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Archive | Culture

For Beauty and Glory

Why do I love the way that Vermeer painted yellow? Can I describe the joy produced by concentric circles on an Art Deco water pitcher? What attracts people to spend thousands of dollars on an Eames designed Herman Miller chair? Why does the Chrysler Building’s crown make me smile? What accounts for the sensation produced by the visual elegance and dramatic displays in a Bierstadt painting of Yellowstone or a photograph of Yosemite by Ansel Adams? Why do lines on a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air produce happiness?

There are so many beautiful things in this world.

You may believe the answer to these experiences of joy and satisfaction are the product of an un-sanctified worldly-mindedness. You may call for the repentance of one who places value on such earthly things. But what if enjoyment of beautiful things is part of our sanctification as believers? What if the appreciation of beauty, design, and craftsmanship is a reflection of something heavenly, and in itself is a reflection of God’s character?

Browse Worthy: In the Trenches of the Cultural War

Ashers’ Daniel McArthur Speaks Outside Court

A bakery in Northern Ireland owned by a Christian family has been sued by homosexuals for refusing to bake a cake with Bert & Ernie on it promoting gay marriage. Listen to the faithful testimony of the MacArthurs, members of the congregation where fellow blogger Warren Peel is the pastor. You can read more about the case here and Pastor Peel’s thoughts about this subject here.

Yet Another Planned Parenthood Video

Watch more footage on how Planned Parenthood deceives as it deals in the murder of the unborn and the selling of body parts. Two of the people from the Center for Medical Progress who made the videos have been sued by Planned Parenthood and indicted by a grand jury in Texas.

Counseling Wives of Addicts

I listened this week to an excellent and compassionate podcast by the folks at Mortification of Spin on pornography addiction. They interviewed Ellen Dykas of Harvest USA, and her counsel combined with that of the hosts offers a great deal of wisdom in a short amount of time on handling issues of pornography, adultery, and care for victims.

Sex, Sin, & Salvation

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary are hosting a conference April […]

Satan’s Awful Idea (Free PDF Book Version)

Forgive my shameless plug, but I’d like to make my book (in PDF form) available for free.

For those who would like to think further about Satan’s fall and God’s peculiar response to the kingdom of darkness (from a distinctly Reformed perspective), I’d encourage you to consider this book.

Here are some questions that emerge and seek to be answered in this work:

What could possibly convince angels to follow Satan in his mutinous designs?  Would a mere expression of pride somehow persuade?
1 John 3:8b says, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”  That is an incredible statement.  What are these works?  And how did Christ destroy them?
Why is sin ironic?  Why does it purchase the opposite of what it promises?
Did Satan know that the cross would undue him?  Did he foresee its effects?
Knowing what terrible things would come to pass, why did God create the angel we now know as Satan?
When were the elect angels confirmed in holiness?

Many other questions are raised and explored.  So if your interest is at all piqued, I’d encourage you to give it a look.  Merely click the image for the PDF.  Or you can download it here.

Do share […]

The Friendship Test

Is your loyalty as a friend being put to the test?  It might be, publicly, and you might have no idea it’s happening.  It could be happening right now as you read this!  Perhaps you’ve seen something like this in your Facebook feed, posted by one of your friends:  “I’m tired of people just pretending to be my friend.  So I’m going to see who among all my so-called ‘friends’ on Facebook really is one.  Whoever cares enough to take a few extra seconds – seriously, how hard is that?! – to read this ENTIRE post, please copy the last line and post it on your page.  Then, I’ll “like” it and know that your friendship actually means something.  Everyone else I’m just going to unfriend. I’ll leave this up long enough for my real friends to notice and to make themselves known.  You have one day.  Go.”  

3GT Episode 9: Trump Card

Not going to lie. We haven’t been very consistent with our release schedule. But as with all New Year’s resolutions, we’re ready to commit ourselves afresh to 2016. Two episodes a month!  Hold us to it!

In this latest episode, we chomp into MacArthur’s message on the wise men, touch upon Trump’s bold immigration proposals and explore some potentially significant changes in Barry’s life. And it’s all set to a new, jazzy groove. Listen in to hear more.

Just go to www.3GT.FM

Or Download here.

