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Archive for the ‘Calvinism’ Category

Best Links of the Week

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The Shire - Lord of the Rings Fake Travel Poster

Great fake travel posters made by artist Ali Xenos.  There are some great ones of Rivendell, Tatooine, Dagobah, and Winterfell.

Kevin DeYoung on the New-Calvinism

‘Gravity’ Spinoff: Watch the Other Side of Sandra Bullock’s Distress Call – Jonas Cuaron’s seven-minute companion short, filmed in Greenland and featuring Bullock’s voice

Brutal personal piece on about one young man’s battle with our present culture of death – “I Lost My Daughter to the Culture of Death

Modalimy – Co-parenting for those that want children but not a relationship or marriage.  You really cannot make this stuff up.

Nelson Mandela:  A Candid Assessment” – from Catholic site Crisis Magazine

Interesting piece from personal finance blog Mr. Money Mustache entitled, “Get Rich With:  The Position of Strength.”  Makes some salient points.

Woofmaker.com – just click on it, especially if you are a Home Alone fan.

Interesting piece in the Atlantic dealing with Clickbait and UpWorthy’s game changing headlines

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1E-9Z8sFyRs#t=303

Best Links of the Week

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The World as 100 People

The World if There Were Only 100 People

Fight Club sequel plot revealed

Great article by J. Budziszewski entitled, “Why Hooking Up is Letting You Down

All_Location-of-all-potential-trafficking-cases-final

Article from the Polaris Project on “Human Trafficking Trends in the United States

Great long-form piece from Sports Illustrated entitled, “The Book of Tebow

Solid article from Kevin DeYoung entitled, “Seven Thoughts on Pastors Writing Books

Written by Michael Graham

December 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Best Links of the Week

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Dealing With Difficult People:  Narcissists.  The best article I’ve read this year.

IBM computer to play against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.  Should be another interesting man vs. machine conflict.

Doug Wilson piece entitled “Calvinism, Eschatology, and the New Media

Andy Crouch, “Ten Most Significant Trends of Last Decade

A number of people in California recently won $150 by correctly guessing 4 of the 6 numbers of the California Lottery.  The winning numbers were:  4, 8, 15, 25, 47, 42

Apparently the Catholic Church is doing a realty series on exorcism, but I heard this was news to the Vatican.

New US $100 bills to have 3-D technology.

AIG is recapitalizing.  Unbelievable… have any lessons been learned?

Banks repossess over a million homes in 2010.  Also, foreclosures rising.

Drunk Scientists accidentally pour wine on semiconductors and make some scientific discovery.

WSJ article entitled “Bye-Bye PCs and Laptops

The Catholic Church and science.  Personally, I am a huge fan of science and think there is a fair degree of agreement between science and Christianity, far greater than many acknowledge.

Green blob from Hubble Space Telescope.

Major Dick Winters passed away earlier this month.  Thankful for this man and countless anonymous men just like him.

China’s new stealth fighter.

Haitian amputee soccer.

Is the Black Church Dead?

The precipitating event was an essay posted last February on the Huffington Post by Eddie Glaude, Jr., a young African-American religion professor at Princeton who gave his column the eye-catching title, “The Black Church Is Dead,” and continued that with an equally arresting lead:

“Of course, many African-Americans still go to church,” Glaude began, noting surveys that track the higher-than-average religiosity of American blacks. “But the idea of this venerable institution as central to black life and as a repository for the social and moral conscience of the nation has all but disappeared,” he said.

Best Links of the Week

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The Economist has a brief piece on the New Calvinism.  Not the best piece of journalism I’ve seen from The Economist but intriguing that they would even think it was newsworthy.

Owner of Segway dies driving Segway off cliff in accident.

Taxpayers Receipt

Apparently, an SEC report says that the “flash crash” of 5/6/10 was the result of trading software gone awry.

Some pretty incredible wallpaper from Alpinist.

