This book review was originally published back in 2017, you can find that article here. I’m so blessed by the early church fathers, and the writings they’ve left behind! I hope you’ll enjoy this throwback Thursday book review.
I love this book, Athanasius (A fourth-century church father) is explaining Christ was fully man, yet fully God, and he begins where every good apologist begins, the creation. I have been so blessed by the Historical Theology lectures I wrote about here, not just by the lectures but also by the reading material suggested. Books, and believers, I’ve never even heard of, like Athanasius of Alexandria.
In this book, he is essentially addressing the atheist, agnostic, and heretic of his day. The shocking thing is to realize not much has changed in those areas. As Solomon wisely noted, there is nothing new under the sun. The attack of the enemy on the truth of Gods Word is the same, it merely gets renamed from generation to generation.
It’s fascinating as well to see how the early church viewed Christ’s deity. I recommend this book for anyone studying church history, church fathers, or Christ’s deity. This book is in the public domain, which means you can find a copy of it online or you can purchase a relatively low-cost Kindle version, and it’s also available in audio book for free. Be blessed beloved, and as always, be good Bereans studying to show yourselves approved!
Back in May of 2017 I reviewed this excellent book, you can read the original post here.
The Soul Winner: How to Lead Sinners to the Savior by C. H. Spurgeon was published in 1895 shortly after the author’s death. This book, this book…how can I possibly describe it? It’s not taken out, it’s a five-star restaurant. It’s the type that you sit and eat slowly, enjoying every precious bite. Read this book with pen and paper, you’ll want to take notes. Rarely is there a book I enjoy to read so thoroughly that I immediately plan to read it again once I’m done. This is one of those books. It should be in the study of every church leader, parent, teacher, or human being. If you know anyone who is unsaved you should read this book. If you have children, you need this book.
It’s written for students, so it reads much like a lecture. Spurgeon has a way of explaining things that I haven’t heard or seen in our times. He doesn’t over complicate matters or reaches outside of Biblical boundaries. Like many of the old books I’ve reviewed, this book is available on the Kindle app and is very inexpensive on Amazon. I hope you’ll all enjoy this book as much as I did, and if you can, make sure your pastor finds himself with a copy.
Yesterday I showed Spurgeon’s testimony in his own words, it might be beneficial to read that here before you read his book. I’ve also reviewed several other Christian books if you would like to read more you can here, here, or here. I’m also always looking for great Christian books to read, so feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below.
I want to start by making very clear here that I am in no way intending on heaping condemnation onto my brothers and sisters in Christ. I mean only to edify the body and help explain a possible reason for the lack of prayer and study within the church.
I also want to clarify that this is not going to make sense to those who are not believers but are instead Christians in name only. I know this for certain because I never understood this the entire decade I was pretending to be a Christian. I was perfectly happy being spoon fed the word and even happier to take your word for it. This is the reason why false teachers are so successful, we can see them on every “Christian” channel preaching a different gospel, a different Jesus, and a different god. A more common term for this would be heresy, there are more notable speakers teaching heresy, or even worse, blasphemy, then there are teachers proclaiming the true gospel.
I began my Christian faith wondering how we got to the place where famous preachers could announce loudly that Christ wasn’t the only way to Heaven and still manage to have any credibility. I think I can say assuredly it’s because of a lack of prayer and study within the body of true believers.
Let’s start with prayer. Before I was saved prayer was something I did out of obligation, it was done with a general sense of annoyance. The first few months after I got saved that changed, slowly at first, and then like a snowball falling, collectively the idea of what prayer began to drive me to my knees. The annoyance then became the need to do anything else besides study and prayer. What changed?
Before being saved I was perfectly happy to listen to TV evangelists twisting scripture to fit their worldly desires. I also enjoyed anything that was new information, as one enjoys the discovery channel. It didn’t have to be accurate, and I certainly wasn’t going to crack open my dust collecting Bible to check. Once I was saved the Word of God became the primary source, and great men expounding on it needed to be consistently vetted. More so than that, the Word became spiritual food. I felt a hunger for it I had never felt before, the desire to immerse myself in the Bible and to understand what I was reading was overwhelming.
This change led me to a greater understanding of both prayers, and study. What is prayer for the believer? It is one of the greatest gifts God has given us.
