Friday, March 28, 2008

The Beauty of God's Creation

I often marvel at the beauty and detail that exists in creation. I have been studying the creation account in Genesis 1 and I cannot tell you how often I set my Bible down and simply reflect on the unimaginable power of God. It leaves me absolutely speechless, and I often find myself in a state of confusion and awe. To dwell on the fact that God created all that we see, smell, hear, see and touch with His words alone, or as John Piper puts it, "with the flick of His little finger" should really bring all of us to our knees. What a great Creator we have, and how marvelous is His creation!

What is incredible is how little I understand about God's creation. I knew that the detail He showed when creating the animals was far beyond human possibility, and I also know that humans carry the same desire to create that God has. However, I had no idea that this creative impulse existed with such an artistic degree amidst the animals as well. To understand what I am talking about, please view the clip below.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ben Stein on Intelligent Design

Some of you may remember Ben Stein from the movie Ferris Beuller's Day Off. Here is a reminder for those who may have forgotten.

Or, maybe you recall the game show that he hosted on Comedy Central a few years back,

Well, our good friend Ben Stein has left all of that behind him and is now a proponent for Intelligent Design. In mid April, a movie will be released that is in favor of Intelligent Design titled, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed hosted by Ben Stein himself. Rather than try to explain what Mr. Stein is trying to accomplish, I will just let him do the talking. The following clip is taken from an interview between R.C. Sproul and Ben Stein, and my goodness is it encouraging.

It is important to note that Ben Stein is not (to my knowledge) fighting for Christianity, but rather for the freedoms to teach Intelligent Design and to discuss it in universities and schools without being "expelled" for those beliefs.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 12

We have reached the final day in the Twelve Days of Luther. As a perfect conclusion, we will see the historical result of Luther's work. From Luther to Calvin to the Puritans, Luther's writing would forever change how we look at our faith, and how we live our lives under the lordship of Jesus Christ. This video also shows just how imperfect Luther was, and that even he did not get everything right. (His views regarding Jews.)

I learned quite a lot from this series, and I hope that you all did as well. Thanks to each of you for the encouragement I received during this series, and may God use these videos to bless others in the days to come.

Monday, March 24, 2008

T4G Promo Videos

As I said in a previous post, I am very excited for this conference. The videos below were just posted on the T4G website and can be viewed at I have also made the videos available below (pictures courtesy of T4G) for your convenience. If you haven't registered for this conference, registration closes on October 31st and there were only about 300 spots available as of last week. In other words, register now. Click on any of the pictures below to watch a short promo video for each speaker.

Cj Mahaney

CJ Mahaney

John Piper

John Piper

Al Mohler

Al Mohler

RC Sproul

Rc Sproul

Mark Dever

Mark Dever

John MacArthur

John MacArthur

Lig Duncan

Ligon Duncan

Panel A


Twelve Days of Luther - Day 11

The Diet of Worms ends and Luther is taken to a place of hiding. While he is absent from Wittenberg, a revolution takes place that both suprises Luther, and saddens him as well. He realizes the radical stance he has taken, and the violence that has erupted because of it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Cry from the Cross

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a C.J. Mahaney sermon that I had somehow missed on my iPod. I had an hour's worth of walking ahead of me, so this message fit the bill nicely. I had no idea what was in store for me as I listened, but by the time I had reached my friend's house for Saturday morning bible study, I was practically in tears. It was at that point that I realized how beneficial this message would be for my small group meeting the Thursday before Easter. Well, that day is today! I believe that Christians everywhere could benefit from this as well, so I have posted the message below in order to help all of us to recognize and be affected by the cross, and also to prepare ourselves to celebrate the resurrection of our risen Lord!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Together for the Gospel (aka T4G)

Yes, the rumors are true. I am officially signed up for the Together for the Gospel conference. That means that from April 15th-17th I will be getting an earful from the following men, each addressing a specific topic:
Ligon Duncan - Sound Doctrine - Essential to Faithful Pastoral Ministry: A Joyful Defense and Decleration of the Necessity and Practicality of Systematic Theology for the Life of the Church

Thabiti Ayabwile - Bearing the Image: Identity, the Work of Christ, and the Church

