D. A. Carson – Watch Me!

(Via www.10ofthose.com)

Using audio from Don Carson, this short video challenges us from the Bible how we must be sharing our lives, opening up the Bible and changing generations as we point them to Jesus.

You are free to use this video however you like, without changing it or shortening it.

The video is designed to be shared online and viewed in churches with the purpose of engaging one to one Bible studies. It is the first in a series of videos that will in due course launch ‘The Word – One to One’ – a Bible study resource written by staff of St Helen’s Bishopsgate, London and published by 10Publising, a division of 10ofthose.com.

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Tony Breeden – Was Noah A Millionaire? James McGrath’s Theology Stumbles On Scripture

What you’re about to read is what happens when a man who doubts the historical veracity of the Bible finds something in the Bible that contradicts his loosely Bible-inspired theology. Basically, he’s stubbed an opinion on a passage of Scripture. It’s sad. It’s instructive. It underscores the truth of Jesus’ warning in John 3:12 about the interconnectedness of earthly facts and heavenly truths.

Dr. James F McGrath recently posed the snide question “Does Ken Ham Think Noah Was A Millionaire?” His reasoning, if we may use that term loosely, is that the Ark Encounter’s modern-day price tag is $24.5 million dollars. Tellingly, he scoffs alongside atheists like PZ Myers over the fact that the Ark Encounter project has raised only $4 million of the money needed, to date. That McGrath takes his seat with the scoffers should give us a clue how low his view of Scripture is.

In fact, in a rather misleading statement, he says:

“Why does one need even 4 million dollars to demonstrate the literal truthfulness of an ancient story about a lone man, without modern technology, perhaps helped by some family members and slaves, building a box-shaped boat capable of housing two or seven of all kinds of animals, if Answers in Genesis and their interpretation of the Noah story is correct?”

We pause here to correct a handful of erroneous notions evident in McGrath’s analysis.

First, we note that the height, width and length of the Ark are indeed given in the Bible, but this in no wise means that the Ark was box-shaped, any more than giving the basic height, width and length of a modern yacht or cargo ship require a box shape. If he had bothered to do the research [he either hasn’t, evidencing willful ignorance, or he has and he hopes to purposely mislead folks], he’d know that Biblical Creationists affirm that these are the basic dimensions of the Ark and that, while a box shape would in no wise invalidate the Genesis account, there’s quite a bit of creative room within those dimensions.

Second, even if Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth worked alone on the Ark, is McGrath suggesting that the feat could not have been completed in a time frame of 120 years?? Ridiculous!

Thirdly, McGrath makes the point that Noah built the Ark without modern technology. I remind him that Stonehenge and the pyramids were built without modern technology and modern technicians marvel at these feats because they are not able to determine how such things were accomplished in the timeframes history records. Of course, McGrath and others who scratch their heads at how the pyramids were built by “primitive” peoples with “primitive” technology are begging the evolutionary question. The Bible records that man was never primitive in this sense, but has degraded to such “primitive” conditions in many cases.

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David Hall – Religion should be Shown—not a Show

picture-10155 Jesus opposed ostentatious piety. Tell that to your friends and also to yourself. And he was not fooled by the counterfeit. In Matthew 6, he developed these important ideas.

Our Lord called for giving that is not ostentatious. The ancient practice of almsgiving (giving offerings) is rooted in the Old Testament and commanded by God to financially support the Temple and the needy. “Almsgiving stood first in the catalogue of good works . . . it was the most sacred of all religious duties . . . in fact the Jews interchanged the same word for either righteousness and almsgiving . . . to give alms and to be righteous (therefore) were one and the same thing . . . to give alms was to gain merit in the sight of God.”[1]

Jesus exposes the Pharisees as giving to the needy in order to be recognized by others as great philanthropists. The Pharisees when giving to the needy may have had a trumpeter precede them, supposedly to call all the charitable citizens to contribute to an urgent need. The trumpet grabbed attention and soon came to be an announcement and recognition of some philanthropist. This custom gave rise to public recognition and receiving outward praise.

