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Confronting Falsehood in the Church

Originally posted on Via Emmaus:

falseIt is striking how often Jesus’ apostles warn the church about false teachers and divisive persons. In the Pastoral Epistles Paul calls Titus and Timothy to beware of false teachers in Crete and Ephesus, respectively. But it’s not just these two pastors who are to address falsehood, the entire New Testament calls out the darkness resident in the church. Because of the cosmic conflict between Christ’s church and Satan’s hordes, false doctrine and false living are regular threats to Christ’s kingdom.

Since many churches face such internal and internecine threats, we need to steel our minds with God’s Word so that we might boldly address the darkness around us.

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God’s Zig Zag Path for Your Life!

Originally posted on Live Life! God's way:

A number of years ago, my dear Aunt Alice, who is a gifted poet in her own right, shared a poem which has come back to me again this week. It was noted as “Anonymous” in an Appendix of a book entitled “The Zig Zag Path” written by William Raymond Kinzie. It certainly reflects the unpredictable turns and challenges faced through life by those whom God is leading. As another semester concludes and my wife and I attend 2 Graduations this week at schools that share a portion of common history, and as we say farewell to students who move into a new chapter of their lives, I thought this would be edifying and appropriate.

I dedicate it as well to those whos current life situation is following a zig-zag path!

We climbed the height by the zig-zag path

And wondered why–until

We understood it was made zig-zag

To break…

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Life is Good? How God’s Goodness Redefines the Good Life

Originally posted on Via Emmaus:

good life“And as he was setting our on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'” And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Mark 10:17-18).

Knowing the difference between good and evil is fundamental to being made in the image of God.  When God created Adam and Eve, he put them in a garden filled with delights and with a solitary tree that would instruct them how to know good and evil (Genesis 2:17).  Likewise, knowing the difference between good and evil is essential to maturation and becoming a responsible adult.  Isaiah 7:15, uses the idea to describe the difference between young children who do not know the difference between good and evil, and then those children who mature and begin to understand that difference.

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“But This Happened….”

Originally posted on Live Life! God's way:

In 2 Corinthians 1:8-11, the Apostle Paul reflects on ‘the hardships‘ he suffered during a stage of his life. He writes – “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

Last year on this same day, April 23rd, the phone rang in my office. I am not always the first one to pick up the receiver, but this time I was. It was my daughter Jane informing me through tears that Andrew, whom she was planning to marry on April 25, 2014 had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Andrew had been battling severe headaches that medication would not relieve and he had been struggling to concentrate in his…

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From Performing in the Flesh to Panting for the Spirit

Originally posted on Via Emmaus:

vinePerforming in the flesh is shorthand for doing work unto the Lord in your own strength, by your own wisdom, and with your own will power. In short, it is service without spiritual grace, and Satan loves to seduce you with it. Such Spirit-less service may be outwardly beautiful, relationally effective, or even successful, but because it is done without faith, it displeases God (Rom 14:23; Heb 11:6) and bears no lasting fruit. Sadly because our hearts are deceitful we may even call such unbelieving service good, when God does not. For that reason, it is always right to return to the Word and ask: What does God say?

What service does God find pleasing? What counterfeit performances originate in unbelief? And how can we tell the difference?

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Of Replay Review, Criminal Justice, and Human Fallibility

Originally posted on chantrynotes:

lyles No Harm, No Foul?

Last Saturday evening, in the rematch of all rematches here in the Badger state, the Wisconsin basketball team played and beat Kentucky in the national semifinal. The game was exciting and entertaining, but it was also a clinic in awful officiating. Chris Chase of USA Today rightly called it “the crescendo of awful tournament officiating.” Personally, I find it fascinating that a game could be so badly called in spite of extensive replay review. Yet is was:

Late in the second half, Kentucky’s Josh Lyles slapped Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser in the jaw, knocking him to the floor. Now I’m no expert, but I think that’s against the rules in basketball. The game was delayed for several minutes while the officials presumably watched multiple angles of the slap, after which they inexplicably called “no foul” and play resumed.

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What does the resurrection of Christ profit us?

Originally posted on Particular Voices:

OC 44

From “An Orthodox Catechism,” Hercules Collins’ baptized version of the Heidelberg Catechism.

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The Sabbath and the Conscience, Part 5

Originally posted on chantrynotes:

help “Liberty”

It may be quite easily demonstrated that Christians and unbelievers alike recognize the need for certain days to be special. Call it a need to mark time or to break up the monotony if you wish. Is it not equally reasonable – if we start where we should in special revelation – that God, who made the Sabbath holy as soon as he had made man – wrote onto our hearts the need to observe one day in seven as holy to him? And that we, no matter how much we have suppressed that law by non-observance, still bear traces of it in our hearts?

In fact, the argument from conscience, or from the absence of guilt, fails entirely to contradict the Reformed position on law, and specifically on Sabbath.  We’re going to need another theory to explain the shamelessness with which the world and even the church ignores…

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The Sabbath and the Conscience, Part 4

Originally posted on chantrynotes:

tremain I know you read this in Junior High; are you honestly telling me you thought Sabbath was never a matter of public conscience?

We’ve been addressing the Reformed view of the law this week, particularly as it relates to the issue of Sabbath and the conscience of men. It has been suggested that the absence of any commonly felt guilt over the Sabbath proves that the commandment was never moral. Yesterday I attempted to demonstrate that this is a dangerous way to define morality. Today we will investigate whether the premise is even true. Does the conscience tell us that Sabbath-breaking is wrong?

If your awareness of Christian practice goes back more than one generation, you’ll have to admit that the Sabbath once pricked the conscience of men. We are all familiar with the now-despised “blue laws” which prohibited certain activities on Sunday. Yes, America was once a place in…

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The Sabbath and the Conscience, Part 3

Originally posted on chantrynotes:

antinomian The Antinomian Sabbath

A small piece of the Reformed understanding of the law is that the conscience demonstrates the universality of God’s moral law. If that is so, antinomians ask why some commands – and specifically the Sabbath – are not communicated in this way. Men who are horrified at the thought of murder feel no pangs at all over Sabbath-breaking. Today I offer the first half of a response. Each of today’s steps helps to identify a problem with how the antinomian defines morality.

For make no mistake; I am convinced that this is what today’s antinomians have done: they have defined morality on the basis of what they feel is right.  They don’t think they’ve done this, and they don’t like even being called antinomian.  However, if a Christian has rejected the very structure of moral law by which God defines morality, what is he left with?  Is…

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