A Critique Of Tim Keller’s Comments About Homosexuality

In full disclosure, the video I’m about to link occurred many years ago.  I believe it was 2008.  But in that video we have Tim Keller being interviewed by David Eisenbach.  In the noted section, Keller is asked a question about homosexuality.

Now what is concerning to me is not only his answer, but the apparent influence it has had on some people in my circle of acquaintance.  I’ve heard some parrot Keller on this point.  Naturally, this had led to a discussion.

In what is to follow, I’ve pasted a letter I’ve sent to one such friend.  It details my thoughts about Tim Keller’s response.  Given the importance of maintaining anonymity, I’ve changed some details and the name and have left out certain parts.

One more matter.  Tim Keller’s view of homosexuality is not in question.  He does not approve of homosexuality.  This is plain from several sources.  But if I could direct readers to merely one, I would point to his review of Matthew Vines’ book here.

With that said, here is the video.  After that, my letter.

 

————————————-

James,

After reflecting on the matter of Tim Keller’s answer to Professor Eisenbach further, having listened carefully to the video again, I am very concerned. There […]

In This Year of Our Lord

If you have never read Vermont Royster’s classic Christmas Eve editorial In Hoc Anno Domini in The Wall Street Journal, do yourself the favor of reading it tomorrow when it is republished. It has appeared annually since it was composed in 1949. Or, you can read it here today. In it, he sets forth one key implication Christ for men and nations. The Wall Street Journal has long-prided itself on reporting the news so that readers immediately understand what today’s news means for the future; In Hoc Anno Domini is an editorial example of the same. Royster editorialized on the influence of Christ in a unique way. He caused readers to consider the historical news of the incarnation (though he did not explicitly articulate it as such) and its influence on their place in history present and future. No wonder the article resonates enduringly.

According to Royster’s biography, “most newspapers [in the late 1949] ran Christmas editorials that were messages of glad tidings, about peace and joy and the babe in the manger.” Years later, Royster noted,

But I did not see the world that way that year. There was a blockade in Berlin, and war clouds were again scudding across the map of Europe. There were the first […]

The Trans Quest

Used to be that the only “trannies” we heard of were transvestites, and then only occasionally. But no more. The trans prefix must be the most popular one on the market today, as new words are flying off the shelf at an increasing rate. It was not that long ago that Bruce Jenner aka Caitlyn Jenner made transsexual appear on every magazine cover in the checkout lane at the grocery store. But that seems so yesterday now. For that news was quickly followed by Rachel Dozelal, the black white woman, coming out as transracial. Now the latest trans-fad is transageism, as the news tells us of a 52 year-old man who believes his true identity is that of a six year-old girl. He has abandoned his wife and seven children, and has even been “adopted” by willing “parents” to make his life complete now.

If a decade ago a Bork said we were “slouching toward Gomorrah,” today let a York say we are speeding toward it.

For those who look at this world from a Biblical perspective, seeing the sin and folly of these people and their movements is not difficult. Yet perhaps understanding their motivation to do what seems so unnatural would be helpful […]

D. A. Carson, Hebrews 7:12 and Christmas Trees

R.C Sproul had this to say about D.A. Carson,

“The leading and finest NT scholar on this planet is… Dr. D.A. Carson.”  (You can hear the quote here.)

These are no small words.  It is an incredible endorsement.  While my own opinion is like a fleck of sand in comparison to that of R.C. Sproul, I cannot help but agree.  Carson keeps his finger on the text of Scripture like few others.

In a recent series of lectures (the 2013 TEDS Lecture Series), Carson works his way through the book of Hebrews, hitting the high points of the epistle.  Now of particular interest, and it is that which I’d like to draw your attention, is the fourth lecture.  Dr. Carson’s handling of the seventh chapter of Hebrews will no doubt hit a reformed nerve.  His exegetical conclusions aren’t classically Reformed.  So let that be clear.  Discernment should be exercised (as always).

However, Carson here can and ought to serve as an excellent exegetical sparring partner.  Not only in general, but in particular.  Here I am thinking of those who hold certain convictions about Christmas and the regulative principle of worship.

One grouping of questions that deserves to be considered is the role of Hebrews 7:12 […]