Amy's Back

So, after a long hiatus from the blogging world (I think it's been over a year!), my wife is back in the blogging saddle. Whether or not she'll keep up with it...only time will tell. Check out her blog, Proverbs 31 Pilgrim.


And just in case you didn't know, I'm madly in love with her!

Survey Studies in Reformed Theology

If anyone is interested in reformed theology, I recently came across this website that provides a good survey of reformed theology, with particular focus on the doctrinal standards of many reformed denominations like the PCA: the Westminster Confession of Faith . Or if you live close to Anderson, please come join the Men of Redeemer as we begin a study of systematic theology.

Neck Pain and Paper Writing

My neck is starting to be in a lot of pain since I've been writing a paper for my Counseling Children and Adolescents class for most of today. Forunately, I'm almost finished with the paper, but I still have about 400 pages of a book to read and summarize by Saturday. I hate getting behind but my book didn't arrive until the second week of class.



I'm making a few changes to my sidebar in hopes that it can serve as a resource tool to those of you who visit here. In particular, I'm in the process of categorizing various links. I should be done with the changes shortly.


With Closed Eyes

"It is the proof of our obedience when we are not wise in our own eyes but commit ourselves entirely to the Lord. Whenever, therefore, he requires anything of us, we must not be so concerned about success as to allow fear and anxiety to hinder our course. For it is better, with closed eyes, to follow God as our guide than, by relying on our own prudence, to wander through those circuitous paths." -John Calvin, Genesis

"Mom, I love your voice."

The other evening at dinner time, we decided to tell one another something we love about each family member. I began by complimenting my wife and my two daughters. Then, my wife said a few things she loved about me and the girls. Then, our oldest daugher (who is almost three) looked at my wife and said, "Mom, I love your voice." Her simple sentence brought a smile to our faces and reminded me once again that children truly are a blessing.


Prayer for Jackson and the Kirby Family

Today, the Kirby's newborn son, Jackson, had to be taken in a helicopter from Anderson to Greenville Memorial Hospital due to RSV and pneumonia. From the report I heard, Jackson had to be resuscitated a couple of times. So, please join me in prayer with and for Jackson and the Kirby family:

Father of Mercy, Creator, and Sustainer:
You give all things life and breath.
Everyone and everything depends on You.
We know that You are the Sovereign God of the Universe.
Nothing happens apart from Your divine workings.
So we come before You as Your children,
By way of the blood of Your Son Jesus,
On behalf of the Kirby's.
May You strengthen Rick and Rhona's faith and trust in You
As they walk through this trial.
May You use Your Church to rally around them,
To encourage and comfort them as they seek Your face.
Heal Jackson as he lays in the hospital.
We know that You can heal without the hands of doctors
But we acknowledge that You often work through man
To bring about Your purposes.
Help us to be sensitive to the Spirit,
As He moves us to pray and act in the lives of the Kirby's.
We acknowledge that You are always good,
And our lives are in Your hands.
We pray that You receive the glory and honor that you deserve.
May Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
In the Name of Jesus,

The REBELution

Alex and Brett Harris want other teenagers join the REBELution and rebel with them. Yet, they aren't talking about the type of rebellion that is often exibited among teenagers. No, they want teenagers to rebel "against the low expectations of an ungodly culture." Find out more by going here. Also, be sure to check out the resource list.

Communion with the Triune God

In my search for works that deal with the Trinity, I came across John Owen's Communion with the Triune God. I've added it to my reading list. You can read the forward and the first chapter here.


Father, Son, & Holy Spirit

I finished reading Bruce A. Ware's Father, Son, & Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, & Relevance this evening. I am sure that many Christians, if they came across this book on the shelf of a local bookstore, would probably pass over this book because of the subject matter: the Trinity. In general, I believe that when most Christians think of the doctrine of the Trinity, they assume that it is too mysterious or too difficult or too academic...so they neglect the study of the Trinity. Ware puts it this way in the conclusion of his book:
Throughout much of evangelical Christianity, the doctrine of the Trinity has been neglected. While we profess to believe that God is one, and that each of the Persons of the Godhead is fully divine, yet we have missed out on so much. We have not been reading our Bibles--particularly our New Testaments--sufficiently through "trinitarian glasses," and we have not devoted ourselves to the meditation and study required to understand better just what the revelation of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit means (156-157).
I agree with Ware's assessment. The doctrine of the Trinity has been neglected, and we are worse off because of such neglect. That is why Ware's book is so helpful. Ware puts before his readers (in clear and concise ways) the meaning and relevance of the doctrine of the Trinity. He takes us to the Scriptures so that we can see with new "trinitarian glasses." Yet, we are not simply left with doctrine; rather, chapter by chapter, Ware brings out numerous applications for our prayer life, congregational responsibilities, marriage roles, and much more. So, if you're looking for a practical, easy-to-read, in-depth book on the Trinity, look no further. You can read chapters one and two of the book here.


The Incarnation and the Sanctity of Human Life

In his chapter on "Abortion" in Evangelical Ethics, John Jefferson Davis writes the following:
In the New Testament, the incarnation of Jesus Christ is a profound testimony to God's affirmation of the sanctity of prenatal life. In theory it might have been possible in the eternal plan of God for the Savior to come to earth as a grown man, but in the wisdom of God, Jesus Christ recapitulated the full span of human existence--from conception through death--in order to fulfill the purposes of God. The personal history of the Son of God on earth begins not when he was "born of the Virgin Mary," but when he was "conceived by the Holy Spirit." His human history, like ours, began at conception. His conception was, of course, a supernatural one, but the significant point is that God chose to begin the process of incarnation there, rather than at some other point, thus affirming the significance of that starting point for human life. As the writer of Hebrews says, he had to be "made like his brothers in every respect" (2:17), in order to be a merciful and sympathetic high priest on their behalf (p.136).