John MacArthur - The Sinner Neither Able Nor Willing: The Doctrine of Absolute Inability

Mark Dever - Improving the Gospel: Exercises in Unbiblical Theology

RC Sproul - The Curse Motif of the Atonement

Albert Mohler - Why Do They Hate It So? The Doctrine of Substitution

John Piper - How the Supremacy of Christ Creates Radical Christian Sacrifice

CJ Mahaney - Sustaining a Pastor's Soul
This should be a very exciting, encouraging, and challenging few days. I have learned quite a bit over the last few years from each of these men. Out of the eight speakers I am least familiar with Thabiti, but after listening to him in a recent 9Marks interview, I am really looking forward to hearing what he has to say.

You know, with this conference rolling around, I have begun to realize how incredibly nerdy I am. While most people go see their favorite band perform, I go see godly men preach. I go and hear from my favorite writers. Instead of buying loads of CDs, I'm stocking up on books, more books, and even more books! I'm so thankful that God has given me an insatiable thirst for knowing Him more fully.

I would ask that, those of you who frequent this blog, please pray that I would have discernment in what I learn from these men. Anyone can fall under the temptation of praising the acts of men, and I am no exception. Pray that I would praise God for whatever good comes from this conference, rather than praise men.

Lastly, I can't explain how happy I am that I get to spend the duration of this conference with my good friend Eric Conn. Eric, the duel begins my friend. Be prepared for absolute and total humiliation!

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 10

This clip involves one of the greatest moments in the life and ministry of Martin Luther. The Diet of Worms. Before great opposition, he stands firm in his convictions on scripture, the Church, and on God.

For a dramatized version of the Diet of Worms taken from the film Luther, please click here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 9

Luther considers his conflict with the Pope as a battle against the Antichrist himself. Through his gift in writing, Luther's words cut deeply and powerfully into the heresy of the Church.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 8

Due to a busy weekend full of leadership meetings, I decided to take a few days off from blogging. However, now that the weekend is over and I have a little more time on my hands, we should be able to finish up the Luther video series without delay! I have received quite a few positive responses about these videos, and I hope that the next four days will be just as beneficial.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 7

After the writing of the 95 Theses, Luther finds himself in public conflict with the Catholic Church. Now labeled as a heretic, Martin Luther finds himself writing even more in defense of not only himself, but of the truth of the gospel. Pope Leo writes the following words about Luther comparing him to a wild boar:

"Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. Listen to our prayers, for foxes have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard whose winepress you alone have trod. When you were about to ascend to your Father, you committed the care, rule, and administration of the vineyard, an image of the triumphant church, to Peter, as the head and your vicar and his successors. The wild boar from the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it."

Also, please note that the 95 Theses was nailed to the Wittenberg Castle door on October 31st! Goodbye Halloween! Hello Reformation Day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 6

Indulgences spread through Germany. While many rejoice in being redeemed through a quick monetary exchange, Luther becomes frustrated and angered. His flock was being deceived. In an effort to uncover the heresy within the papacy and the use of indulgences, Luther writes his 95 Theses and nails them to the Wittenberg Castle door. Little did he know that this work of his would be mass produced and distributed throughout Europe.

As I watched this video, I couldn't help but notice a similarity between indulgences and modern day evangelism. Indulgences provided a quick fix and an easy assurance of redemption. Through successful advertising, many considered themselves free and no longer in need of confession. Does this sound familiar?

The popular evangelism of our day is to come up with catchy ways to share the gospel, or to create the most efficient gospel presentation so that the person on receiving end of that presentation has the best possible chance to be saved. We tell someone, "Say this prayer and you will be free!", or "Sign this card and your sins will be forgiven you!". Doesn't this sound like a quick fix? I am convinced that if someone genuinely repents and believes that they are redeemed, and that this comes by the Spirit of God as a gift given by Christ. I suppose that what I am trying to say is that no amount of advertising, marketing, or fancy techniques will save a person's soul. I'm not even sure that they can persuade a person to repent and believe. Only Christ can regenerate a heart, and only Christ calls and draws His elect. No man can ever improve or add to what Christ does in working out salvation, and yet it seems that we try so hard to have a perfect delivery or well thought out sales pitch.