We are granted the tremendous honor of coming before the throne of God with our thanksgiving, supplication, and requests. This is the very God who had saved me from the chains of sin, a pointless life, and from eternal damnation. I get to come before Him, He hears me. Never once have I ever deserved the honor of coming before the King of Kings!
What brought me to this conclusion? Understanding what the Word is. John teaches us that in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God. That Word became flesh…when we pick up Gods Word we need to recognize that on every page we are seeing Holy Spirit inspired Words. The majesty of this is too great for me to understand, however, what I do see is the tremendous blessing we have been given to have the Word.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to have been an Apostle before the cross? The Holy Spirit hadn’t come, Christ hadn’t risen, all they have was the OT to go on. They were waiting for the Kingdom to come! They thought Christ was about to bring it down. What do you mean you’re going to die? What about the Kingdom? All the way up until Jesus Christ, Messiah, Lord, Savior, ascended the disciples were asking about the Kingdom. It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came that they finally understood the OT. We have the benefit of reading that very revelation they were given.
Can you imagine also what it must be like to live in a country where this Word is illegal? How precious every page must be to believers, and every second they can spend reading it. It is easy to take for granted the amazing blessing some of us have to freely read the Word. I even have the Septuagint on my phone, along with every type of translation. How blessed is this generation? As blessed as we are ignorant of said blessing.
So, what do you do if you’re one of the many believers who does not understand the Word, and find very little joy in reading it? Or perhaps even less joy in praying? First, let’s remember that there are those out there particularly gifted in these areas, we should not compare ourselves to one another. Our comparison should always be Christ. Secondly, let us remember that we need to be growing in grace and knowledge. If you want to enjoy these things but the desires of the world are overpowering you bring it before the throne in prayer. Ask to thirst for God’s Word, ask God to help you love Him with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. We can do nothing apart from Him.
Finally, friends, be good Bereans. Paul called the Bereans more noble then the Thessalonican’s because they accepted the Word while searching the scriptures to see if it was true. We need to take every thought into captivity, which means we cannot continue to accept what the TV evangelists, or even our own pastors, preach without checking its accuracy against the Word of God. Not partial scriptures, but the whole counsel of the Word.
I hope this helps you all grow in prayer and study, friends, to show yourself approved.
This was originally posted on September 28th, 2017.
‘There is no death of sin without the death of Christ.’ – John Owen in Mortification of Sin
John Owen was a beloved English theologian. So beloved that when King Charles II returned to power and Puritans were once more persecuted, John Owen’s was not jailed. He was even bold enough, being close friends with John Bunyan, tried to no avail to get him released from prison. To say Owens was intelligent is putting it lightly, having studied at Oxford. You can see just how adroit his mind was in Mortification of Sin, published in 1656.
Mortification of Sin is not just an exhaustive explanation of sin, reasons for sin, and ways to mortify sin, but also how to tell if your salvation is true based on sin. Owen’s also weaves rebuttals throughout the book for different false doctrines regarding sin. These include the beginnings of the social gospel, the papacy, and any type of works salvation. He does a dutiful job of using scripture, in context, to refute any misconceptions on sin and how to mortify it.
I recommend this book to anyone struggling to understand sin or salvation. Anyone who is learning about Puritans will enjoy this book, as it gives an excellent look into the viewpoint of the time, however, it does not include any historical landmarks that might help you better understand the times. Considering that when this was published his brethren were all being persecuted, jailed, or run out of town, it’s impressive that he managed to focus solely on the topic he was addressing. That is, on its own, a testament to how important it was for Owen’s to clarify the mortification of sins.
I hope this book will be a blessing to you all beloved. It’s in the public domain, like many others I’ve reviewed, which means you can access a PDFfreely online. You can also access an audio version through youtube or purchase a Kindle version for a dollar or two. As always, beloved, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Below is an article written back on November 27, 2018 as apart of our Twisted Tuesday series. You can view the original here.
Dear ones, a few days ago I heard a grievous statistic that 78% of ‘Christians’ believe Christ was created by God. 78? That means the mass majority of professing Christians have an errant view of Christ, the trinity, and the Gospel. The verse twisted to come up with this false doctrine is Revelation 3:14 which does seem to justify this belief. Here’s the problem, Scripture clearly states that Christ has always been, He is eternal, so either Scripture is contradicting itself or our understanding is flawed. Always, always, beloved, assume the issue is with our interpretation. Gods Word is inerrant, we are not.
