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Soli Deo Gloria!

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever!  Amen. Rev 7:12

Solus Christus

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

1 Tim 2:5

Sola Gratia

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Eph 1:4-6

Sola Fide

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Gal 3:10-11

Sola Scriptura

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Tim 3:16-17

Luke 8:40-56

Luke 8:40-56 (ESV) — 40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.…

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John 17

John 17

Some of you might wonder why we’re jumping to one of the final episodes of Jesus’ walk on this Earth.  I hope, by the end, you’ll understand how this prayer of Christ’s fully captures why Christ came into the world, where He came from, and the hope that He left us.
I was talking to James the other night about the movie Talladega Nights:  The Legend of Ricky Bobby.  If you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t recommend seeing it.  It has little redeeming value.
In one of the scenes, Ricky is leading his family in grace and keeps addressing Christ as “Baby Jesus” during his prayer.  His good friend, Cal Naughton Jr., interrupts him and reminds him that Jesus was a grown man. …
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Genesis 21

Genesis 21 (ESV)

 
1 The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. 2 And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. 4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” 7 And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children?
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Luke 15

Luke 15

1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.…

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Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:1-11)

Luke 6:1-11

On a Sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. 2 But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” 3 And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” 5 And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
6 On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered.
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Review of God and Caesar – Selected Essays on Religion, Politics & Society, by Cardinal George Pell

Review of God and Caesar – Selected Essays on Religion, Politics & Society, by Cardinal George Pell.

Edited by M.A. Casey; published by Connor Court in Australia, the Catholic University of America Press everywhere else.

Less that 190 pages, this is a collection of ten essays by Australia’s foremost Roman Catholic cleric.

The topics covered include: The Law and Morality, Catholicism and Democracy, The Case for God and Human Dignity, Human Rights and Moral Responsibility.

Quite readable generally, most of the essays flow in a very conversational way which reflects their origins as speeches. I’m not overly familiar with Roman Catholic doctrine & semantics, but I was able to understand most of what Pell was trying to say.

In as much as the book has a central theme it is the rejection of the primacy of conscience.…

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On PTSD and Total Depravity

I was reading Blackfive today (an excellent US milblog) and saw this post linked.

It’s a great piece written by a (AFAIK) non-Christian former soldier (Marine perhaps) about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (emphasis mine)

What you need to know, first and last, is that so-called PTSD is not an illness. It is a normal condition for people who have been through what you have been through. The instinct to kill and war is native to humanity. It is very deeply rooted in me, as it is in you. We have rules and customs to restrain it, so that sometimes we may have peace. What you are experiencing is not an illness, but the awareness of what human nature is like deep down.

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First Things

I just wanted to outline my plans for this blog before I jumped in.

I’ve grown up in a small conservative Reformed (well, Presbyterian, but you know) denomination, which I love dearly.

A while back, I started to question some fundamentals of Reformed belief, mainly in the area of Sola Scriptura and Ecclesiology. For a long time, I just kept ‘asking questions’ and waited for the answer to come. As a student of history, I feel quite attracted to the arguments put by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches with regards to the role of the Church in authenticating Scripture, but I am convinced of God’s sovereignty and the doctrine of predestination. A conundrum!

So instead of waiting for the answer to my questions to come to me through osmosis, I’ve taken up my daily devotions and prayer again, and am reading as much Reformed material as I can.…

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The Temptation of Christ (Luke 4:1-13)

Luke 4:1-13

It’s been some time since Pastor Whitenack covered the baptism of Jesus and, before him, Sam taught on John’s baptism.  I might normally try to bring you up to date right away but I’ll be getting back to both later on this evening in order to place Christ’s temptation into a proper context for us to understand it.

This passage is pretty well known by many Christians.  I suppose it sticks in most minds the same way the Prodigal Son passage does as it is regularly read and taught in Christian pulpits.  Yet, I believe, that today, most people don’t really appreciate what it is that is significant about Christ’s temptation. …

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Why Does A Church Have A Youth Ministry?

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why a church has (or should have) a youth ministry? Youth ministry is never talked about in any of Paul’s epistles and there really isn’t much of a precedent for separating youth in the isolated way most churches do. This questions is one that every person involved with youth ministry should be able to answer. From the senior pastor, to the elders, to parents, to volunteers, to the paid youth worker.

As I began to think about this question one thing that popped into my mind is that fact that most parents in the church don’t live up to their responsibilities. Most parents don’t catechize their children, teach them the scriptures, or do any sort of ‘home church’ activities.…

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