Boasting Bad – James 4.13-17

Missing A Trick?

In my lifetime I have definitely noticed a difference in the way Christians talk. I was shocked as a late teenager to hear Christian friends rubbing their hands with hollow excitement at the prospect of going to see Bruce Springsteen – look, I like ‘the Boss’ too (at least the throaty relaxed easy-listening parts): but if they believed this was the ultimate goal in life, I honestly felt it was they who were missing out. What was lacking in their conversation in those days was any mention at all of God in all their talk. I’m pleased to report that some of them, at least, have remedied their ways!

It used to be reasonably common to hear Christians say “D.V.”. If it balked at the possibility of actually naming the Lord, and if it was a little highbrow assuming a working knowledge of Latin, at least there as passing nod to God and His providential rule. Sadly, even then, most only mentioned God when dressed up in Sunday best. For the most part the Name was left out of the talk.

The God with No Name?

James 4.13-17, however, warns us that if God should always be uppermost in our thoughts, […]



Every Testimony is Different and Every One is the Same

Every testimony of God’s saving grace in the life of a person is the same, and every one is different. That is what we tell young people who are preparing to make their public profession of faith in the church and become communicant members.

This week, I plan to give my students the testimony of my grandfather, Paul Faris, written below as an example. It’s good for them to see that a man who was born over 100 years ago and who is now with the Lord also has a story that is just like theirs. None of them have served as farm hands. They have not had horses and chickens as witnesses to their prayers. But, they will recognize the story as their own. He was convicted of his sin and turned to Jesus through the ministry of God’s word and specific people. He dealt with the same guilt and other internal struggles which with they wrestle. He found life in Jesus just as they have.

They live in a different generation, but they have the same covenant Lord. His promise stands across all generations: “They will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Revelation […]


3GT Episode 39: The Lord’s Presence in His Supper

Aaron wants to know. He quotes from the Westminster Confession of Faith and (after being warned about trespassing on Kyle’s other podcast) asks, “How is Christ present in communion?” After defining the four different views and giving Aaron an A on his test of them, a vigorous discussion on Christ’s human nature ensues. Where is his physical body now? How do we “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood” as Jesus said in John 6:53? How do we “really and indeed” feed upon him as the Confession says? The guys chew upon this perplexing mystery, and offer up a slice of the Reformed answer to it!

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/3gt-episode-39.mp3

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References Cited

Keith Mathison, Given for You: Reclaiming Calvin’s Doctrine of the Lord’s Supper

Peter Martyr Vermigli, The Oxford Treatise and Disputation

Martin Chemnitz, The Two Natures in Christ

Thomas Houston, The Lord’s Supper: Its Nature, Ends, and Obligations

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 


The Age of Accountability?

Is there an “age of accountability” for children? No, I do not believe so.

The term “age of accountability” has become a theological term in many circles.  According to Theopedia, it is defined to be “that time in the development of a person when he or she can and invariably does sin against God and thus stands in the need of personal redemption through Jesus Christ.” Often contained in this teaching is that there is a certain age, often deemed to be 12 years old though some might make it younger, before which a child either does not sin or at least is not held accountable for his sins before God.

So typically, the doctrine of the age of accountability includes the teaching that the child will not be judged guilty before God. In other words, if the child dies prior to this age, he receives the gift of eternal life (i.e., he goes to heaven). John MacArthur, who states that this doctrine is not clearly identified in Scripture, still concludes without qualification that for any child dying at a young age “that up until that point of real saving faith, God in His mercy, would save that child.”

So what should we think about children, […]


Missing Words

I am a bit of a word geek. I have a passing interest in where words and phrases come from. A few years ago I had a “Forgotten English” desk calendar which had a different word each day—such glorious terms as dringle (to waste time in a lazy, lingering manner), eargh (superstitiously afraid—from which we get eerie), and searcher (a civil officer employed in Glasgow to apprehend idlers in the streets during the time of public worship on Sunday).

Maybe if towns employed a few searchers to round up the dringlers on a Sabbath morning we won’t suffer from as much eargh. But fair enough, words drop out of usage and we no longer need to be familiar with them—and new words and terminology need to be defined.

