Archive for August, 2008

Check out what everyone else was checking out!

“What does it mean to preach Christ crucified?” (I’m very pleased to see this get so much attention!)

Islam and the Gospel Material! Why do Muslims not believe that Jesus was Crucified?

“The Dark Knight”: Grim, Disturbing, Dark…Awesome!

McCain recovering in a hospital bed

McCain recovering in a hospital bed


When John McCain was chosen as one of three chaplains during his Vietnam captivity, it seemed slightly ridiculous, especially to him. He had been a wild child at the Naval Academy and was prone to defying his captors by “uplifting his center finger” and uttering “the oath that is commonly associated with that gesture,” as one observer has delicately related.

“I would like to tell you that I was selected to be room chaplain because I had an abundance of religiosity,” McCain explained in an interview last year with Beliefnet. He was chosen instead because he had attended an Episcopal high school and knew the Christian liturgy by heart. “So I had an ability to lead a church service.”

But it turned out to be a formative experience for McCain: “I’ll never forget that first Christmas when I … read from the Nativity story … And I looked in that room around and there were guys who had already been there for seven years and tears were streaming down their face, not out of sorrow, but out of joy that for the first time in all that captivity, we could celebrate the birth of Christ together.”

read it all here

The question arises, however, “if we died to sin’s dominion, why do we still struggle with sin in our daily lives?”  When Paul wrote, “We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” he was referring, not to the activity of committing sins, but to continuing to live under the dominion of sin.  The word live means to continue or abide in.  It connotes a settled course of life.  To use Paul’s words from Romans 8.7, “The sinful mind [one under sin’s dominion] is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”  But the believer who has died to sin’s reign and dominion delights in God’s law.  the believer approves of it as holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7.12), even though he or she may struggle to obey it.

We must distinguish between the activity of sin, which is true in all believers, and the dominion of sin, which is true of all unbelievers.  Sinclair Ferguson has written, “Sin is not primarily an activity of man’s will so much as a captivity which man suffers, as an alien power grips his soul.  It is an axiom [John] Owen [whose teaching Ferguson is summarizing] that while the presence of sin can never be abolished in this life, nor the influence of sin altered (its tendency is always the same), its dominion can, indeed, must be destroyed if a man is to be a Christian. (more…)

But, though it is a costly grave, it is a borrowed one. I see over the top of it, “Sacred to the memory of the family of Joseph of Arimathea;” yet Jesus slept there. Yes, he was buried in another’s sepulchre. He who had no house of his own, and rested in the habitation of other men; who had no table, but lived upon the hospitality of his disciples; who borrowed boats in which to preach, and had not anything in the wide world, was obliged to have a tomb from charity. Oh! should not the poor take courage? They dread to be buried at the expense of their neighbors, but if their poverty be unavoidable, wherefore should they blush, since Jesus Christ himself was interred in another’s grave? Ah! I wish I might have had Joseph’s grave to let Jesus be buried in it. Good Joseph thought he had cut it out for himself, and that he should lay his bones there. He had it excavated as a family vault, and lo, the Son of David makes it one of the tombs of the kings. But he did not lose it by lending it to the Lord; rather, he had it back with precious interest. He only lent it three days; then Christ resigned it; he had not injured, but perfumed and sanctified it, and make it far more holy, so that it would be an honor in future to be buried there. It was a borrowed tomb; and why? I take it, not to dishonor Christ, but in order to show that, as his sins were borrowed sins, so his burial was in a borrowed grave. Christ had no transgressions of his own; he took ours upon his head; he never committed a wrong, but he took all my sin, and all yours, if ye are believers; concerning all his people, it is true, he bore their griefs and carried their sorrows in his own body on the tree; therefore, as they were others’ sins, so he rested in another’s grave; as they were sins imputed, so that grave was only imputedly his. It was not his sepulchre; it was the tomb of Joseph. (more…)

So two things make God unashamed to be called our God: he has prepared something great for us, and we desire it above all that is on the earth. So why is he proud to be the God of people who desire his city more than all the world? Because their desire calls attention to the superior worth of what God offers over what the world offers.

In other words, the reason God is proud to be our God is not because we have accomplished something so great. But because he has accomplished something great and we desire it. There is nothing to brag about in desiring. It’s like getting hungry when you are shown a delicious meal. That is what the city of God is like. (more…)

Only six minutes long.   A fine, pastoral introduction to how we might begin to engage the sovereignty of God in the mystery of election.