Taliban beware, U.S. to have self-aiming sniper rifles next year.  I have got to say this is some pretty cool technology, I just hope it stays in the right hands.

Fascinating story of a guy who has lived for three years exclusively on paid medical studies.

Best Links of the Week

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Kevin DeYoung has a brief writeup of Keswick Theology (from Andy Naselli).  This is the “let go and let God” theology and the divorcing of salvation from Lordship (ie.  I got saved when I was ______ old and I accepted God as Lord/re-dedicated when I was ________ old).  This kind of language was par for the course in my Dispensational upbringing and its view of sanctification is quite problematic.  The writeup has a nice brief history and summary of Keswick theology.

Avoiding Missional Idolatries.  Some lucid and thoughtful analysis of some pitfalls of missional church thinking.

The problem of groundwood paper vs. archival quality paper in modern book publishing.

Technology is re-wiring our brains.  I have felt the pinch of technology on myself.  Compulsive e-mail checking and always being on the grid actually stinks.  In the same vein is this article:  “Does the Internet Make us Dumber?

Some thoughtful analysis of Two Kingdom Theology and Neo-Calvinism.

The culture of narcissism among millennials.

Our National Debt is about to overtake our GDP.

Rahm Emmanuel and Joe Biden supersoaker fight on the White House lawn (you can’t make this stuff up).

If you don’t know what UVB-76 is, you may find this wikipedia article interesting.  It ceased broadcasting this week.

Apparently the financier of the much-maligned Gaza bound Flotilla is also the same financier of the proposed Ground Zero Mosque.

D-Day Pictures.

Obama’s trifecta of policy failure.

What in the world does “Spiritual But Not Religious” mean?

Video of the expansion of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam over time.  Its a bit reductionistic, but worth a watch.

Finance Bubble Predictor.

Adidas World Cup Commercial = Star Wars Cantina Scene + David Beckham + Snoop Dogg + Lightsabre = Awesome

Two videos this week:  Neat time lapse video, shot .1fps on motion track, and set to some Jonsi:

Best Links of the Week

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Apparently Nancy Pelosi makes all of her public policy decisions based on “The Word.”  One of my pet peeves is politicians isogeting Scripture, it is almost sure to be a disaster.  I am wondering what part of the “The Word” encourages abortion.  Do yourself a favor and watch the incoherent trainwreck that was her speech.

Interesting article on the massive contraction of the U.S. Money Supply.

David Byrne, of Talking Heads fame, is suing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for unauthorized use of his music.

Apparently Michelangelo sketched a human brain into the head of God in the Sistene Chapel.

On Monks and Capitalism.

Some interesting analysis of the sociology of Facebook.

For all you GUT folks:  Neutrinos have mass.

Hillary Clinton thinks ‘the rich aren’t paying their fair share’ of taxes.  I guess $.40 on the dollar isn’t enough for the sticky fingers of Uncle Sam.

Some in-depth analysis of the “New Calvinism.”  Don’t agree with all the conclusions from the article, but a worthwhile read.  On a sidenote, people need to more properly delineate the terms “Neo-Calvinism” and “new calvinism.”  Neo-Calvinism is Dutch Reformed thinking from mainly Abraham Kuyper and also Herman Bavinck.  New Calvinism is a term associated with the surging sub-group of Reformed Evangelicals who have some small distinctives from the traditional arc of Calvinists.

Burk Parsons also offers some thoughts on the New Calvinism.

I am so glad I don’t have to do this for salvation and blessing.

All you caffeine addicts… recent science shows your morning coffee doesn’t give you any real perk, rather it merely gets you to your baseline productivity.  On a sidenote, why do so many evangelical ministers seem to be okay (and some even proud) of their coffee/caffeine addiction?  Am I the only one that thinks this is odd?

