But even then, I'm sure its all about what we've done, as opposed to what Jesus has done for us. How is Christianity, the fact that God sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for our sins, that we are redeemed by the power of his blood shed on the cross - a game? It's's real life and it's not to be marketed.

Hounds? Release...

Geisler on Agnosticism


This post is in response to the comments made in the last one. In Foundations, Geisler states this (my paraphrase):

Agnostocism means literally ‘no knowledge.’ This view as promulgated by Immanuel Kant. It teaches that although we know that reality exists, that reality in itself cannot be known by human reason. We only see reality as it appears to us.

Later, Kant’s followers stated that if we cannot know whether or not our ideas correspond to reality, then all truth must be relative to the individual way our minds interpret reality. Hence, the modern view of truth called relativism (all truth is relative) in due time gave rise to pluralism (all views are true).

Kant's fundamental flaw is his claim to have knowledge of what is unknowable. If it were true that reality cannot be known, no one, including Kant, would know it. If knowledge about reality is impossible for everyone, then it must be impossible for Kant. If reality were actually unknowable, how would Kant know this was true?

Furthermore, in relation to relativism and pluralism, Geisler states,

"It makes no sense to say that relativism or pluralism represents a better way to view reality than a view taht believes in absolutes, unless these views are being compared with some absolute fixed point or standard. Without a fixed point, it only makes sense to say that these views are different from each other and that no one view is any better than another view. Hence, relativists and pluralists cannot logically label a view incompatible with their view as wrong; they can only logically say that the other view is different. Yet the minute they decided they are right and that those who believe in absolutes are wrong, they must logically conclude that some absolute standard exists, even if they do not verbally admit it. Consequently, relativsm and pluralism cannot be true. " (p.47)