Jesus says do not give in this way (v. 12) as the hypocrites do. No one should ever think that Jesus never judges, condemns, or publicly accuses of hypocrisy. He does so here. He is no un-discerning One who cannot judge right from wrong, who only affirms all people. He calls such self-glorified givers “hypocrites.” The classical Greek word – and it is a strong one – for hypocrite refers to an actor in a stage production. A hypocrite was one who in the Greek theater put on a mask and played another role. Everyone knew this was the same person, but as a stage convenience he assumed another personality. That’s what a hypocrite is, one who acts one way in one role, but completely different in another. One is not merely a hypocrite if he says he intends to do something for God and then fails. That person is merely a sinner. But a hypocrite is one who says one thing and then in a later context plays the opposite role.

So the hypocrite in view here, does not really want to help the needy. His philanthropy is motivated by self-serving interests, and he just wants to help himself and his reputation in the community. This type of hypocrite is like:

– The politician who says he is supportive of a minority group just to get votes;
– The pastor who placates the powerful just to keep his job;
– The giver in the church who wants to be recognized as the patron-boss of the congregation. When we give in order to be honored on the streets or in the synagogues (this includes both religious and civic charity), then we are guilty of the hypocrisy of modern day Pharisaism.

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Daniel Hyde – 4 Reasons We Must Preach the Pentateuch

Preaching from the Pentateuch is a great need of God’s people, many of whom have never heard sermons from any book of the Old Testament, let alone the Pentateuch. This is also an area of great need for preachers, who tend to shy away from the Pentateuch.

Despite the difficulties associated with it, I believe we must preach the Pentateuch for four reasons.

1. Its Need

First, there is a great need for preaching the Pentateuch in our churches to give our people a well-rounded diet of the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). No doubt many preachers’ experience of their people’s lack of Bible knowledge testifies to this. Several recent studies by various denominations have shown that while seventy-five percent of the Scriptures are found within the Old Testament, only twenty percent of sermons come from the Old Testament. Our people need us to do more than merely teach Old Testament Bible stories to our children in Sunday school. They need us to preach these stories to them.

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Mark Dever – Why was it necessary for Christ, the Redeemer, to die?

Since death is the punishment for sin, Christ died willingly in our place to deliver us from the power and penalty of sin and bring us back to God. By his substitutionary atoning death, he alone redeems us from hell and gains for us forgiveness of sin, righteousness, and everlasting life.

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Intelmin Week in Review – 6-12 Apr 2015

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Here is what made it on Intelmin last week:

Michael Boling – Reflections on 1 Samuel 15-17 http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-reflections-on-1-samuel-15-17/

Michael Boling – Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Feast of Sefirat HaOmer (The Early First Fruits) http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-jesus-as-the-fulfillment-of-the-feast-of-sefirat-haomer-the-early-first-fruits/

Paul Tripp – What Makes a Man http://intelmin.org/2015/04/paul-tripp-what-makes-a-man/

Jeff Robinson – Contentment in Christ, Part 2 http://intelmin.org/2015/04/jeff-robinson-contentment-in-christ-part-2/

Michael Boling – Reflections on 1 Samuel 13-14 http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-reflections-on-1-samuel-13-14/

Michael Boling – The Feast of Sefirat HaOmer (The Early First Fruits) http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-the-feast-of-sefirat-haomer-the-early-first-fruits/

Book Review – The Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Comes http://intelmin.org/2015/04/book-review-the-lords-supper-remembering-and-proclaiming-christ-until-he-comes/

Matt Brown – How to Successfully Argue Your Point But Miss the Gospel http://intelmin.org/2015/04/matt-brown-how-to-successfully-argue-your-point-but-miss-the-gospel/

Alyssa Poblete – 3 Reasons Why Women Need Good Theology http://intelmin.org/2015/04/alyssa-poblete-3-reasons-why-women-need-good-theology/

Michael Boling – Reflections on 1 Samuel 9-12 http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-reflections-on-1-samuel-9-12/

