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Month: November 2010

The State of Discipleship in the Evangelical world

Discipleship is under attack by those who dismiss doctrine as unimportant, and by those who believe that it ends with a certain level of progress in the Christian life. Is discipleship unimportant today? Does one ever outgrow the need for discipleship? These questions are relevant because people believe that discipleship seemingly ends when one reaches a certain level of maturity in Christ. If discipleship ends when one progresses to a certain level of maturity then there is no more need to learn because one has become God. It is precisely this attitude that saps the Church of Jesus Christ from any form of credibility outside the Church today. The other concern related to discipleship is the expressed desire of some to have a conversation about how to redesign the Church at the expense of doctrine. How one defines knowledge demonstrates their view of what discipleship is. The popular approach to knowledge among evangelicals suggests that one never has anything to learn “after” believers “arrive” at a certain place in he/she walk with Christ. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord and fools despise wisdom and correction.” No one ever achieves perfect knowledge as every believer even the most “mature” believer only knows in part not in whole. Ultimately only God knows everything, because He knows every hair on every head of every person...

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Review of Life of Luther

The Life of Luther is a historic and comprehensive biography of one of the Protestant Reformations most influential leaders, Martin Luther. In this book by Doctor Barnas Sears originally published in 1850, Luther principle stand on biblical authority, and his work as an educator and church leader are presented. From childhood to being educated in the Scripture, as well as the rest of his life- this book seeks to draw a personal and historical perspective on the life of Martin Luther. If you’re interested in learning more about Martin Luther pick up this book- it will help you to understand the events that shaped the Protestant Reformation. If you like to read biographies and moving stories- there are few more moving than that of Martin Luther in church history. I believe you’ll find reading this book to be very informative, but challenging in that Luther’s life will confront you with a life lived living for and proclaiming the glory of God in Christ. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the New Leaf Press book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in...

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Review of Living in Two Kingdoms

David VanDrunen is Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster Seminary California, an ordained minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and a licensed attorney. Dr. VanDrunen book Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture is a helpful treatment on the often controversial issue of how Christians interact with culture. Dr. VanDrunen argument for the two kingdoms is thoroughly grounded in the Scriptures. The fact that VanDrunen’s argument is thoroughly grounded in Scripture helps the reader as he moves from the Old Testament to the New Testament not just examining various passages but engaging the Scriptures with solid explanation of the passages he considers relevant to his argument for the two kingdoms. The two kingdoms doctrine affirms that God had made all things, that sin corrupts all aspects of life, that Christians should be active in human culture, that all lawful cultural vocations are honorable, that all people are accountable to God in every activity, and that Christians should seek to live out the implications of their faith in their daily vocations. This book is a helpful treatment on the topic of Christianity and culture. In two hundred and five pages, VanDrunen clarifies why he wrote the book, why the topic of Christianity and culture is so important, and presents his arguments for the two kingdoms in a biblically faithful...

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Review of Entrusted with the Gospel Pastoral Expositions of 2nd Timothy

Entrusted with the Gospel: Pastoral Expositions of 2nd Timothy is a collection of six sermons from the six plenary sessions of the 2009 Gospel Coalition Conference. The plenary speakers at the conference were John Piper, Philip Ryken, Mark Driscoll, K. Edward Copeland, Bryan Chapell and J. Ligon Duncan.  These sermons are exemplary in that they are thoroughly grounded in the Bible are Christ-Centered in their focus and Gospel-focused in their application. These sermons will confront you, rebuke you, exhort you, and cause you to worship and praise the God of all grace. Having attended churches that were program driven rather than Gospel-Driven- words cannot even express how much I appreciate the Gospel Coalition and their work. This book is just a reflection of their overall work. Through blogs, conferences, audio/video and more, the Gospel Coalition seeks to be thoroughly grounded in, by and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words the Gospel is not just a slogan for the Gospel Coalition- it is something that this ministry and movement seeks to think about, breathe, live under and proclaim to the entire world. This book will challenge you in several ways. First it will challenge you to grow in personal holiness. These messages are delivered by Pastors and Professors who love Jesus and the Church. These are men who have committed their lives to the task of eating,...

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The Difference Grace Makes

Paul in chapter 1 of Ephesians opens with an introduction and blessing (vv.1-14) where he expresses the main themes of the letter: Christ has reconciled all of creation and has united the Church to Himself. In Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul gives his prayer of thanksgiving. Paul prays here that the church will gain deep insight into the Lord’s powerful working and rich gifts in Christ. The overarching theme in Ephesians 2:1-10 is that God lavishes his grace on Christians through his saving initiative. Ephesians two opens with a brief sub-section of three verses which describe man’s hopelessness and helplessness without Christ. The world often thinks that God helps those who help themselves; however Paul in this section makes the opposite point- God helps those who are helpless. Paul describes the human condition in verse one of Ephesians 2. He teaches that “you were dead” which reflects the fact that human beings as sons and daughters of Adam enter the world spiritually dead. Men and women have no inclination or responsiveness towards God and no ability to please Him. Paul furthers this argument when he mentions trespasses and sins. Transgressions are violations of divine commandments while sins are offenses against God in thought, word and deed. The words prince and spirit in Ephesians 2:2 refer to Satan as he dominates his human subjects called sons of disobedience. Sons of disobedience refer...

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