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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

From Death To Life - A Book Review - Part 1

Allen Nelson IV is a pastor at Perryville Second Baptist in Arkansas.
He recently had a book published entitled
From Death to Life; How Salvation Works.
Though not mentioned specifically in the book, my nephew Josh was one of the people who critiqued the book before it was complete.
I have been gifted a version of the book, but the review (which I plan to do in parts since I'm generally not a fast reader) is my own.

I'm going to try to give my thoughts as I read the book.

From Death to Life is corrective of a wrong understanding that many people have of salvation.  The wrong view is a decision based view that doesn't produce a transformation.
The author uses a bit of imagination of a Biblical event in Chapter 1 (which I tend to be very nervous about), but he rightfully puts an emphasis on Scriptural authority in the rest of the chapter.

As I read chapter 2, he points out how churches attempt to get people into the church by something other than the Gospel.  I've seen some of the kinds of things he's talking about firsthand.
I love some of the colorful choice of words he uses.
"The beautiful diamond of the gospel has been wrapped in toilet paper in the ridiculous attempt to make it more enticing." - Allen Nelson IV
He further continues on in chapter 2 about people being lulled into false assurance and professions.
Yes, I've made it through 2 chapters today.

I hope to continue the book and add more parts to my review, but I may do other posts between segments.
You can find the book and see other reviews HERE.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wake Up Ireland!

On May 25, Ireland is going to have a vote that will either mean the extermination of a lot of little human lives, or it will mean that the taking of the lives of babies will still be illegal and they will be treated as precious.
Yes, Ireland is one of the places in the world where the little human lives growing in the womb are actually treated as what they are...humans that have equal value to the mother.
Both lives should be treated equal.
Now some people are trying to dehumanize the children and to do away with the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution.

America has murdered millions of her children because of the selfishness of those who refuse to behave as loving mothers and fathers should...desiring to nurture and protect their children and grandchildren (in cases where grandparents are involved in pushing for abortion) no matter how the child was conceived or the disability of the child or what inconvenience the child may bring.

In America, they dehumanize the child and pretend that the separate human life that God is creating in the womb is only an object less than human and is mere property and a part of the woman's body (which is a lie-  as the child has his or her own DNA and develops his or her own heart beat and little fingers and toes and brain, etc. which a non-human never will).
People act like the mother is a slave for being with child and then they treat the baby as worse than a slave by destroying  his or her life and denying the growing baby the love and life support the child was meant to have a right to.

Some think that when you mention God in the matter of abortion that you've lost the argument, but the truth is quite the opposite.
Stealing, murder, lying, rape, and all manner of terrible acts are known to be wrong because God exists and is the Creator of all life and His character is the standard.
The Lord has the perfect right over every single person and thing that exists though people rebel and refuse to acknowledge Him.
When people suppress the truth in unrighteousness, then God gives people over to depravity and that only means that things will get worse.

The downward spiral and the culture of death will go further and further downhill. 
People are killed for being disabled or even for not being the gender preferred. 
The elderly are killed and people are allowed to have others help them kill themselves, or hospitals and courts determine whose life is worthy.
Experiments can be done to embryos or other people who are not deemed worthy.
These types of things and more have happened in various places (many of them in the U.S.).
This is where dehumanization leads.

Christians, please pray for Ireland, and please do what you can to encourage your Irish friends to vote no and to save the 8th.

Wake up, Ireland, and don't fall into the degradation of guilt of other nations!

Finding Forgiveness in Christ..

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thoughts On Looking For A Pastor

There are so many things to think about when considering pastors and churches.

I want a man (yes, that is a Biblical requirement for an elder) that holds to the Gospel of Scripture, loves God, holds to the 5 Solas, the Biblical doctrines of grace, doesn't hold to heresy, doesn't permit women to teach or exercise authority in the church, holds to believers' baptism,  and hopefully he will normally teach expositionally.  He should be able to handle the Word of God accurately (though no pastor will always get everything perfectly right and neither do I always get everything right).
I would like him to care about modesty (teaching Biblical principles and the wife's clothing being a good example...and this isn't about wearing a legalistic uniform).
I want a shepherd that protects the flock from error, and loves and serves the sheep.  
The pastor should meet all of the qualifications of an elder found in Scripture.
Not all of the things I've mentioned are just the responsibility of one man, and I do believe in a plurality of male leadership.
There are so many factors, and so I'm sharing three articles that have some of those other issues (including some that I've mentioned).

Thus Sayeth the Pastor: the Nature and Limits of Pastoral Authority   - Austin Duncan

What To Look For in a Shepherd - Jeremiah Johnson

When I look for a shepherd, I do not want a man who is divorced and remarried.
He cannot be devoted to his first wife, and if there was immorality on the man's part then that is certainly adultery.   
The man can be accused of not being above reproach.  If he had children, he cannot manage his household well from a distance.
I do not believe in remarriage in any case (Mark 10:10-11), though I've heard the opposing arguments.
A pastor/elder should be an exemplary example to the flock.

Asking a perspective pastor about his beliefs on some of all of these things and asking who are his favorite authors can give some ideas of what he believes.

While this was tweaked a bit from what Steve Lawson said at The Master's Seminary commencement (and in no way implies an endorsement by anyone of my blog post), I thought I'd share the following.

What with brain fog and health issues of various kinds (including pain), things are so limited for me in that I often feel I can barely make it sitting through a church service in person. 
My hands are really acting up again more as well.
I know some may disagree with some of this post, but I pray it will edify someone, and that it was worth the pain and tingling typing causes.

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:13 NASB

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
1 Timothy 4:16 NASB