9.30.2009

Virginia is for Birthdays

Amy's sister Tiffany is turning 16, so we're going to be traveling to Virginia to celebrate her birthday and enjoy time with family. Unfortunately, since I have class in the morning, we'll be getting a late start on our trip. It usually takes us about 9 hours to make it there. Yet, when you are traveling with young children, trips can sometimes take longer than expected. On one occasion it took us 13 hours to make it home from Virginia! Lord willing, we'll have a quick (and safe!) trip.

9.29.2009

Counterfeit Gods

A couple of weeks ago I commented on the upcoming release of this book, but I wanted to point out that you can read the introduction online. Keller's book will be released in October.

9.28.2009

"...I was made for another world."

Name the person who wrote the following words:
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
The comment section is waiting for you...

9.27.2009

"It had the effect of a spell..."

In what book do you find the following quote?
It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations of humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself.
Place your answer in the comment section.

9.25.2009

The False Gospel of Moralism

Let's say that you meet someone who is not a Christian. After talking with them for a while you learn that they like to get drunk on the weekends and have sex with their girlfriend. How do you respond? Is your first response to tell them to clean-up their life--stop getting drunk and having sex outside of marriage? If so, you're preaching the false gospel of moralism. Granted, drunkenness and sexual immorality are both sins. But a non-Christian doesn't need moral improvement--they need the good news that Jesus saves sinners. Albert Mohler recently put it this way:

In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this -- the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.

Sadly, this false gospel is particularly attractive to those who believe themselves to be evangelicals motivated by a biblical impulse. Far too many believers and their churches succumb to the logic of moralism and reduce the Gospel to a message of moral improvement. In other words, we communicate to lost persons the message that what God desires for them and demands of them is to get their lives straight.
Continue read Dr. Mohler's blog post here.

9.21.2009

Why So Skeptical?

If I were to announce today that my church (or any other church for that matter) baptized 300 people yesterday, I'm sure that people would react in many different ways. Some would rejoice. They would praise the Lord that so many people had come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Yet, others would doubt. Some would doubt that the gospel had really been preached in its fullness. Others would assume that we must have toyed with peoples' emotions. Others would doubt that people had really come to faith in Jesus. I'll be the first to admit that there are times when pastors have preached false gospels, people's emotions have been twisted and faith was only temporary. These are sad realities.

But let me ask a question: why have we become such skeptics? Why do we act as though it is unbelievable or impossible that 300 people truly came to faith in Jesus? In Acts 2:41 Luke tells us that after Peter's sermon "those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls."

So, I ask you once again: Why so skeptical?

9.16.2009

What Bible translation do you prefer?

I wanted to take a moment to point out the poll that I've placed in the sidebar. I'm curious to find out what Bible translations you guys prefer to use. Take a moment and vote. If you're feeling extremely cooperative, you use the comment section to explain why you use that particular version.

9.14.2009

Your Love Never Fails -Chris Quilala / Jesus Culture

Bible Translations: What's the Difference?

There are so many Bible translations available today: KJV, NKJV, RSV, ESV, NIV, NLT and the list goes on. Have you ever walked though a Bible section of a local bookstore and wondered, "What's the difference between all of these translations? Is one translation better than another?" If you've ever pondered these questions, I'd like to encourage you to take a moment to read a brief interview with LeLand Rykan, the author of the new book Understanding English Bible Translations: The Case for an Essentially Literal Approach. In the interview, Rykan explains the the difference between the two main translation philosophies, and he addresses other related questions. Later this week, I'll post a poll in order to see what translations you all prefer. So, check back again soon.

Part One of the interview is available here.
Part Two of the interview is available here.

9.13.2009

Simple Words

Sometimes simple words are all I need,
When I feel my heart begin to break.
So, will You speak to me
in a whisper, in the wind, in the fire, or in the quake?

I know that You have so much to say,
But could You sing a familiar song to me?
Please remind me of Jesus' love
And the grace that set me free.

The world will surely seek my demise,
And I may weary in the fight.
But I am assured of this one thing:
You will never abandon me to the night.

So, speak to me the simple words
That I desperately need to hear.
"Jesus friend of sinners"
And I will have no fear.

9.09.2009

Midnight Flight

Last Friday night Amy and I (along with others from Redeemer Church) ran in the Midnight Flight. We had a lot of fun running together. Thanks to Josh Hardy (www.joshuaworks.com) for taking these pictures for us.

The Promise of the Father

Jesus' disciples were witnesses of God's great redemptive work--Jesus' life, death and resurrection. When Jesus appears to them after His resurrection, He takes time to instruct them about how Moses and the Prophets all spoke of Him (see Luke 24:27, 44-49). Yet, the disciples needed more than knowledge in order to fulfill Christ's command to "make disciples" (Matthew 28:18-20)--they needed the promise of the Father:
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:4-5).
The disciples needed the power that only the Holy Spirit could provided. The Spirit is the One who would enable the disciples to be witnesses--heralds of the good news of Jesus. Apart from the work of the Spirit, the disciples ministry would have been ineffective. And the same is true for us. We must not rely on our own knowledge, abilities or strength as we seek to bring the good news to others. We need the power that only the Spirit supplies.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).

9.06.2009

Twitter

If you want to follow me on Twitter, you can check out the sidebar of this blog or go directly to www.twitter.com/EMAshley

9.04.2009

Lord of Lords

My good friend Daniel told me about this song, and I've found myself singing throughout the day. Enjoy.

Current Tunes



















9.02.2009

Future Reading

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this book when it comes out in October.