Instructing a Child's Heart

Tedd Tripp talks about his new, soon to be released book, "Instructing a Child's Heart". For more information, go to www.shepherdpress.com


Guides for the Wide Way

The sermon I preached last Sunday, Guides for the Wide Way, is now available here and here. The text is Matthew 7:15-20, wherein Jesus warns about the danger false teachers and how to recognize them.


Thoughts on Future Blog Posts

I've got a number of blog entries that I hope to put out over the next week, Lord willing. I thought I'd just put out a list of a few topics that are on my mind. So, if any of them seem particularly interesting to you, let me know in the comment section, and I'll try to put those posts out first. Thanks for reading and joining in conversation with me!

*Submission within the Trinity (and some practical implications)

*The Incarnation, The Apostle's Creed, and the Sanctity of Human Life (yes, all three of these in one post!)

*A Place to Stand: Egalitarian and Complementarian Thought (with particular discussion on the qualifications of Elders/Pastors)

*My Journey from the Southern Baptist Convention to the Presbyterian Church in America: A Theological Memoir (This will certainly have to be a series of posts.)


Blitz Blogging

As someone recently commented to me, my blogging regularity could be described as "blitz blogging." I guess I just let all of my thoughts build up in my head until they finally start spilling out. I believe that this is my 5th post for today. I'm on a roll!


Thanks to my friend Jennifer, the quote on my sidebar is now correct. Sadly, that quote had been up on my blog for months now like this:

"A theologian with faith is like a sky without a star, a heart without a pulse, light without warmth, a sword without edge, a body without soul."

But it should have been like this:

"A theologian without faith is like a sky without a star, a heart without a pulse, light without warmth, a sword without edge, a body without soul."

Servants of the LORD

"You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the Lord persistently sent to you all his servants and prophets" -Jeremiah 25:4

“Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, 9 behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation" -Jeremiah 25:8,9

It is very worthwhile to notice that in these verses from Jeremiah 25, the LORD declares that the prophets (who warned Judah of the coming judgement) and Nebuchadnezzar (who took the people into exile) are called servants of the LORD. These are two very different servants. On the one hand, the prophets were called out by God to go and serve Him (see Jeremiah 1:4-10 for God's setting apart of Jeremiah) On the other hand, Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon who received no such special call to serve the LORD. As F.B. Huey, Jr. remarks in his commentary, "The designation of Nebuchadnezzar as 'servant' is a reminder of God's sovereignty. He can use a person to accomplish his purposes whether that person is intentionally or unwittingly serving him (cf. Rom 9:17)."

The King's Heart

In light of all of the political happenings (which I am interested in), I thought that it would be a good time to for us to remember that God is the One who has sovereign control over all leaders:

Proverbs 21:1 - "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;he turns it wherever he will"

Jeremiah 27:6 - "Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him.

Romans 13:1 - "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."

Creature of Habit

I thought about choosing a new template for 2008, but I think I want things to stay just like they are currently. I'm a creature of habit.


God or god?

After Christmas I used one of my gift certificates at Barnes and Nobles to purchase St. Augustine's Confessions. Of course, the Confessions were originally written in Latin, so I had to purchase a translated version. I chose to buy the Barnes and Noble's translation of the work because it was the best price...only $6.95. Yet, after I got home I found something strange about the translation: Throughout the book the translater chose to use the word "god" in every place where Augustine addresses the Triune God. For instance, in Chapter 2, the translation read, "How shall I call upon my god, my god, and my lord..." The major problem with such a translation is that it fails to do justice to Augustine's belief that the Triune God is the only true God...all others are just gods of man's making. To put the triune God in the same place as those that are not gods at all is, to say the least, quite dishonest to Augustine's theology...and the theology of the Christian Church. So, I took the book back and got a better translation. I think Augustine would have been happy with my decision.


Ministry, Trinity, and a Few Things In Between

Once again, I received a lot of books for Christmas...which is great for someone who loves reading as much as I do. The only problem with getting so many books is deciding which ones to read first. So, I have chosen to take a random approach in which I close my eyes and grab a book from the stack.

I just finished reading The Crucifixion of Ministry: Surrendering our Ambitions to the Service of Christ by Andrew Purves, which was a great read. Currently, I'm reading two books: I'm about halfway through Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance by Bruce Ware, and I'm eight chapters into Pierced by the Word: Thirty-One Meditations for Your Soul by John Piper. The next book I plan to read before the Spring seminary semester begins is The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I had already starting reading this book before the Bruce Ware book, but I accidentally dropped The Cost of Discipleship into the toilet...so, I had to let it dry. And, yes, I know that sounds nasty but the water was clean. Well, as clean as toilet water can be.

Have any of you read anything good lately?



Since Amy and I've had a chance to tell our family the good news, I can now share it with all of you: our family is growing to five! In the Lord's timing, He's chosen to bless us with another child. Amy and I found out about two weeks ago that she is pregnant. The baby should arrive sometime in August...of course we'll have a more accurate estimate once she has her first ultrasound.