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Archive for October, 2008

 

On this day, 491 years ago, Martin Luther sparked a fire that continues to burn even today – the Reformation. It was the rediscovery of the gospel, Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, and Soli Deo Gloria. Is that why all those kids in costumes came to our door tonight?

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Last Sunday, I made a remark in my sermon that came back to bite me.

The gist of it was this: It takes approximately five minutes per day for five days per week to read through the entire New Testament in one year. Would it not be a good idea, said I, to read God’s Word for 30 minutes after we got home from church instead of turning on a football game as soon as we walk through the door? Of course it would!

After eating lunch at Panda Express (which we both love – there’s a rave for you!), we came back home. I proceeded to take off my sport-coat, sit down, grab the remote and turn on a football game I had recorded from the night before. We hadn’t been in the house more than ninety seconds.

Out of “nowhere” a thought came to my mind: “What are you doing? Don’t you remember what you said less than two years ago? Something about not turning on a football game right after church?” My weak – and brief – protest was immediately shot down: “Well, it wasn’t directly after church. We had lunch first.” “Not good enough. It’s the spirit, not the letter we’re dealing with here.” The only thing I have to say is “guilty as charged.”

A postscript: Karen and I did read Scripture together after dinner. We read and discussed Matthew 1-5. It was great – better than the Duck victory I watched earlier.

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Enemy-occupied territory – that is what the world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening in to the secret wireless from our friends: That is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going.

Good thought from C.S. Lewis. I thought of it especially this last week as I prepared a sermon from John 17:6-19 on being “in the world, but not of it.” We walk a fine line – we’re in the world (we cannot isolate ourselves from it), but we’re not of it (we cannot assimilate to the point that no one can tell the difference). We’re called to associate with the world and those in it without adopting its way of thinking (mindset) and way of acting (behavior).

In that passage of Scripture, which is called the “High-Priestly prayer” of Jesus, we’re told that God will keep us in the midst of the world (verses 11, 12, and 15) and that we are sanctified by the truth – His Word (verse 17). The only way we can successfully navigate this “enemy-occupied territory” is through the preservation of God and through His Word. Yes, it’s a difficult walk, but we’ve been given the resources we need to do it.

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Here are five good books on the subject of evangelism:

Out of the Saltshaker & Into the World by Rebecca Manley Pippert. This was one of the first books I read after becoming a Christian. It still packs a positive punch.

Tell the Truth by Will Metzger. The subtitle sums the message up well: “The whole gospel to the whole person by whole people.” The focus is on God-centered evangelism.

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer. A classic that should be read over and over again.

Hell’s Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort. Have we been preaching a “gospel” that produces false converts? Comfort thinks so and makes a good case for it.

The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever. This book has an entire category of its own on this blog – that’s how much I think of it.

What do you think? I’d love to know.

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I haven’t seen any of these movies (yet, in the case of at least one of them), but came across some thoughts about by others. I hope you find them helpful.

Religulous (Bill Maher’s movie) is reviewed by Craig Hazen here.

The Express is reviewed by Ben Witherington here.

Fireproof is reviewed by Plugged In Online here.

Tell me what you think. When I see any of these movies, I’ll tell you what I think.

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Moving

 

We’ve moved! We’re now Oregon residents. It took a while, but we’re here. No more commute from Vancouver to Beaverton and back – priceless!

Thank you to everyone who helped in any way. Things went well and the weather cooperated. God definitely provided for us and we thank Him.

Hopefully, blog posts will be a bit more regular now, even though we’re going to be unpacking boxes for a while.

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Here are two post I found particularly interesting in the last few days:

“Watching Movies to the Glory of God” by Adam Parker. You can read it here.

“The Truth about Christian Bookstores” by Dan Edelen. You can read it here.

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