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Is Christmas Really Just a Pagan Holiday in Disguise

December 21, 2010 1 comment

Helpful discussion on the celebration of Christmas. “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace” (Is.9:7). . .

Categories: Christian Life, Church Tags: ,

How Luther Brought Reform

October 31, 2010 Leave a comment

martin lutherMartin Luther was a great Reformer of the Church because he was willing to bring the truth to bear precisely where it was needed. His attitude is summed up in this quote. . .

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every part of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all battlefields besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
~Martin Luther

May God bring us more Luthers.

Happy Reformation Day!

Biblical Worship Podcast with Jeff Meyers

I just posted another podcast, this time with Pastor Jeff Meyers. In this discussion we consider the theme of biblical worship from various angles.

Pastor Meyers serves at Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary. Pastor Meyers is also the author of “The Lord’s Service: The Grace of Covenant Renewal Worship.” You can learn more about Jeff Meyers by visiting his church website, providencestlouis.squarespace.com.

Children of the Promise (podcast on infant baptism)

Just posted another podcast from Christ Church Media.

In this podcast we discuss with Pastor Randy Booth his journey from a baptist view of baptism to an infant baptist view. Pastor Booth’s change of position on this matter led him to write a book entitled Children of the Promise: The Biblical Case for Infant Baptism as a way of helping others understand the doctrine of covenant baptism.

Pastor Booth has been an ordained minister for 26 years and is the pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Nacogdoches, Texas. He is also the director of Covenant Media Foundation and served as the moderator of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches.

Throughout his ministry Randy has been active in both the pro-life and Christian education movements. He has also overseen the planting of numerous churches. Pastor Booth is married and the father of three grown children and eight grand-children.

This is an excellent podcast for those who want to better understand the infant baptist position.

Ascension Day

On the fortieth day after His resurrection Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:3,9). There He sat down at the right hand of the Father, waiting until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet (Heb.10:12).

Because of His ascension, we can be assured Christ’s kingdom will not fail, and it will endure forever.

“And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.”

~ Daniel 7:14

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A Christian View of Civil Religion with Rich Lusk

April 28, 2010 2 comments

This podcast considers the relationship between the church and the civil religion of our day. The discussion points out the need for the church to untangle itself from the popular civil religion around us and focus on being the church through faithful worship and service.

Rich Lusk is the Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a the author of Paedofaith: A Handbook for Covenant Parents, and also has essays published in various books and publications. Pastor Lusk is married and has four children. More information about his ministry and a selection of his essays can be found at http://www.trinity-pres.net/

Enjoy the podcast!

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

April 3, 2010 2 comments

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ:  The Turning Point of All History

Readings for Holy Week

Palm Sunday:

In the morning, Psalms 24, 29
In the evening, Psalms 103
Zechariah 9:9-12 [morning] or Zechariah 12:9-11,13:1,7-9 [evening]
1 Timothy 6:12-16 [morning]
Matthew 21:12-17 [evening]

Monday:
In the morning, Psalms 51:1-18(19-20)
In the evening, Psalms 69:1-23
Jeremiah 12:1-16
Philippians 3:1-14
John 12:9-19

Tuesday:
In the morning, Psalms 6, 12
In the evening, Psalms 94
Jeremiah 15:10-21
Philippians 3:15-21
John 12:20-26

Wednesday:
In the morning, Psalms 55
In the evening, Psalms 74
Jeremiah 17:5-10, 14-17
Philippians 4:1-13
John 12:27-36

Maundy Thursday:
In the evening, Psalms 102
In the evening, Psalms 142, 143
Jeremiah 20:7-11
1 Corinthians 10:14-17, 11:27-32
John 17:1-11(12-26)

Good Friday:
In the morning, Psalms 95, 22
In the evening, Psalms 40:1-14(15-19),54
Genesis 22:1-14
1 Peter 1:10-20
John 13:36-38
In the evening, Psalms 38 [morning] or John 19:38-42 [evening]

Holy Saturday:
In the morning, Psalms 95 [morning] 88
In the evening, Psalms 27
Job 19:21-27a
Hebrews 4:1-16 [morning]
Romans 8:1-11 [evening]

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C.S. Lewis on rituals

Contemporary Christians frequently believe that avoiding rituals in worship — like kneeling to confess one’s sins or reciting a creed to profess one’s faith — is a sign of simple faith and humility.

C.S. Lewis brings another perspective. . .

The modern habit of doing ceremonial things unceremoniously is no proof of humility; rather it proves the worshiper’s inability to forget himself in the rite, and his readiness to spoil for everyone else the proper place of ritual.

For more on this subject, see In Defense of Rituals.

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Worship that renews

February 27, 2010 Leave a comment

One of the dominant themes of the Bible is that God continually brings renewal to His people, and to the world.  For example, even though we usually think of the great flood as a form of judgment, it also was God’s way of renewing the world.

This theme of renewal is important to keep in mind as we think of worship.

Christians will sometimes debate what the purpose of worship is all about.  Some will say it’s to praise God, while others will argue it’s focus is to be on teaching. There are also those who contend that worship is about reaching the lost, while still more will claim it’s about experiencing God and getting inspired.

All of these aspects surely play a part in faithful worship.  But underlying it all lies this theme of renewal.  God calls us to come into His presence for worship because He desires to renew us so we would be in a position to live for Him.

We can see God’s intent to bring renewal when we recall the Old Testament sacrifices.  When God brought worshipers into His presence, three big sacrificial operations were involved: cleansing, consecration, and communion.

First, the sacrificial animal was slaughtered, and blood was splattered on the alter.  This was to bring about cleansing and forgiveness for the worshiper.

Next, the animal was skinned, cut-up and arranged on the alter.  This symbolized the consecration of the worshiper or setting apart his life for the Lord.

Finally, the parts of the animal were were consumed and transformed into smoke.  In this way the identifying worshiper experienced God’s presence.

This pattern was repeated over and over through the Old Testament, and with it worshipers were brought from being on the outside to being taken up into fellowship with God.  It’s the pattern God used to renew people for service.

Jewish Christians in the early church would have been aware of this pattern.  But with the coming of Christ, there were some changes.  Animals were no longer sacrificed, because Christ was offered once for all.   This did not mean, however, that the idea of sacrifice disappeared.   Now believers are to present themselves as living sacrifices who would serve God with their lives.
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