Archive for October, 2009

With this post I am able to kill two birds with one stone.  First off, I’m able to point you towards a site that I’m pretty excited about.  Erik Kowalker is a courier at Fedex in the day, while by night he is a reformed vigilante propagating Gospel ministry through the writtings of the one and only J.C. Ryle.  He posts short quotes from the great Bishop of Liverpool on an almost daily basis.  Go check him out here. Secondly, with this post I get to point out the dangerous error of “unsanctified knowledge of Christianity.” As Dante and a few others (C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce) show us, hell is full of Christian theologians. Anyone can learn Christian theology, but a sign of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian is that knowledge must have influence over our hearts, our minds, our emotions and our bodies. That is “sanctified” knowledge.

“Let us beware of an unsanctified knowledge of Christianity. It is a dangerous possession, but a fearfully common one in these latter days. We may know the Bible intellectually, and have no doubt about the truth of its contents. We may have our memories well stored with its leading texts, and be able to talk glibly about its leading doctrines. And all the time the Bible may have no influence over our hearts, and wills, and consciences. We may, in reality, be nothing better than the devils.”

~ J.C. Ryle

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke, volume 2, 125.

check it out on Erik’s blog here

This was sent to me by my good friend Sami. I have no bibliographical info on this quote and would like to provide it if anyone could contribute it. It is a fantastic excerpt on free will. Thanks Sami!

Consider a new mother, her infant and the approach of a madman with a dagger. Like most mothers, this new mother adores her baby so much that she would be willing to sacrifice her own life if it would save her child. But, in this instance, she faces a choice. A madman approaches her and holds out a dagger and orders her to sacrifice her baby. In fear she chooses to flee from him and, of course, refuses to kill her child. But the question, which seems ridiculous because the answer is so obvious, is why doesn’t she plunge the dagger into the child? She has the physical capacity to do so, right? She could easily plunge the knife into the child with her physical ability but she refuses, and in fact in incapable of doing so. Why? It is because her great affection for the child makes it morally impossible for her to carry out such an act under any circumstance. In the same way, we naturally (while unregenerate) refuse to plunge the dagger into the sin which we so love and join ourselves to Christ. Our disposition and affections determine the necessity of our choices.

John Frame once said in regard to the difference between Determinism & Fatalism: Determinism means that all events are rendered unavoidable by the cause, which include our choices. Fatalism says all events will happen, regardless of our choices. We believe that apart from a supernatural work of the Spirit to change our disposition, to disarm our natural hostility and illumine our hearts and minds to the truth, we would always turn our affections away from Christ toward darkness (John 3:19, 20). We have the physical ability to say a prayer or walk an aisle, but our hearts are filled with hostility toward God and we naturally suppress the truth in unrighteousness as Paul asserts in his epistle to the Romans. Our inability is simply a matter of the affections and we chose accordingly. Some persons, when they see Christ immediately have affection for him and others despise Him. The question we must all ask is, what makes the two to differ? Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ who has disarmed our hostility, forgiven our sins and adopted us into His own family.

John Hendryx

“The Mind of Christ” (Phil 2.5-11)

Posted: October 27, 2009 by limabean03 in Uncategorized
preached by Iain Boyd on 10-25-09

Off Topic: The Unperfect Hymn

Posted: October 26, 2009 by limabean03 in Uncategorized

all I have to say is “yikes”. Save this till your kinda down and use this as a pick me up. Shout out to Ham Smith who showed this to me recently

We sang this hymn as the final song of worship to our communion service at the Diocesan Convention this past weekend. After singing it together, Iain leaned over to me and said “That’s the perfect hymn.” I agree. I sang it at both of my ordinations (deacon, priest), at my institution as Rector of Trinity Church, and at my son’s Baptism. I also remember singing it at Andrew Pearson’s ordination to the deaconate just before I preached. After sining that I hymn I thought to my self, “why even preach? We have already said everything that we need to? Two weeks ago I sang it at a wedding. Just this past weekend, under immense spiritual pressure we sang it together at Diocesan Convention. It is indeed the perfect hymn.

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Kendall was kind enough to post this. It is worth a watch. The time says 40 minutes, it seemed like half that. Clearly one of Mark’s strongest words to the church. A must watch.