The Mahaneys

Justin Taylor (Link)has just posted 10 (that is right 10!!)mp3’s from C.J and Carolyn HERE.
I have listened to C.J speak on sex and marriage at the Desiring God conference and his message floored me…one thing that has resonated in my mind and in my marriage is

Before you touch her body. Touch her heart

These are free downloads so send them to friends and family members.

For those too lazy to click over and read Justin’s blog (shame on you!!)

here you go

C.J. Mahaney

Sex, Romance and the Glory of God – Part 1 (MP3)
Sex, Romance and the Glory of God – Part 2 (MP3)
Message to Men (MP3)
Humility: True Greatness (MP3)
The Cross Centered Life (MP3)
The Soul of Modesty (MP3)

Carolyn Mahaney

Message to Women: What Christian Wives Need to Know (MP3)
True Beauty (MP3)
A Woman’s Beauty Regimen (MP3)
What To Do About the Things We Can’t Do Anything About (MP3)

Can We Categorize Jesus? Was Jesus a Conservative or Liberal?

Today I thought I would share a little insight I got from my Pastor…enjoy!

Our family moved here in 2003 to plant Christ Redeemer Church – and as people began to check out the vision of the new church they often started with this question in their minds: Are you liberal or conservative? Often times political parties are “thought” to be one or the other on social and governmental issues – while with respect to moral issues it is usually not so easy to assign categories. Sometimes our initial response to new people we meet and new ideas we hear about is to immediately put them into categories.

Was Jesus liberal or conservative? Both sides have claimed him as their champion. Even in his own day Jesus managed to say and do things that would confound both groups. His first sermon, recorded in St. Mark’s Gospel, was short and sweet: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” This probably made the religious conservatives rejoice and the religious liberals wince. But quicker than you can say “Focus on the Family” he’s having dinner with publicans and prostitutes and (gasp) drinking wine. “A glutton and drunkard!” shouted the conservatives. “Broad-minded and inclusive!” rejoiced the liberals.

Poor Jesus; by the end of his life he had managed to alienate almost everyone (which may explain why on the last week of his life the crowds were shouting “Hooray!” on Monday and “Crucify!” by Friday. He refused to be the poster boy of the Left or Right.

The early Christian theologian Tertullian once said that just as Christ was crucified between two thieves, so the Gospel (the message of Christ) is crucified between two opposite errors. These two “thieves” can be understood as moralism (usually conservative) and relativism (usually liberal.)

Moralists tend to stress truth without grace, for they say we must obey the truth in order to be saved. As Tim Keller once said: “Moralists do not have to be religious, but often are. When they are, their religion is pretty conservative and filled with rules. Sometimes moralists have views of God as very holy and just. This view will lead either to a) self-hatred (because you can’t live up to the standards), or b) self-inflation (because you think you have lived up to the standards). Moralistic people can be deeply religious–but there is no transforming joy or power.”

Relativists on the other hand tend to stress grace without truth, for they say we are all acceptable to God (if there is a god) and we have to decide what is true for ourselves. Relativists tend to prefer “liberal” religion. They may talk a lot about God’s love, but since they do not see themselves as morally deficient (“sinners”) God’s love costs him nothing.

The Bible describes Jesus as being “full of grace and truth” which is why he never seems to fit comfortably into either the conservative or liberal stereotypes. This is seen in the well known story of the woman caught in adultery. The religious conservatives were ready to stone her for her sin, and dragged her to Jesus to get his opinion. “Let he who is among you without sin cast the first stone” answered Jesus. The result: stunned silence. And then one by one the crowd dispersed, leaving the woman standing alone with Jesus. “Is there no one left to condemn you? Then neither do I. Go and sin no more.” There it is: the extension of mercy and the call to repentance; grace and truth working together.

The ironic thing about moralism and relativism is that they are both ways of avoiding Jesus as Savior and keeping control of our lives. And the result is either pride (because we have lived up to our rules) or despair (because we have failed to keep them.) How different the biblical Gospel, which cannot be co- opted by either conservatives or liberals, for on the one hand it tells us we are far more sinful than we ever dared imagine, but on the other hand we are far more loved than we ever dared hope. It will surrender neither truth nor grace, but unites them both in the person of Jesus.

Do What!?!?!?

Well, we are back from our vacation!! Gatlinburg was great and the weather was awesome!! Have some pics I will try and post in the coming days (mostly of leaves).