Here is a pretty incredible action (and quite violent) sequence from a 1992 John Woo movie entitled Hard Boiled. Woo is an auteur of the fight scene:

Nietzsche vs. Christianity: Part 2

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This lecture is an explanation of the Protestant Christian worldview from Genesis to Revelation.  Audio is available here.

I.  Creation

A.  Ex Nihilo

B.  Out of God’s pleasure

C.  Creation was good

D.  Man made in image of God: male and female

E.  Cultural Mandate

F.  The task given Adam was to make the whole Earth like Eden by:

“numerically and geographically expand God’s image over the face of the

entire Earth”

  1. Covenant of Works (Hosea 6:7)
    1. Adam is Federal Head (Rom. 5:12-21)
    2. Blessings for obedience; curses for disobedience

a.  Blessing – Life

b.  Curse – Death

c.  Divine benevolence, Human loyalty

II.  Fall

  1. Serpent tempts Eve, questions God’s goodness
  2. Adam was there and doesn’t say anything
  3. Curse:
    1. All humanity fell in the Fall because of Adam’s representative nature
    2. All creation fell and feels the frustrating affects of the fall
    3. Proto-Euangelion – Gen. 3:15-20
  4. Seed of the woman vs. Seed of the Serpent

Abel                 Cain

Seth

Enoch               Enoch

Lamech            Lamech

Noah

Shem/Japheth   Ham

Abraham

Isaac                Ishmael

Jacob               Esau

III. Redemption

A.  Covenant of Grace

1.  Noah – establishes stability on the Earth (Gen. 6, 9)

-Baptism:  deliverance from waters of judgment

2.  Abraham – establishes promised offspring who will bless all nations                  (Gen. 12:1-3; 15; 17), (Gal. 3:16)

3.  Moses – establishes law and order above natural law (Ex. 19-24)

-“I will be your God and you will be my people”

4.  David – establishes eternal king/throne (Psalm 89)

5.  Christ – fulfillment of the covenant of grace (Jer. 31; Ezek. 36/37)

B.  Historical Summary

Creation, Fall, Expulsion, Cain/Able, Flood, Babel, Shem

Abraham moves, Abraham/Lot, Abraham/Melchizedek, Abraham Covenant, Abraham buys land in Canaan/Eden

Isaac, Jacob/Esau, Jacob/Israel, 12 Sons, Joseph into Captivity, Famine

400 Year Enslavement/Exile, Moses/Pharaoh, Passover, Egypt to Sinai

Sinai, Law at Sinai – Tabernacle, Priesthood, Purification, Yom Kippur, Feasts:  (Sabbath, Passover, Sabbatical year/Jubilee, Weeks, Tabernacles)

Wilderness Wanderings, Encampment at Canaan, Canaan Conquest/Joshua, Jericho vs. Ai, Land Divided

Judges-Ruth – ‘Everyone did what was right in his own eyes’ (Judges 17:6)

Eli, Samuel, Rejection of YHWH as king, Saul

David – covenant – line/throne, unification, conquest (iron), Bathsheba

Solomon – Temple, wealth/wisdom, Phoenicians, foreign wives/gods

Divided Kingdom – Rehoboam (S – Judah), Jeroboam (N – Israel/Ephraim)

North – Babsha, Omri, Jehu, Ahab/Jez/Baal vs. Elijah, Jehu, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II, 3 kings –  Menaham, Pekahiah, Pehah, Hoshea… Assyria/exile

South – Jehoshaphat, Uzziah, Hezekiah, Manassah, Josiah – Amon/Jeremiah, Jerusalem Sacked – 586