What’s happened in Revelation 3:14 is simply a misunderstanding of the Greek term arche. Arche is translated in most versions as beginning, which in modern speech would suggest the first created. In Greek, however, this is referencing the source, or origin, of created things. All things were made by Him, Christ is the source. A little Greek can go a long way, thankfully we have access to a tremendous amount of information online. But why is this so dangerous? And how did it come about that so many believe it?
Friends, Gods Word is very clear, only a perfect sacrifice could remove the sins of believers. Only God is perfect. If Christ is created by God, He is not God, and can not save through His sacrifice. You can see then that multitudes of professing believers do not even understand this most basic doctrine of Christianity. If you put your faith in a false god, even if you name that false god Jesus, you are still lost. I liken it to this, suppose a new employee comes to you and processes to worship Christ. You’re overjoyed, another believer to fellowship! That employee invites you over to worship Jesus together, and you accept the invite. Unfortunately, when you arrive, you find that ‘Jesus’ is this new friends pet chicken to which he sacrifices to, adores, and worships. You see the different, beloved?
I was an idolater before God saved me in July of 2015. I had created an image of a god, he resembled Santa Clause. I called him Jesus, but he was a figment of my imagination. He was not the Biblical Messiah, who bore my sin and death on a Roman cross. I had no idea about the mystery of the Godhead, or the eternality of Christ. When I became a new creation understanding didn’t magically appear in my mind, I had to search the Scriptures. The very thing my new heart desired to do more than anything else. I wanted to know more about this Savior that had freed me from the chains of sin! In digging into God’s Word I could clearly see the difference between the true Christ, and the false god I had been worshipping.
How is it then, with this being such obvious error, that the majority polled answered incorrectly? I believe the answer is twofold. Firstly, the foxes are watching the hen house. Over the past hundred years the Gospel has been slowly watered down, and churches have become so ‘inclusive’ and inoffensive, that they don’t dare give the Law to the proud and grace to the humble. Without Biblical preaching churches are filled with unsaved members that then go on to become unsaved pastors, leaders, and elders. Secondly, and owing to the first point, doctrine is despised in today’s churches. The very idea of tediously working through the Scriptures is laughable to the modern ‘Christian’. As proverbs say, to the starving every bitter thing tastes sweet. Those who have so very little teaching in the Word are more apt to accept whatever sounds best to their itching ears.
I doubt that I have to mention just how deeply troubling this statistic is. We must continue, dear brethren, to study and share the truth as many of your wonderful blogs to daily. Teach your children, and grandchildren, and encourage your pastors, elders, and leaders to teach meaty matters. Speak the truth in love, always bringing to remembrance that, if not for Gods grace, we would also be mislead. As always, beloved ones, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Ordinarily, dear ones, I would be telling you about today’s episode on the podcast. Unfortunately, I have yet again hit a snag in the download portion of our recording. I’m currently working with tech folks to see if they can resolve the issue. Please pray for me, friends, as I trudge through the ever mystifying realm of…technology. *gulp* Instead, today I’ll be posting a throwback.
Way back in November of 2018 I finished a twelve part series on the three types of dynamics; thermodynamics, aerodynamics, and hydrodynamics. It was fun to study these in light of Gods sovereignty over creation, and to reach Kayliegh as we went along. You can see the original post here. Below is just the ending post, but it’s equipped with links to all the parts in the series. I hope it’s as fun for you to read as it was for me to write!
Hello dear ones! This is it, the final post on our series through dynamics. If you missed any of the previous posts I’ll link to them all at the end. I mentioned at the beginning of thermodynamics that many in both the secular side and the creationist side were applying the second law incorrectly. As an explanation for that I’ve got this phenomenal episode of Creation Magazine Live. If you love Answers News you’ll appreciate this show as well.
Obviously when it comes to the application of thermodynamics there’s no limit. It’s an essential foundation for understanding how God designed this world to work. It also impacts the first two fields of study we discussed, hydrodynamics and aerodynamics. The men who first discovered these principles, now laws of science, did not create them but merely put names and equations to them. Beloved, God created all things, though sin cursed and groaning, our world runs in an orderly fashion. I hope this series has helped in seeing the intelligently designed universe, while giving glory to the one who created it. As always, dear ones, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Back in June of 2018 I brought to a conclusion this 13 part series on Logic. The only changes I’ve made for today’s post is adding the full list of the articles down below for anyone who missed it. You can find the original, posted June 18th, 2018, here.
