I don’t recommend books often, but . . .

I can’t recommend these two highly enough.  I happened to be reading them at the same time and it was perfect to alternate between them.  They offer thoroughly sound, practical and timeless guidance on how to live the Christian life.

The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin: Kris Lundgaard – great reminders about the reality of indwelling sin and how we need to fight it until we die.

Drawing from Indwelling Sin and The Mortification of Sin by Puritan John Owen, Lundgaard aims for the heart with a battle plan for radical spiritual transformation! His biblically sound principles on breaking the cycle of sin will help you live a victorious and fulfilling Christian life. Includes study questions.

Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist: John Piper – a classic that really gets you focused on the joy that is our birthright in Christ.

 Satisfaction…Happiness…Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, it’s essential.

Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God.  Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.

Constantly drawing on Scripture to build his case, Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.

Piper beckons us to approach God with the hedonist’s abandon. Finally, we are freed to enjoy Jesus—not only as our Lord and Savior, but also as our all-surpassing, soul-satisfying Treasure.

Desiring God may turn your Christian world upside down. And that will be a good thing, for the glory of God, and for your deepest joy.

Ken Ham’s inconsistency

Ken Ham claims that to hold a different view on the age of the earth undermines the word of God, yet his ministry approves of the The Bible series on the History Channel.  That is inconsistent.  I still think his ministry has much to offer, but I wish he would be more charitable to those that disagree with him on the age of the universe and I wish he was more discerning on this movie series.

First, to be clear, I am as inerrantist as you can get on the Bible, firmly believing that the original writings turned out just the way that God and the writers wanted them to and that they have been transmitted to us in a highly reliable fashion.  And I’m as anti-Darwinian evolution as they come.  I truly enjoy friendly debates between young earth and old earth creationists and see merits in both sides.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m undermining the word of God by saying we don’t know precisely how old the earth is, and that it could be much older than 6,000 years.  If you think that is undermining the word of God, then this may not be the blog for you.

Ham’s primary error is saying that if you don’t agree with him on the age of the earth then you don’t care what Genesis says.  That is a counterproductive non sequitur. Via Noted Apologist Calls Out Evangelical Leaders Who ‘Undermine the Word of God’.

He believes in a literal interpretation of the creation account found in the Book of Genesis.

“I’m not attacking these people personally and I’m not saying they aren’t Christians or preach the Gospel or I don’t respect them,” Ham told Christian Press News. “I’m dealing with a particular issue that is important in which God’s Word is being undermined. Wittingly or unwittingly many of these famous Christian leaders are really undermining the authority of the Word of God.”

Ham mentioned, in particular, John Piper, founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, co-pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla. Dr. R.C. Sproul and Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, as Christian leaders who have drifted away from teaching a young earth perspective.

“Many Christian leaders today will say ‘who cares what Genesis says and what does it matter about the age of the earth as long as you trust in Jesus. We need to go out there and preach the Gospel,’” said Ham. “But the point we need to understand is the Gospel comes from this book called the Bible and if generations of people have been led to believe they can’t really trust the Bible or lead to doubt that you can trust its authority or doubt its history – eventually they will reject the Bible and won’t listen to the Gospel.”

If someone truly said, “Who cares what Genesis says?” then that would be a major issue. But that isn’t the case here.  Saying that not only begs the question by assuming that others are wrong in their interpretation, but it is an attack on the people by claiming that they know they are wrong and don’t care.

If Ham’s ministry cares that much about authority — and I think they do — they shouldn’t have given such a fluffy review to The History Channel’s The Bible just because they liked how it treated their favored issues.

I have no issues if people want to watch the series.  It can make a great springboard to encourage people to read the word of God for themselves and to point out the errors in the movie as well as the key theological themes that it didn’t address.  But I wish people were more charitable on in-house Christian debates.

Roundup

In case you missed it — a great video on marriage — the story of Ian and Larissa.

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Courtesy of Duane from Facebook, the two tenets of the Tolerance and Diversity movement:

  1. We Support Free Speech.
  2. Shut Up.

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I thought this was a gag at first — Coming Next: ADA Lawsuits Over Shy Bladder Syndrome.  Sadly, it isn’t.  This is government out of control.

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Self-professed pro-choice ‘terrorist’ pleads guilty to issuing death threats: cyanide found in home — Did this make the mainstream news?  I assume not.  Rhetorical question: Would it have had more publicity if it had been a pro-lifer?