Cyrus’ Decree, Return from Exile, 2nd Temple/Wall (Ezra-Nehemiah),

Late Pre-exilic

-Nahum – God’s wrath on Nineveh

-Zephaniah – The Day of the Lord

-Habakkuk – Resolving questions about God’s justice

-Joel – Day of the Lord is both near AND future

-Lamentations – God as source of both good and hard providence

-Obadiah – pride goes before a fall

Exilic

-Ezekiel – Judgment and restoration of Judah

-Daniel – God’s rule and care for his people

Post-Exilic

-Haggai – setting priorities

-Zechariah – God’s restoration of zion

-Malachi – Honoring God

400 years of silence

C.  Prefigurations

1.  Melchizedek

2.  Angel

3.  Manna

4.  Rock

5.  Tabernacle

6.  3 fold office:  Prophet/Priest/King

D.  Jesus

1.  Virgin birth

2.  Hypostatic Union – God/man

3.  Prophet/Priest/King

4.  Law – civil/ceremonial/civil

5.  Penal Substitution – great exchange – my sin for his righteousness

-New Record

-New Heart

-New World

6.  Death/Resurrection

7.  Ascension

8.  Enthronement – Intercession

IV.  Consummation

1.  Redemption of all of creation

2.  Redemption of the church

3.  Inauguration/Continuation/Consummation

Best Creeds, Confessions and Catechisms of the Christian Church

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Trinity Shield from Athanasian Creed

Our faith is 2000 years old.  We have a long obedience in the same direction, affirming the same truths.  We are wise to be familiar with the many wonderful orthodox creeds, confessions, and catechisms of the Christian church.

Apostles Creed (~2nd century)

Nicene Creed (325)

Athanasian Creed (5th century)

Definition of the Council of Chalcedon (451)

The Canons of the Council of Orange (529)

London Baptist Confession (1689)

Westminster Standards:  Westminster Confession of Faith, Westminster Shorter Catechism, and Westminster Larger Catechism (1646)

Heidelberg Catechism (1563) – Note:  Kevin DeYoung has a book coming out on the HC next year entitled The Good News We Almost Forgot.  I would be surprised if it was not excellent.  CJ Mahaney says, “Doubtless this will be the finest book I will have ever read on the Heidelberg Catechism. It will certainly be the first.”

Belgic Confession (1618)

Canons of Dordt (1618)

Second Helvetic Confession (1536)

Genevan Catechism (1536)

The Thirty Nine Articles (Anglican, 1572) and Augsburg Confession (Lutheran) are not bad and worth familiarizing oneself.

Also of note is the Westminster Shorter Catechism for kids – the entire list of questions and answers can be found here for free.

Top 10 Books by John Piper

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Desiring God by John Piper

This list is what I think are the 10 best books that I have read from John Piper.  I haven’t read some of the more recent ones, but have heard good things about This Momentary Marriage (a book on marriage apparently).

1.  Desiring God [y, l, e, p, s]

This classic is what introduced me to a sovereign God and the doctrines of grace.  It also taught me that my pursuit of joy and my pursuit of God were one and the same pursuit.  If you cannot get through it or are intimidated by its size, try The Dangerous Duty of Delight, he essentially says the same things, just more concisely.

2.  Don’t Waste Your Life [y, l, e, p, s]

Quite simply this book needs to be read (and can be) by everyone.  The title says it all.  His passion for living a worthy life is infectious.

3.  Let the Nations Be Glad [y, l, e, p, s]

This is his book on missions.  It is excellent.  Reading this book is what compelled me to spend time overseas investing the Gospel into people.

4.  Brothers We are NOT Professionals [l, e, p, s]

Just as relevant in 2009 than it was in 2002.  I agree with my friend James W. that this book ought to be read by every seminarian before and after seminary.  Piper takes aim at the professionalization of the ministry.  We are not professionals, we are shepherds.

5.  The 5 Book Biography Set [y, l, e, p, s]

Each book has three or so vignette-length biographies.  They are all good and the link above takes you to DG’s Christmas sale.

6.  Finally Alive [l, e, p, s]

This book may prove to be one of Piper’s most important contributions.  The book concerns the rarely written on, doctrine of regeneration.  Definitely one of the best books of 2009.