As a concluding point: Use tracts, use the cross diagram, memorize specific verses, teach outreach in your church, but by all means do not think that any of these things in and of themselves save a person's soul. They can help us to give a 'clear' presentation, but all we can do is plant a seed, water it, and expect that if Christ is at work in that person the seed will grow. The most amazing testimony of Christ is your own joy in the grace and mercy that he has shown you. People are advertised to every day, they don't want to hear us sell Jesus. Herald the true gospel my friends and trust the unwavering faithfulness of Christ!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Man Cold

Ok, I'm not one to blog about every funny thing I see on the internet. However, due to the amount of times I've been sick already in 2008, I felt that I had to post this video. You could say that I was 'compelled' to post it...

And now for an accurate assessment of what happens when a man gets sick. I give you, The Man Cold.

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 5

Luther is sent to Wittenberg where he is employed in the teaching of the scriptures. Through this constant study and teaching, Luther begins to see the errors in the Church's teaching. For the first time in his life, he recognizes the beauty and grace of God. This comes through in his own words:

"At this, I felt myself to have been born again, and to have entered through open gates into heaven already."

The revolution known as the "Protestant Reformation" begins...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 4

Luther makes his pilgrimage to Rome, but instead of finding the pinnacle of Christianity, he notices that the Church is more interested in money than in God. Thus, Luther begins to doubt and question his decision to give his entire life to the Holy Catholic Church.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 3

Luther lives as an Augustinian monk. Over time he begins to wonder if it will ever be possible to gain salvation from a God that, in Luther's eyes, expects so much and is utterly impossible to please.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Packer on Anglican Realignment

J.I. Packer has written more book recommendations than any one else in the history of the world. Most of us would recognize him as the author of the great book, Knowing God, as well as for his immense influence on modern day evangelicalism. However, his role in the Anglican church has been somewhat of an issue for many people, especially considering the views the Anglican church has taken regarding homosexuality. Below are four video clips that involve an interview with Packer and his response to these views. Each video is a few minutes long, and they are all included in the single YouTube video below. Enjoy!

Taken from
"St John’s Shaughnessy (in Vancouver) produced a DVD for their congregation prior to their vestry vote to join ANiC and the Southern Cone. This DVD features the Rev David Short and Dr J I Packer being interviewed by journalist Susan Marinuk. Now, it has been broken into 10 segments and posted to YouTube.posted 2/27/08"

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 2

Today we will see a major turning point in the life of Martin Luther. Well on his way to becoming a lawyer, Luther's circumstances become dire. Through the loss of friends and a terrible thunderstorm, Luther dedicates his life to God and the monastery.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 1

On the first day of Luther we will learn about Luther's childhood as an altar boy in the Catholic church, as well as his experience during father/son bonding time as a copper smelter. Some dad's take their sons fishing, but not Luther's dad. Who has time for fishing when you are already having a blast working with melted copper?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Twelve Days of Luther

About two years ago my wife and I rented the movie Luther starring Joseph Fiennes. While Mr. Fiennes looked nothing like the reformer, the movie in and of itself was rather interesting. Below is a clip from the famous "Diet of Worms" scene:

I think they may have broken the intensity knob on that one...

Over the next twelve days I will be hosting a video based on the life of Martin Luther and the history behind the start of the Reformation. The videos are straight from YouTube, and are taken from the PBS special Martin Luther. You can buy the DVD here.

Oh, and as a special treat, the documentary is narrated by this guy:

On that note, I will now end the introductory post to the Twelve Days of Luther.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mohler on America's Religious Landscape

This is a very enlightening read. Here is an excerpt from the article:

More than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion -- or no religion at all. If change in affiliation from one type of Protestantism to another is included, roughly 44% of adults have either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith, or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether.

The first wave of media reports pointed to this section of the report, while pointing to the larger issue of religious diversity and the growth of "nothing in particular" as a response. The "switching" phenomenon was a leading focus of the report summary, with Pew researchers arguing that "religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid."

What are we to make of this? The report is a credible and extensive review of the American religious landscape. Taken as a whole, the data point to big changes on the horizon. The loss of a Protestant majority will lead to further adjustments in the cultural worldview. Clearly, America is more of a mission field than ever before.

Read the entire article by Dr. Mohler here.