Friday night we went walking into downtown Gatlinburg and looked at all the shops and booths. Coming up to a t-shirt shop I saw something that made my stomach turn it was a shirt that said
“Jesus Got-er-Done”
yeap….Exploitation in its purest form. I couldn’t really fault the retail store cause the prod sold and they were just jumping on the bandwagon (this desire to tag Jesus onto anything in pop culture).

But, when I got home tonight I saw something that made the shirt looks like nothing compared to this new product.

Seems Thomas Nelson the the teen girl bible-zinne was such a hit that the corporate man needed his own bible…

HERE is the link

So what are some of the things the corporate man needs to know?

“Sexcess: Success with the Opposite Sex!”
“Improve your people skills…and WIN!!”
“Got Gadgets? 34 tech savvy ideas”

Seems God’s word isn’t powerful enough or relevant enough for the corporate man or tween girl. Nope can’t have “thus saith the Lord”…We have to look so much like the world that they won’t even know (or care) what hit them.
I have noticed this with church names that are vague and buildings that look more like junior colleges than churches.
It is like the word of God is some poison that we have to sneak into the lost’s espresso while they are not looking.

So, now there is a grassroots effort to get Thomas Nelson to pull this Bible and their Teen girl Bible.

Please send an email HERE stating your concern for this obvious disregard to God’s Holy Word.
Please do so in a loving and Christ like Manner.

Monergism goes Blog

Well I found out today that Monergism has entered the Blog-o-sphere!!
you can access the blog HERE or online HERE

For their first entry they interviewed John Samson, who is the pastor of Faith Community Church, in Phoenix, AZ. You can read that interview HERE.

Here is the first question and answer from the interview
*I have to say I do not agree with his view of the Charismatic gifts, but for the most part I agree with Mr. Samson*

1. How did you begin down the road toward Reformation Theology?

I have to say, coming to travel down this road has been an unexpected journey for me.

I have been in full time ministry since leaving Bible College in June of 1987, and was fairly confident that my knowledge of the Word was sound.

Then one day I received a flyer in the mail from Ligonier Ministries informing me that Dr. R. C. Sproul was coming to do a Friday night and Saturday morning teaching in Scottsdale, Arizona. This was in November in the year 2,000. That was only a short distance for me, living in Phoenix. I had never heard Dr. Sproul in person, but had been greatly impacted by seeing his teaching videos on the Holiness of God some years before.

As I looked further at the flyer my heart sank when I saw the subject he was going to be focusing on “Chosen by God:the biblical doctrines of election and predestination.”

Honestly, I thought, “how silly that a man of that caliber would spend his energies articulating an idea so way past its sell by date.”I was in two minds as to whether to go or not. I wanted to hear Dr. Sproul, but not on that subject. Any other subject would have been better as far as I was concerned.

Well, I finally decided to go, but sat on the back row so I could leave quickly without interrupting folk around me. I stayed for the first session and thought – yes, he has a point -I can’t fault what he is saying, but I have many scriptures that would refute his conclusions. However, I was intrigued that there was nothing in what I heard that would be easily dismissed.

Then the conference included a question and answer session on the subject. This proved to be invaluable for me, because many of the questions I had were raised, and, I had to admit, were answered from Scripture, in their proper Biblical context.

I was immediately alarmed by this, as I came to understand that this whole issue required a lot more research than I had previously thought. I left the conference unconvinced, but bothered enormously that I had heard no scripture taken out of context. Being absolutely honest with myself, I had to admit that it was my assumptions about certain texts that were guilty of that exact charge.

Knowing that I needed to believe what Scripture taught on the subject, I ordered much material, and began my research. It is never pleasant to examine firmly held traditions, and I felt that this was especially so in my position, when I had taught other things at various times in my ministry. No one wants to admit the possibility that they may in fact have been wrong.

I have to say that it took more than a year of researching the issue in depth, before I realized that there was a consistent and clear Biblical doctrine of election and predestination. I also came to see that in order for me to believe what the Bible taught in this area, I had to dispense with my traditional understanding.

I was as surprised as anyone to emerge from this self imposed theological study cocoon as a five point Calvinist. Yet that is what happened. And I look back and see the whole thing -the desire to study this and examine firmly held beliefs (I have found many do not wish to do this), and the ability to see the truth – as a work of God’s grace in my life. How gracious it is that God opened up my eyes to see these things.