7.  Battling Unbelief [y, l, e, p, s]

This book gives you tools to fight for your joy in Christ when you don’t feel it.  Also, I am told that, When I Don’t Desire God, and When the Darkness Will not Lift are both quite good and in the same vein.

8.  The Supremacy of God in Preaching [e, p, s]

One of the best books on preaching.  Period.

9.  Future Grace [l, e, p, s]

The superior pleasure of Christ and the hope of future grace are our tools in fighting against sin.

10.  God’s Passion for His Glory [y, l, e, p, s]

This books is Piper channeling Jonathan Edwards thoughts (which is much of what Piper has done his entire ministry… and that is a good thing).  We would be wise to listen to Edwards and his vision for a God who is passionate for His own glory.

Honorable Mentions:

What’s the Difference – book on Biblical manhood and womanhood.

Counted Righteous in Christ – book defending the doctrine of Christ’s imputed righteousness.  A critical doctrine and a solid book on the matter.

The Justification of God – rock solid exegesis of Romans 9.  If you have ever had questions about Romans 9, this book will answer them.

(c=children; y=young adult; l=lay leader; e=elder; p=pastor; s=scholar)

Top 10 Books on Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

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1754 Edition of Freedom of the Will. 255 years... still unanswered.

This subject can be one of the most difficult, confusing, and disconcerting theological discussions.  The books below (at various reading levels) bring clarity and cognitive rest to the matter.

1.  Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards  [e, p, s]

This is the most difficult read on the list but it is by far the best.  In my view, Edwards has accurately described blow-by-blow how divine sovereignty and human responsibility work by accurately describing all aspects.  This book has never been answered.  Every book on human freedom conveniently ignores this work.  If you get stuck, message me in the comments and I’ll email you a book review which includes a summary of his argumentation.

2.  The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Lorraine Boettner  [e, p, s]

3.  Institutes of Christian Religion by John Calvin  [e, p, s]

It bothers me how many “Calvinists” haven’t read the Institutes of Christian Religion.

4.  Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer  [y, l, e, p, s]

This book is the most accessible and has been helpful to many.  I disagree with its central thesis that the relationship between divine sovereignty and human responsibility is antinomy.  But most find this book to be the most helpful on the subject.  Also, Will Metzger’s, Tell the Truth and Mark Dever’s, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism are both excellent and in the same vein.

5.  Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther  [e, p, s]

Excellent book on how our will is bound.

6.  The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen  [e, p, s]

Excellent defense of the doctrine of limited atonement.  J.I. Packer’s introductory essay to this book is probably the best thing Packer has ever written.  That essay is helpful and worth the price of the book.  I refuse to talk to anyone about “Calvinism” until they have read that essay.  It can be read online here.

7.  Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul  [y, l, e, p, s]

Sproul outlines the doctrine of election cogently.  Also, Willing to Believe is solid.

8a.  Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper  [y, l, e, p, s]

Although not explicitly on the subject, Piper does a great job disarming the lie that the sovereignty of God in salvation destroys the impetus to evangelize.  Further and rightly, he makes the case that the sovereignty of God is the soil where fruitful evangelism grows.  If you want more on this, I have a paper defending this position theologically and from the history of missions (most of the big names in missions affirmed the doctrines of grace).

8b.  Finally Alive by John Piper  [y, l, e, p, s]

This is a much needed book on the doctrine of regeneration.  Piper explains clearly how regeneration precedes repentance and faith.  Critical.  In my view, this was one of the finest books of 2009.

9.  The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink  [y, l, e, p, s]

Classic book on the sovereignty of God.

10.  The Potter’s Freedom:  A Defense of the Reformation and the Rebuttal of Norman Geisler’s Choosen But Free by James White  [l, e, p, s]

White takes on Geisler and Molinism in a needed rebuttal of his Chosen But Free.

(c=children; y=young adult; l=lay leader; e=elder; p=pastor; s=scholar)

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