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Lifting the Lid on Censorship of Black on White Violence — just a little balance would be nice.

The establishment media serves one purpose in this country: to advance the liberal agenda. Neither public safety nor the duty to keep the public informed is allowed to get in the way.

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Will the media bother to tell Ohioans that Obama’s ad there is pure fiction?

All of which means that the actual message of the ad is “I had a job in the auto industry until about six years ago… and then I got a new job. Which is apparently one with a bad environmental and fiscal record, but that doesn’t matter! That’s because Barack Obama really, really needs me to get on the screen and tell you how great it is for me as a spectator to see the auto industry get bailed out. So I figure that I’m golden… oh, crud, Facebook. But… they promised me that Republicans couldn’t read!”

Which, admittedly, doesn’t really sing as a campaign message.

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The viciousness of the Darwin Lobby:

Evolution News writes about an eminent scientist who is under by professors and students at Emory University because of his disagreement with Darwinian orthodoxy and his assertion that morality isn’t possible on a materialistic worldview.

Here’s the first article from Evolution News, which explains what got Dr. Carson in trouble with the Darwoids.

Excerpt:

You can be a brilliant, innovative pediatric neurosurgeon at a sky-scraping top medical school, in addition to being a generous philanthropist with an inspirational up-from-dire-poverty personal story, plus a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, and a best-selling writer whose memoir was turned into a TV movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr.

All that, but if you once shared your critical thoughts on evolutionary science and its moral implications — everything else about you suddenly dwindles to very little.

Dr. Ben Carson of Johns Hopkins University is that man.

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This explains a lot about healthy eating and a proper diet:

400 Calories, by Volume

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Obama’s SSM stance looks to be hurting him with Independents.  I’d ignore the Republican less likely / Democrat more likely figures, as those would probably be the same regardless.  But the Independent gap is telling.

What is your retirement plan?

No, not your financial plan (Though I hope you are saving regularly via a 401k or some other mechanism.  Do not count on Social Security!).  I’m asking about your plans for your post-retirement activities.

Self-indulgence would get old very quickly.  The Bible doesn’t speak of retirement.  God numbers our days and we never know what might happen health-wise, but there is plenty we can influence with our habits. Of course I hope to spend time with family, enjoying hobbies and doing a little traveling.  But my larger goals are to continue to teach, study, serve, etc. as long as I can.  I try to keep myself in great shape so I can be energetic and stay on the giving end of the service spectrum as long as possible.  God willing, I’ll still be doing prison ministry, mission trips, teaching, and more for a few decades.

John Piper made some excellent points in What Happens When You Turn 65, including a laundry list of people who did amazing things after the age of 65.  His closing thoughts:

Dependant Till the End

And don’t forget, if you are running this marathon with Jesus, you have a great advantage. God has promised you: “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4). Nothing to be ashamed of here. We’ve been dangling in the yoke of Jesus ever since he called us. At out peak, we were totally dependent. So it will be to the end.

So, all you Boomers just breaking into Medicare, gird up your loins, pick up your cane, head for the gym, and get fit for the last lap. Fix your eyes on the Face at the finish line. There will plenty of time for R and R in the Resurrection. For now, there is happy work to be done.

What are your plans?  I hope you are aiming at a strong finish!

Hat tip: Randy Alcorn

Roundup

Some insightful thoughts about the pill and the sexual revolution by Raquel Welch — seems to be pro-life as well.

Go see a picture of a huge event of what, according to Liberal-speak, must have been a bunch of racists.

Below is a photo of a crowd of White people. Clearly the exclusion of blacks indicates these folks are hate-filled White racists. Can you identify this White racist event?

Predictable “Heads, we win, tails, you lose” reasoning from the evolutionists on the human eye — Just like they were wrong with junk DNA and not-so-vestigial organs, they miss again on the eye.  Its fantastic complexity mocks their neo-Darwinian theories so they take something they can’t quite understand (the blind spot) and use it as “proof” that an intelligent designer could not have made it.  Then they learn more and instead of recanting their theories they just change sides.  Hey, it is still proof of evolution!  Tautology 101.

University of Calgary convicts eight pro-life students for pro-life display — good for them for standing up for free speech!  Shame on the university.

John Piper on why homosexuality is wrong — a thorough and concise 7 minute message

A rather long list of specific contradictions made by Ergun Caner — I hope he repents.

Facebook group of the week: ‘Let’s eat Grandma!’ or, ‘Let’s eat, Grandma!’ Punctuation saves lives (I didn’t join it, I just like the title).