Nick Batzig – Jesus and the Flaming Sword at the East Gate http://intelmin.org/2015/04/nick-batzig-jesus-and-the-flaming-sword-at-the-east-gate/

Gavin Peacock – Marriage: The Modern Day Litmus Test for Inerrancy http://intelmin.org/2015/04/gavin-peacock-marriage-the-modern-day-litmus-test-for-inerrancy/

Michael Boling – Reflections on 1 Samuel 4-8 http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-reflections-on-1-samuel-4-8/

C. Michael Patton – Four Characteristics of Legalism http://intelmin.org/2015/04/c-michael-patton-four-characteristics-of-legalism/

Heath Thomas – Is the Old Testament Still Relevant Today? http://intelmin.org/2015/04/heath-thomas-is-the-old-testament-still-relevant-today/

Michael Boling – Reflections on 1 Samuel 1-3 http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-reflections-on-1-samuel-1-3/

Martyn Lloyd-Jones – The Essential Foundation (John 3:1–8) http://intelmin.org/2015/04/martyn-lloyd-jones-the-essential-foundation-john-31-8/

Charles Bridges – God’s Faithfulness in Afflicting His People http://intelmin.org/2015/04/charles-bridges-gods-faithfulness-in-afflicting-his-people/

Michael Boling – Reflections on Ruth 1-4 http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-reflections-on-ruth-1-4/

Michael Boling – Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Feast of Hag HaMatzah (Unleavened Bread) http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-jesus-as-the-fulfillment-of-the-feast-of-unleavened-bread/

A. W. Pink – Christian Fools http://intelmin.org/2015/04/a-w-pink-christian-fools/

John Bradford – A Fruitful Sermon of Repentance http://intelmin.org/2015/04/john-bradford-a-fruitful-sermon-of-repentance/

Michael Boling – Reflections on Judges 19-21 http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-reflections-on-judges-19-21/

Michael Boling – Feast of Hag HaMatzah (Unleavened Bread) http://intelmin.org/2015/04/michael-boling-feast-of-hag-hamatzah-unleavened-bread/

Book Review – The One O’clock Miracle http://intelmin.org/2015/04/book-review-the-one-oclock-miracle/

John Flavel – Gospel Unity http://intelmin.org/2015/04/john-flavel-gospel-unity/

John Piper – Sweetly Devastated by Grace http://intelmin.org/2015/04/john-piper-sweetly-devastated-by-grace/

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Intelmin Week in Review – 25-31 March 2013

Here is what made it on Intelmin this past week:

A. W. Pink – Profiting from the Word

J. C. Ryle – Duties of Parents

David Catchpoole and Jonathan Sarfati – ‘In my father’s day … ’

Dr. Albert Mohler – Marriage in the Dock: The Supreme Court Considers Same-Sex Marriage

Dave Jenkins – Worldviews in Conflict: Biblical Christianity, Gay Marriage and the Word of God

Joe Carter – When Did Idolatry Become Compatible with Christianity?

Trevin Wax – Behold Your King!

Michael Horton – Risen Indeed!

Karin Viet – Daughters of Eve: What I Want to Teach my Daughter about Biblical Womanhood from Genesis

Tim Challies – The History of Christianity in 25 Objects: Rylands Library Papyrus P52

Jonathan Dodson and Brad Watson – Living the Resurrection?

Dr. Albert Mohler – Of First Importance: The Cross and Resurrection at the Center

Russell Grigg – The Importance of the Resurrection of Christ to our Salvation

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Tim Challies – The History of Christianity in 25 Objects: Rylands Library Papyrus P52

In this series we are tracing the history of Christianity in 25 objects, 25 relics of the past that survive today. Having visited the Vatican Museum to look at Augustus of Prima Porta, we travel now to England, to the University of Manchester, to peer at a tiny fragment of papyrus. Carefully encased within a climate-controlled cabinet in the John Rylands Library is Rylands Library Papyrus P52, the St. John’s fragment. Measuring only 8.9 by 6 centimeters at its widest points (3.5 by 2.5 inches), this is just the smallest fragment of a long-lost codex. But why would 53 square centimeters of papyrus merit such a display and a position in this list of 25 objects?

