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  • 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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  • Recommended Reading

Can We Save America?

Can America be saved? This is an interesting question once you realize how many people are not aware that America needs to be saved from anything. How do Christians and conservatives change the present culture? Yes, we need more conservative candidates and activists, but we also need Christian and conservative writers, artists, and schoolteachers. We must eliminate unnecessary regulations that discourage charitable organizations. We must eliminate programs that encourage illegitimacy and dependency. States and local communities must regain control of the public schools which the political left uses to undermine parental authority and values. Columnist Adam Graham writes:

“Can all of America’s political problems be solved by returning to constitutional, limited government? The answer given by many conservatives and libertarians is a resounding yes. Reading the Founding Fathers, the answer would generate a more complex answer. In the Federalist Papers, the authors dedicate considerable space to history’s failed experiments in self-government. John Adams wrote in 1798, ‘Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.’ What Adams suggests is the people’s character impacts our government’s character. The early generations of Americans were independent-minded folks. Help for those in need came from the church, the family, or the community. Citizens expected only a few limited functions to be performed by the state. In 21st century America, we expect the government to provide Social Security retirement and disability, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, and Pell Grants. Parents expect their children to have a free public education through thirteen years of school. … We cannot effect a permanent reduction in the size and scope of government, or meaningful government reform, unless we change our culture’s demand for the government to provide our every need. … This isn’t to say government must or can solve our culture’s problems. However, those on the right who think conservative goals for limited government can be achieved through passing economic legislation are spitting in the wind. We will never have a limited government until we have a culture that allows for one.”

Read more here. . . .

Love is Helping People Toward God

John Piper

Quoting John Piper:

“Love is helping people toward the greatest beauty, the highest value, the deepest satisfaction, the most lasting joy, the biggest reward, the most wonderful friendship, and the most overwhelming worship – love is helping people toward God. We do this by pointing to the greatness of God. And God does it by pointing to the greatness of God.”

C. S. Lewis On Tyranny

C. S. Lewis

Quoting British writer C.S. Lewis (1898-1963):

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron‘s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Whatever Happened To The Young, Restless, And Reformed?

The Reformed Church changed the world by the obedience of teaching the nations and building the Kingdom of God. They believed they were God’s chosen vessels to manifest God’s Sovereignty over the cultures of men by building a new civilization. Puritan thought was rich in its interest of exerting God’s sovereignty over the kingdoms of this world. But, how has this great Reformed legacy worked out in today’s world? Gary DeMar writes:

Four years ago, Christianity Today ran an article, Young, Restless, Reformed.” In it, the author Collin Hansen covered a phenomenon that has been around for the last decade: The return of many young Christians to the Reformed doctrines. He interviewed quite a few pastors and young church members who came out of Charismatic and “seeker-sensitive” churches, who now embrace the doctrines of Calvinism. Hansen saw this return as a less-advertised, but much larger and more pervasive phenomenon than the “emergent church” or the “seeker-sensitive church.” He believed the comeback of “Calvinism” was “shaking up the church.” He pointed to the popularity of the old Puritan authors among the “new Reformed,” and especially among the young. The old-fashioned Puritanism of the 17th and the 18th centuries seemed to be the ideological fuel behind this Calvinist comeback. Many of the Puritans’ works were being reprinted because of the renewed interest in them. A professor at Gordon-Conwell even said he suspected “young evangelicals gravitate toward the Puritans looking for deeper historic roots and models for high-commitment Christianity.”

This was highly encouraging. Everything good the Western world has today – the concepts of liberty, rule of law, superior work ethic, charitable organizations, entrepreneurial spirit, thrift and long-term investment, etc. – it owes it to the Reformed theology and those who applied it in practice. When the time came for liberty to be defended throughout the Western world, and especially in America, it was Reformed and Puritan preachers who encouraged populations to defend their freedom under God, and it was Reformed and Puritan laymen who first manned the battle stations against oppression. And it was Reformed and Puritan leaders who worked to build the West to a just and prosperous society, and to spread the ideas of liberty to the rest of the world; everyone else followed their example. So, if Collin Hansen was right in his assessment of the pervasiveness of this Calvinist comeback, then we had back again the historically proven solution to America’s descent into socialism, paganism, political turmoil and economic recession.

But whatever hopes one could derive from that Calvinist comeback that Hansen saw, they would have been completely extinguished in our experience of the last two years. In a time when our society is struggling to preserve everything America once proudly stood for – everything that the Puritans handed down to us through the generations – these “new Reformed” of Hansen failed to materialize when their influence was most necessary. Since 2008, in our intense cultural wars against those who want to subvert America, the churches declared as “Reformed” by Hansen are nowhere to be seen.

Continue reading. . . .

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