Finding Forgiveness?

I’m re-posting this powerful scene from ER which shows the futility of postmodern/liberal theology: This is a great clip from an old episode of “ER.” It shows the impotency of postmodern/liberal gobbledygook theology. Best line: “I want a real chaplain who believes in a real God and a real hell!… I need answers! And all your questions and uncertainty are making things worse!” (HT: Denny Burk)

Christianity in our Society is Now Dying

“Having absorbed the world’s values, Christianity in our society is now dying. Subtly but surely worldliness and self-indulgence are eating away the heart of the church. The gospel we proclaim is so convoluted that it offers believing in Christ as nothing more than a means to contentment and prosperity. The offense of the cross (cf. Gal. 5:11) has been systematically removed so that the message might be made more acceptable to unbelievers. The church somehow got the idea it could declare peace with the enemies of God.” – John MacArthur (HT: Allsufficientgrace)

Al Mohler’s New Book

Al Mohler’s latest book, “The Disappearance of God”, can be ordered HERE . From the Publisher: For centuries the church has taught and guarded the core Christian beliefs that make up the essential foundations of the faith. But in our postmodern age, sloppy teaching and outright lies create rampant confusion, and many Christians are free-falling for ‘feel-good’ theology. We need to know the truth to save ourselves from errors that will derail our faith. As biblical scholar, author, and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler, writes, “The entire structure of Christian truth is now under attack.” With wit and wisdom he tackles the most important aspects of these modern issues: Is God changing His mind about sin? Why is hell off limits for many pastors? What’s good or bad about the emergent movement? Have Christians stopped seeing God as God? Is the social justice movement misguided? Could the role of beauty be critical to our theology?

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Counterfeit Gospels

Tullian Tchividjia shares from Paul Tripp and Tim Lanes book How People Change regarding the seven counterfeit gospels, which Tchividjia explains as “religious ways we try and ‘justify’ ourselves apart from the Gospel of grace.” See which one you are most prone to… Formalism. “I participate in the regular meetings and ministries of the church, so I feel like my life is under control. I’m always in church, but it really has little impact on my heart or on how I live. I may become judgmental and impatient with those who do not have the same commitment as I do.” Legalism. “I live by the rules—rules I create for myself and rules I create for others. I feel good if I can keep my own rules, and I become arrogant and full of contempt when others don’t meet the standards I set for them. There is no joy in my life because there is no grace to be celebrated.” Mysticism.

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Unfashionable

Book review by Kevin DeYoung: They say you can’t tell a book by its cover, but with this book you can. Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World By Being Different, besides having a catchy cover, is exactly what you think it is, a book about the Christian’s call to be unlike the world in order to change the world. Tullian Tchividjian is the grandson of Billy Graham, the founding pastor of New City Church outside Ft. Lauderdale, an author, a conference speaker, and as of a few weeks ago, the pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (which merged with New City so Tullian could pastor both congregations). In addition to these claims to fame, Tullian is a friend of mine. Unfashionable is divided into four sections: The Call (be different), The Commission (be agents of renewal), The Community (different looks like this), and The Charge (go big or go home). My favorite section is the first. Tullian makes a

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Ligon Duncan on How the Pastorals Help Us Avoid Two Huge Errors

Justin Taylor writes: I want to take to heart this exhortation from Ligon Duncan’s TGC message: If you take one thing home from this conference let it be a determination and commitment to read, re-read, live in, and live and minister out of the Pastorals (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus). I was especially helped by his section on how Paul’s material in these letters helps us to avoid two errors from opposite sides of the spectrum:One of the reasons that it is hugely important that we let the Pastorals influence our mode of ministry and the shape of our church life is that two huge errors have bedeviled the Western church for closing in on two hundred years now. The first error says that the message must be changed if we are going to reach our culture. The second error says that our methods are the key to reaching the culture and our methods are not essentially related to

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Nothing in the Universe is More Relevant

From Missions Mandate: Extended quotation from Michael Horton’s book Christless Christianity*. “Where the gospel is not taken for granted, it is often a means to an end, like personal or social transformation, love and service to our neighbors, and other things that in themselves are marvelous effects of the gospel. However, the Good News concerning Christ is not a stepping-stone to something greater and more relevant. Whether we realize it or not, there is nothing in the universe more relevant to us as guilty image-bearers of God than the news that he has found a way to be ‘just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus’ (Rom. 3:26). It is ‘the power of God for salvation’ (Rom. 1:16), not only for the beginning, but for the middle and end as well – the only thing that creates the kind of new world to which our new obedience corresponds as a reasonable response.” This is a great

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Revisiting The Shack

John Fonville posts this excellent review. I am amazed at how many Christians are singing the praises of ‘The Shack’. A sign of our biblically-ignorant, and doctrine-depreciating times? For further important critiques of this misleading book, check out articles by Paul Grimmond and Tim Challies. This is an abreviated version of a longer review (9 pages) by Dr. DeYoung. For those who would like to read the longer review, click here: Revisiting The Shack and Universal Reconciliation. Revisiting The Shack and Universal Reconciliation James B. De Young October, 2008 Seldom does one have the opportunity to review a work of fiction written by a friend that has risen to the top of best seller lists. Recently The Shack has been approaching sales of three million or more. There is talk about making a movie of the book. What is so unusual about this success is not only that the novel is ostensibly a Christian work of fiction but that it also

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The Danger of Practical Preaching!