Roundup

Great witness by many of the Texas Longhorn football players, and not just post-game comments, either.  These guys set a great example year-round.  Now if they’d just lose the burnt orange school color I’d be a convert.

Nice pro football weekend.  If the Steelers aren’t in it then I don’t watch much, but I am always glad to see the Cowboys lose.  I’d be happy with any of the remaining teams winning.  Minnesota @ New Orleans should be action-packed. 

As I’ve noted before, the parallels between scientific misbehavior with evolution / Intelligent Design and the Global Warming scandal are very similar.

Ever notice how people try to dismiss conservative views by labeling them as extremist?  But if 72% of Americans oppose public funding of abortions, how does that put opponents of the health care plan in the “extreme” category? 

How to Deal with the Guilt of Sexual Failure for the Glory of Christ and His Global Cause — important message from John Piper about a key issue in the church.  It isn’t just about how to avoid sexual failure (though that is a great message also), but how to persevere and still serve Christ despite failures.  Hat tip: Mathew

I can understand why people are afraid or feel ill-equipped to share their faith — even though I would challenge them to work to overcome those barriers by prayer and study.  But what I can’t tolerate are the fake or wildly ignorant Christians who take pride in not sharing the Gospel, as if that is some sort of virtue.  They think Christianity is right — or at least right enough – for them, but they don’t want to share it with anyone else.

Sadomasochist testified for “gay marriage” just four days after sadistic sex- and drug-laden killing — I think the MSM forgot to report on this one.

Roundup

Wichita Pro-Life Group Attacked, Police Shrug and Pro-lifer dodges SUV driven by pro-abortionist — Hmmmm . . . why aren’t we hearing more about this from the MSM?  Because it doesn’t fit the stereotypes and the agenda?

Speaking of the MSM, I wonder if they’ll cover this Duke rape case as thoroughly as they did the one with the Lacrosse players (this one involves a member of a white homosexual couple sexually offering up his adopted 5 yr. old son for sex). 

They aren’t off to a good start.

The Associate Press (AP) did not mention the fact that the five-year old offered up for molestation was black. Bringing that fact to light might be damaging to the political coalition that exists between blacks and gays. Nor did the AP mention that the adopted child is being raised by a homosexual couple. Bringing that fact to light might harm the gay adoption movement.

Randy Alcorn on Counting the Cost of Sexual Immorality — we discussed adultery in a recent Roundup about Mark Sanford and I thought Randy’s advice was outstanding.  He has a list of all the anticipated consequences of sexual immorality for him.  Great reminders.  Read the whole thing.

  • Grieving my Lord; displeasing the One whose opinion most matters.
  • Dragging into the mud Christ’s sacred reputation.
  • Loss of reward and commendation from God.
  • Having to one day look Jesus in the face at the judgment seat and give an account of why I did it. Forcing God to discipline me in various ways.
  • Following in the footsteps of men I know of whose immorality forfeited their ministry and caused me to shudder. List of these names:
  • Suffering of innocent people around me who would get hit by my shrapnel (a la Achan).
  • Untold hurt to Nanci, my best friend and loyal wife.
  • Loss of Nanci’s respect and trust.
  • Hurt to and loss of credibility with my beloved daughters, Karina and Angela. (“Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?”)
  • If my blindness should continue or my family be unable to forgive, I could lose my wife and my children forever.
  • And more . . .

    John Piper on Why I Don’t Have a Television and Rarely Go to Movies

    I have a high tolerance for violence, high tolerance for bad language, and zero tolerance for nudity. There is a reason for these differences. The violence is make-believe. They don’t really mean those bad words. But that lady is really naked, and I am really watching. And somewhere she has a brokenhearted father.

    . . .

    But leave sex aside (as if that were possible for fifteen minutes on TV). It’s the unremitting triviality that makes television so deadly. What we desperately need is help to enlarge our capacities to be moved by the immeasurable glories of Christ. Television takes us almost constantly in the opposite direction, lowering, shrinking, and deadening our capacities for worshiping Christ.

    One more smaller concern with TV (besides its addictive tendencies, trivialization of life, and deadening effects): It takes time. I have so many things I want to accomplish in this one short life. Don’t waste your life is not a catchphrase for me; it’s a cliff I walk beside every day with trembling.

    I don’t watch much TV anymore but I do watch a little more than in recent years.  That is a good reminder.