Jesus...I knew he was good for something

Jesus hard at work

 Whether it be a new diet pill, a vacuum, a microwave, or even a religion, one of the things that we are culturally obsessed with is the answer to this question: “does it work?”  In many regards, thanks to the philosophical baggage of a system developed in the late 19th century called pragmatism, the answer to that question determines the truthfulness and validity of the object.  While not the father of pragmatism, surely one of its champions of belief, if not the champion is William James.  He writes:


“Pragmatism asks its usual question. “Grant an idea or belief to be true,” it says, “what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone’s actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth’s cash-value in experiential terms?”  –Pragmatism, 1907


The important thing to notice about this system is where it starts.  It does not start with truth, but rather starts with experience and experiment as a means of discovering truth.  While there is much to be said on this subject, I would like to hone in on the specific applications it has to Christianity and religious thought.  In the past much Western thought accepted certain tenets of Christianity as true and proceeded from there.  So, for example, in the past we might have said that God exists in Trinity.  He is Holy and both righteous and merciful.  Our response to this revealed (by God) and received (by the Church) truth might exhibit itself in certain behaviors such as moral restraint and religious devotion as a response to this truth.  However, under pragmatism, the system could be said to have been reversed.  Rather than start at received truth, we start in the “experience” and construct truth based off of our interpretation of our experience.  (more…)

Today we conclude a six-month study of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. So I have asked myself, What should I look for in the people as evidence that the Word is bearing fruit? Andrew Hafvenstein and Jonathan Edwards warn me against looking for perfection. They warn me against looking for people who are proud of their growth, speak highly of their spiritual attainments, whose joy in the grace of God is not deepened by recurrent remorse because of failures to walk by the Spirit

What should I look for to see if the message of Galatians has begun to take root in our hearts? What I would like to do to answer that question is to notice with you how Paul in these last verses of his letter develops a contrast between two mindsets. The one is what he has been trying to drive out of the Galatian churches. The other is the one he seeks to live by and teach. He calls this second mindset a canon or a rule and says that those who are in sync with this rule receive God’s mercy and enjoy God’s peace. (more…)

This short letter has an importance out of all proportion to its size. There is always a tendency for people to think that their salvation (however it is understood) is something that is to be brought about by their own achievement. How they understand salvation may vary, and the kind of achievement they see as necessary may correspondingly vary. But that their eternal destiny rests in their own hands seems a truism, so obvious that it scarcely needs stating. Christianity has often been understood as nothing more than a system of morality, as the careful observance of a sacramental system, as conformity to standards, as a linking up with others in the church, and so on. There is always a need for Paul’s forthright setting out of the truth that justification comes only through faith in Christ. This must be said over against those who stress the importance of works done in accordance with the Torah or any other achievement of the sinner. (more…)

Last year Trinity Church was honored to partner with 3D Motorcycle Ministries, the Sons of the Messiah, The Azusa Street Riders and the Hell’s Angels to serve the homeless of Myrtle Beach.  At that event we served over 200 homeless.  Many were fed and many came to profess faith in Christ!  We look forward to partnering with these groups quarterly as we seek to reach out to the homeless in our Myrtle Beach Community.  Last year twenty Trinity parishioners volunteered to serve in this partnership.  I am hoping for a much greater turn out this year.  We are the host church.  I pray we make a good showing.  The event will be held Sept 20.  Volunteer signup sheets will be available beginning this Sunday.  If you are not able to attend, please consider donating socks, jackets, tooth brushes, rain coats, blankets, etc.

are you ready to serve at family movie night at the farm?

are you ready to serve at family movie night at the farm?

Some of you will remember a post here discussing a possible way to plant the Carolina Forest church by renting out a coffee shop and starting up the church from there. It turned out that this was a bit cost restrictive. Thankfully, the Lord has given us an even better option! “The Farm”, a farm themed development in Carolina Forest has invited us to begin hosting family events for them beginning in September. As some of you may know, “The Farm” is adjacent to our property in Carolina Forest. This is a great way for us to get to know our neighbors, as well as to begin to serve that community by creating safe, fun, family friendly environments for them. Perhaps in time, we may have some families wish to sponsor an intro to Christianity or a Gospel class but for now we are simply looking forward to serving them by hosting a family night.

We will be needing volunteers to help us coordinate and run this special event. Our first family night at “The Farm” begins on Sept 27, at 6:00 p.m. We will be needing a crew to volunteer with setup and serving from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Please consider prayerfully whether or not God is calling you to this important mission. Volunteer sign up sheets will be made available starting this Sunday.

New Feature for Trinity Members

Posted: August 22, 2008 by limabean03 in Trinity Tidings, Uncategorized

A new page has been added called “Rob’s Calendar”. You can find this feature at the top of the homepage. This feature gives my schedule for the entire year and is updated every Monday. Aside from my personal schedule, the schedule also has the readings for the preaching and teaching schedule for the year, as well as significant dates on the Trinity calendar year (missions, events, etc.). Check it out!

Hidden (but not well!) in the arguments of traditional worship advocates is the assumption that certain historic forms are more pure, Biblical, and untainted by human cultural accretions. Those who argue against cultural relativism must also remember the essential relativity of all traditions. Just as it is a lack of humility to disdain tradition, it is also a lack of humility (and a blindness to the ‘noetic’ effects of sin) to  elevate any particular tradition or culture’s way of doing worship. A refusal to adapt a tradition to new realities may come under Jesus’ condemnation of making our favorite human culture into an idol, equal to the Scripture in normativity (Mark 7:8-9)

read the whole thing here

The unity that matters is the unity of the new humanity God has created by the death of his Son, and that he is bringing into being by the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This unity is unity in the gospel, unity in the Christ of the gospel.  This unity is, by the grace of God, a spiritual reality. “You are all one in Christ Jesus.” And it is lived out by patience, kindness, love and acceptance of one another in glad submission to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (more…)