• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • April 2010
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

It Is Important To Have Knowledge Of One’s Own Ignorance

Thomas Sowell

In the words of economist Thomas Sowell:

“It was once the proud declaration of many educators that ‘We are here to teach you how to think, not what to think.’ But far too many of our teachers and professors today are teaching their students what to think, about everything from global warming to the new trinity of ‘race, class and gender.’ Even if all the conclusions with which they indoctrinate their students were 100 percent correct, that would still not be equipping students with the mental skills to weigh opposing views for themselves, in order to be prepared for new and unforeseeable issues that will arise over their lifetimes, after they leave the schools and colleges. Many of today’s ‘educators’ not only supply students with conclusions, they promote the idea that students should spring into action because of these prepackaged conclusions — in other words, vent their feelings and go galloping off on crusades, without either a knowledge of what is said by those on the other side or the intellectual discipline to know how to analyze opposing arguments. … A philosopher once said that the most important knowledge is knowledge of one’s own ignorance. That is the knowledge that too many of our schools and colleges are failing to teach our young people.”

Read more. . . .

All Are Called To Believe

Louis Berkhof

Quoting Louis Berkhof (20th Century American Presbyterian Theologian):

“We believe that God “unfeignedly,” that is, sincerely or in good faith, calls all those who are living under the gospel to believe, and offers them salvation in the way of faith and repentance…The offer of salvation in the way of faith and repentance does not pretend to be a revelation of the secret counsel of God, more specifically, of His design in giving Christ as an atonement for sin. It is simply the promise of salvation of all those who accept Christ by faith. This offer, in so far as it is universal, is always conditioned by faith and conversion. Moreover it is contingent on a faith and repentance such as can only be wrought in the heart of man by the operation of the Holy Spirit. The universal offer of salvation does not consist in the declaration that Christ made atonement for every man that hears the gospel, and that God really intends to save each one… It is not the duty of the preacher to harmonise the secret counsel of God respecting the redemption of sinners with His declarative will as expressed in the universal offer of salvation. He is simply an official ambassador, whose duty it is to carry out the will of the Lord in preaching the gospel to all men indiscriminately… ” (Systematic Theology BOT p.397-398)

Justice Joseph Story On The Second Amendment

Quoting Justice Joseph Story:

“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic.”

Is Your Pastor An Expositor Or An Exhibitionist?

From the pen of John W. Weidert:

Certainly the role of a pastor, missionary or evangelist is multifaceted. Each must be a teacher and a preacher. He must effectively perform each to help Christians grow. Teaching gives man the knowledge, but preaching brings conviction to cause the Christian to implement that knowledge. Many sermons today are delivered in such excited fashion with great energy but little or no power. The power of exposition of God’s Word becomes lost in the excitement of the exhibition. Preachers seem more concerned with their delivery than the substance of their messages. Further many messages today are little more than teaching. How will people be convicted of sin without preaching? You see, the exhibitionist finds teaching more conducive, and the expositor finds preaching more conducive. Some may say, ‘I’ve heard exposition, and its boring!’ To that I say, that statement says more about the lack of maturity in our churches than the failure of exposition to hold the ears of the masses.

A pastor friend of mine, James Bouslog, said once, ‘People come to church and want to be comfortable with sin and not convicted of sin.’ Here the exhibitionist can energize the masses with great showmanship while allowing his people their comfort but do little convincing. Exposition is convincing in that it passionately convicts people of their sin and produces changed lives.

In our Christian circles we’ve grown accustomed to measuring results by reducing them to statistics. We hear that this church has this many members, this school has this many students, or this church baptized 1,000 this year. Our method of assessment is wholly faulty in determining the external results and not the internal results. As God told Samuel that he could see into the soul of man, we too need to judge the externals of man’s religion by applying God’s Word as a sieve to remove the chaff. Exposition preaching, when used in the power of the Holy Spirit, always separates the wheat from the chaff because the man of God relies on the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit to work in men’s hearts. These statistics cannot be found in the church bulletin, found in the school’s collateral pieces, nor found in chit-chat at the annual association fellowship dinners.

Read more here. . . .

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