In 2008 Oxford University Press, in updating their Junior dictionary, removed words like ‘bishop’, ‘chapel’, ‘goldfish’, ‘liquorice’, ‘buttercup’, and ‘heather’ and replaced them with words like ‘blog’, ‘mp3 player’, ‘cut and paste’ and ‘celebrity’.

But it struck me as interesting what has largely been dropped from the Junior Dictionary—words to do with rural life and the countryside, words to do with royalty and empire (this is the UK version after all), and more crucially as far as I’m concerned, words to […]


Fidget Spinners, the Gospel and School Assembly

I’ve just come home from taking the assembly at our local primary school and it struck me that the American readers of our blog in particular might be interested – if not downright astonished – to hear something about it. Even UK readers – indeed, even some Northern Irish readers – might be encouraged by the liberty and opportunity that exists for sharing the gospel in a state school in Northern Ireland. Also, there aren’t a lot of good resources for Pastors who take assemblies, so perhaps something I’ve done will help spark off other ideas.

Mossley Primary School has a deeply committed and evangelical headmaster and vice principal, not to mention a majority of Christian members of staff. The school is not a Christian school, but it has the Bible on its crest, and has always given a high place to the Word of God. Parents of prospective pupils are told on open nights that while academic work is important, character is even more important, and that the character traits the school seeks to teach are the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. The headmaster will tell the parents that each child is unique and precious because he […]


Moms Have Feelings Too

My human tornado of a daughter, Emory, is back home from Europe. Between telling us of her trip and preparing to leave at the end of the month to live with our oldest daughter for the summer, she had time to write this guest post, which is a nice follow-up both to Mother’s Day and this recent article.

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Moms have feelings too. But I’m convinced that we all, especially young people, don’t act like they do quite often enough.

Of course, I blame moms everywhere for this failing.

It starts with pregnancy and birth. Nine months of watching your body stretch, your feet swell, your veins bulge, your muscles ache, and a host of other difficulties that I, having never been a mother, can only imagine. As if that wasn’t enough, pregnancy is followed by hours if not days of labor. Since my only experience with labor is watching all six seasons of Call the Midwife, I cannot speak directly to this process. But I do know that it is pretty hard. And it hurts.

So we are born and immediately fall down and thank our moms for the tremendous sacrifices they made to bring us into this world. Nope. Not even close. We […]


A Delicious Assortment of Really Interesting Audio (Podcasts are like a box of chocolates!)

What Is Technology Doing To Us?

Privacy And Security

Forbidden Knowledge

Sam Harris is one of America’s leading atheists, and he hosts a very popular podcast called Waking Up.  I almost always find his interviews interesting.  Two recent episodes are especially exceptional.  Naturally the titles will tell you something about the subject matter of each, but do yourself a favor and surprise yourself.  Just click and start listening.  You will be glad you did.

History on Fire: Featuring Dan Carlin

Here is a conversation between two avid historians that interested me greatly.  Note especially their struggle with judging cultural norms and practices in history.

The Reformation: Return to Truth or Tragic Mistake?

One of the better discussions on Unbelievable.  James White converses with Roman Catholic apologist, Peter D Williams.  The level of transparency and degree of communication is what makes this conversation so good.

Are Christians Free To Express Their Faith?

If you haven’t heard Joe Boot before, give this episode a listen.  I just love his clear, strong Christian voice on matters cultural.

 


3GT Episode 38: Tattoo Taboos

Between recording planned episodes, a conversation started between the Three Guys Theologizing, of all things, tattoos. So they pushed the record button and found out one of us has tattoos! And not just any tattoos, but ones with biblical language and Reformed mottoes!

So join this invigorating and humorous discussion that explores such things as Leviticus 19:28, the adiaphora, and cultural influences. And just be glad we do not have pictures of the Guy with winged creatures climbing up his rib cage!

Many thanks to this week’s sponsor – TGT (wink, wink)!

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/3gt-episode-38a.mp3

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