From Daryl Dash. Amen! One of the best little articles I’ve ever read on preaching is found in The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching. The title of the article is “The Danger of Practical Preaching: Why People Need More than the Bottom Line.” The author, Lee Eclov, writes: The Bible spends much more time on shaping the spiritual mind than commanding particular behavior. We need far more training in the ways of grace, of spiritual perceptions, and of what God is really like than we do on how to communicate with our spouse. Understanding the glory of Christ is far more practical than our listeners imagine. Properly preached, every sermon based on a passage of Scripture is fundamentally practical. Every author of Scripture wrote to effect change in God’s people. It is our job as preachers to find the persuasive logic of that author and put that clearly and persuasively before our people through biblical exposition.

Tim Keller on Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture

My thanks to James Grant for this post: Darryl Dash had the opportunity to interview Tim Keller, author of The Reason for God and the soon to be released The Prodigal God, on the challenges we face as we minister in a post-Christian culture. Dash will post that interview at his blog. To open it, he asked Keller the following question: “You’ve said that we need to change significantly—beyond ordinary approaches like new programs or staff—in order to meet the challenges of a post-Christian culture. What are some of the deeper issues the Church needs to face?” Keller responded with this answer: The first “deeper” issue is the one that Lloyd-Jones spoke of in his lectures on revivals. He heard people saying, in London in the 1950s, that the solution to the decreasing church attendance and Christian influence in society was better apologetics, more emphasis on church growth or, in the case of the mainline, adapting theology more to the

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Twelve Theses on the Mission of the Church in the 21st Century

An excellent post from Justin Taylor: Andreas Kostenberger: The church’s mission–in both belief and practice–should be grounded in the biblical theology of mission. Reflection on the church’s mission should be predicated upon the affirmation of the full and sole authority of Scripture. The church’s mission should be conceived primarily in terms of the church’s faithfulness and responsiveness to the missionary mandate given by the Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Scripture. The church’s understanding of its mission should be hermeneutically sound. The church’s mission is to be conceived ultimately in theocentric rather than anthropocentric terms. The church’s mission, properly and biblically conceived, is to be trinitarian in its orientation, but not at the expense of neglecting the distinct roles of the three persons within the Godhead. The contemporary context of the church’s mission, while important, ought not to override the church’s commitment to the authority of Scripture, its need to be grounded in the biblical theology of mission, and the

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Spurgeon on Revivalism

Adrian Warnock says: it is interesting in the context of today that some argue against emotionalism in preaching, while others try and by human effort create an atmosphere. Spurgeon would disagree with both approaches: “Nor is it soul-winning, dear friends, merely to create excitement. Excitement will accompany every great movement. We might justly question whether the movement was earnest and powerful if it was quite as serene as a drawing-room Bible-reading. You cannot very well blast great rocks without the sound of explosions, nor fight a battle and keep everybody as quiet as a mouse. On a dry day, a carriage is not moving much along the road unless there is some noise and dust; friction and stir are the natural result of force in motion. So, when the Spirit of God is abroad, and men’s minds are stirred, there must and will be certain visible signs of the movement, although these must never be confounded with the movement itself.

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Loosing relevance by seeking to be relevant!

John Fonville, at ‘The Gospel-Driven Blog’, (a favorite of mine), posts this important reminder: “It was Karl Barth, I believe, who said that trying to make the gospel relevant to the contemporary age was like running after the train that has just left. ‘The World’ that we are supposed to address with the gospel, that is, is a moving target. By the time we think we are finally getting to understand it, it is too late…When a historical, tragic accident occurs we investigate the causes. We search the wreckage for the ‘black box.’ We understand, if at all, when it is too late… “The most serious mistake of theological attempts to understand the age is the assumption that the gospel could somehow be made to appear relevant to old beings.” The fact that many churches – even of our own – do not seem to have learned the simple but apparently hard lesson is no doubt the reason for the

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Should Evangelism Be a Key Purpose for Churches?

Justin Taylor posts this article by Tony Payne: …Even if we acknowledge that there will be ‘gospel’ things happening all over the place in church, it is also important to say that evangelism is not the purpose of Christian assemblies. It is certainly not their focus. In the New Testament, churches are characteristically the fruit of evangelism, not its agent. Evangelism usually takes place outside the assembly—in the marketplace, the synagogue, the prison, and in daily gospel conversation. More to the point, theologically, the Christian assembly is a fellowship of the redeemed. It is a manifestation, as well as an anticipation or foretaste, of the great assembly that Christ is building—the assembly of the firstborn in heaven that will be revealed on the last Day (Heb 12:22-24). The purpose of our earthly assemblies, therefore, is to fellowship together in what we already share—our union with Christ—as we listen to and respond to him together, and build his assembly by the

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