The Great Halloween Discussion

Tim Challis has a great post on Halloween HERE. Very good points, one in particular

We can turn the lights out and sit inside, seeking to shelter ourselves from the pagan influence of the little Harry Potters, Batmans and ballerinas, or we can greet them, gush over them, and make them feel welcome. We can prove ourselves to be the family who genuinelly cares about our neighbours, or we can be the family who shows that we want to interact with them only on our terms.

It is amazing how we pretty much get an easy shot at evangelism and yet Christians are huddled in their gyms, bobbing for their Adam and Eve Apples, having the cake walk in perfect Christendom.

Yet the funny thing is…these fall festivals usually start about 6-7…yet most kids can go out about 5:30 hit the neighborhood then get more at the church. So the fall festival’s purpose is defeated.

I am not saying that fall festivals are bad or should be done away with. But, there really should be some evaluation on the purpose and what we hope to accomplish.

The Opera in me

If you look down at the bottom of my page you will see I have added a banner for Opera. This browser is really starting to grow on me. Yes, I love Firefox and still use it, but if they don’t watch it I think Opera may give firefox a run for its money.

First off let me say that now you have no reason to use Internet Explorer! Two great browsers that are constantly being updated and improved..what more could you ask for? (well, except maybe a pina colada…)

Anyway, Opera has tabbed browsing just like firefox, email client (just like mozilla), mouse gesture (which are pretty cool once you get the hang of it), but something that really put me over was the bilt in RSS feeder.

I put my blog into the Opera browser and it saw that the site had rss code (every blogger page has this feature), and asked if I wanted to add it to my feed.

So now you can have an all in one (browser,email,and rss feeder) with who knows what else they may add in the future.

Don’t worry about IE getting deleted when you install Opera or Firefox (yeah Bill wont go away THAT easy). So if you try Opera or Firefox out and do not like it (I have no idea why), you can uninstall it and go back to your spyware filled browser. 🙂

you can click the links at the bottom of teh page to download the browsers or go HERE for Opera or HERE for Firefox

Comment on Free Will

This is a comment on THIS thread. wanted to put it here so this discussion doesnt get put on teh back burner…i really want to have this discussion….yeah i am selfish so what! 🙂

A key starting point for Arminian theology is the unexamined assumption of what is commonly called ‘free will’. This is sometimes referred to as ‘the ability to choose the contrary, speaking of choice that is not conditioned by any external factors.

In the most robust form, this is often called ‘libertarian free will’. This is often the version championed by those who associate themselves with a view called Open Theism.

Critics of Open Theism have charged that the propenents of libertarian free will have basically taken the tenents of Arminian theology and drawn them out to their logical conclusions. In the end, the Openness thinkers wind up with a God who does not know the future, and indeed because of man’s supposed libertarian free will, cannot know the future.

In defense of what seems to be the common expression of Arminian theology, most defenders are concerned to preserve both what they consider to be man’s free will as well as God’s exhaustive knowing of all future events.

I would like to discuss this unexamined assumption of ‘free will’ after the fall.

I will reference the Westminster Confession of Faith not in place of the Scriptures, but because it reflects a certain strand of thought that is associated with ‘Calvinism’. This will hopefully provide some parameters for the discussion to operate within.

The Confession, chapter IX, (WCF hereafter,) does affirm that mankind as originally created in the garden possessed a free will. That is to say that Adam and Eve were niether compelled toward good or evil. This sounds like the free will that Arminian theology champions.

At this point, I would have to agree. But history does not witness that our first parents remained in this state.

Due to the fall, the will became enslaved to evil. Paul indicates that the ‘natural’ man is dead in trespasses and sin, cf. Eph 2:1 ff (and Col 2:13 as well). Paul further indicates in that passage that natural man is a child of wrath, and indeed, in Romans, Paul says that we are enemies of God, cf. Rom 5:10.

The doctrine of ‘Total Depravity’ or ‘Total Inability’ essentially states that man is ‘is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.’ (WCF IX.III).

Total inability does not indicate that all of mankind is as mean as they can be all of the time. For sure there are plenty of men who hate Christ who do not beat their wives on a daily basis. Total Inability says that with regard to salvation that man is helpless, dead.

If I’ve understood Paul’s assessment of the human condition without Christ correctly, there seems to be no place for a dead human to choose Christ. If people are truly dead in their sins, then how does anyone ever have their sins forgiven?