This week is, sadly, the last week we’re going to discuss logical fallacies. There are so many I want to bring up, I was tempted to dump several on you all at once. I don’t think thats helpful, yet I do need to move on to discuss some other very important, culturally relevant, subjects, namely feminism which we’ll begin a series on next Friday. For today I’m going to end this series in style, with my very least favorite fallacy, begging the question.
The very best explanation I’ve heard for this logical fallacy is done by Dr. Jason Lisle in this lecture below starting at about the 23 minute mark, although I highly recommend the entire lecture.
There is something about Dr. Lisles calm demeanor which makes his lectures so enjoyable. If you haven’t had the opportunity to be blessed by his lectures, friends, this oneHEREis my favorite. It doesn’t have anything to do with logic, but it is so fascinating! As you saw, beloved brethren, in the lecture above begging the question is a fallacious way to argue any point. Anytime we attempt to manipulate those around us by sticking the conclusion we want them to come to within our argument, we are arguing foolishly. God’s Word does not need our help, so lets speak openly and honestly with the lost, and avoid begging the question.
When you give the Law to the proud their natural inclination will be to go on the offense, often times with this fallacy. This is why it’s my least favorite fallacy, I see it come up so often when sharing the Gospel. It’s painful to see the lost harden their hearts even further, then to see them pridefully proclaim falsehood as if it were true by begging the question. Twitter, in particular, is a begging the question fallacy making machine! When this happens take a deep breath and remember, friends, that God is sovereign. We have been called to share the Good News, but we were never called to save anyone. Thankfully, that is in the capable hands of God, not the vastly incapable hands of wretched man. If you have time, and the person seems reasonable, try to show them their error with gentleness, and love.
This concludes our series through logic, and the many fallacies. Although this was the longest series I’ve done, I really just scratched the surface. I hope you were all blessed by these posts, and will continue to study logic. Remember, dear ones, we do this in love, without a haughty attitude, to tear down every high and lofty thing that sets itself up against the Truth. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved!
This throwback post is from June 20th, 2018. I hope it will be a blessing for anyone who missed it.
It’s Friday once again, dear ones, which means we will once again be addressing my least favorite subject. I thought the reading for last weeks post was the most grievous, until I began to research for today. I’m going to discuss the connections between feminism and Wicca/new ageism, so once again I must apologize for the quotes, they’ll be difficult to read. As I’ve mentioned previously, I grew up in a feministic household. I had never made a connection, however, to my mothers feministic beliefs and her turn towards witchcraft. I can see now how easy it is to move toward so called ‘spirituality’ and goddess worship when so much of the literature bends in that direction.
This is a serious indictment against allowing feminism in the church. I’m in no way suggesting that every feminist is a practicing Wiccan, however most of the leading feminists view their movement in a spiritual way. Like anything that steps away from a Biblical structure, it leads down the path towards witchcraft in steps. The end result seems to be atheism, though many stay within a new age mysticism that borrows Christian language. Others continue on to Wicca, or goddess worship. Again, it’s important to note that none of these underlining goals have anything to do with equality. Witchcraft and goddess worship does nothing to help women earn the same pay as men, yet it is pushed in the feminist groups and is direct opposition to Christianity. The Biblical view, on the other hand, of man and woman is equality. As Paul states, we are equal, whether we are male or female, with differing roles in the body of Christ.
My deep concern is that many women within the church that embrace feminism are unaware of these connections. Our leaders, elders, and pastors are vilified if they dare to urge discernment in this area. I pray that this series will help break down some of the walls that have been built between women and men in the name of equality. Let me just remind you, beloved, that in these posts I’ve pointed out feminism’s attack against Christianity, men, and marriage alone with showing its roots and spirituality which oppose Christ in every way. Once again, we have to ask ourselves, in light on the SBC’s wavering and women like Beth Moore’s recent hurtful rhetoric, should feminism be in the church? My stand is clear, friends, you’ll have to decide this for yourself. As always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.