Rylands Library Papyrus P52 is a fragment of a single page from a codex that once contained the gospel of John. It is the oldest New Testament manuscript ever discovered.

The Christian faith is utterly and unapologetically dependent upon God’s revelation of himself. We believe that the New Testament Scriptures were given by God as he spoke to his apostles and that they faithfully recorded his every word. Some wrote a biography of Jesus or a history of the early church, but most wrote letters directed to a specific audience. It was only natural that after these Scriptures were recorded, they would be shared with others. A young pastor like Timothy, the recipient of two letters from his mentor Paul, would wish to share Paul’s wisdom with other pastors; a church like the one at Ephesus, also the recipient of a letter from Paul, would wish to share that letter with other nearby churches. Those who wanted to know about the life of Jesus would be drawn to the account written by his friend Matthew or the account penned by Luke, the early church’s foremost historian. As the Christian faith grew and spread there was ever-greater demand for copies of the Scriptures. This in turn brought about a proliferation of manuscripts.

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Tony Breeden – Does the Bible Teach A Flat Earth?

Bible doubters, even ones who claim to be Christians, often make the accusation that the Bible of teaches a flat Earth. They do this in order to undermine the authority of the Scriptures concerning origins and thereby insert a wedge of doubt by which they can introduce millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution into the Scriptures. In other words, they use a wedge of doubt to subvert Biblical authority and supplant it with the authority of modern man. In the end, it really does come down to what we hold as our ultimate authority: God’s revealed Word or the word of fallible, finite men who weren’t there and suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness.

For example, Bible doubters often cite Isaiah 40:22 as proof of a flat earth. The passage reads:

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth…”

Bible doubters immediately seize upon the word “circle,” noting that a circle is a flat 2-dimensional shape and certainly not a 3-dimensional sphere. Of course, their entire analysis is based on a modern understanding of the word circle. When interpreting the Bible, it is important to note the context of the passage as it was originally intended to be understood.

For example, James Patrick Holding of Tecktonics.org comments on the word rendered “circle” here in this passage:

“Apologists dealing with this issue often cite Isaiah 40:22 with the explanation that Hebrew, having no specific word for sphere, may here indicate a spherical earth. Of course we may also read into the text a flat circle, as Seely does. Interestingly, Seely attempts to confirm his own interpretation by making an error exactly like that of a skeptic I once confronted on this issue:

“If Isaiah had intended to speak of the earth as a globe, he would probably have used the word he used in 22:18 (dur), meaning “ball”.”

Dur, however, no-more indicates sphericity than the word used in Isaiah 40:22, for it is used by Isaiah elsewhere thus (Isaiah 29:3):

‘And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.’

Obviously, unless they were professional gymnasts as well as tacticians, the soldiers could not camp in the shape of a sphere around the city! Based on this, this word appears to be making a statement about a circular pattern rather than specifying a given shape.

Seely offers two citations in support of a ‘flat earth’ view that we need not spend much time on: Daniel 4:10, 11 and 20, and Job 37:3. The Daniel passage is actually a statement by a pagan king, which doesn’t mean that the Bible endorses that view. And it is a vision, and is therefore not intended to be a picture of reality any more than Pharaoh’s dream of cannibalistic cows and even cannibalistic ears of wheat (Genesis 41). And Job 37:3 hardly requires a flat-earth reading — it merely states that lightning occurs all over the earth. Even if it did teach a flat-earth reading, it would prove only that Elihu believed such a thing — not everything reported in the Bible is endorsed in the Bible.

As is standard to note in such cases, the statements of characters in the Bible are not automatically granted inerrancy unless the speaker is either God or indicated to be inspired of God.”

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Matt Brown – How to Successfully Argue Your Point But Miss the Gospel

3940473549_64b1c7bd55 Why are Christians so unkind to one another and the world? Why do we criticize, degrade, and dismiss? Why do we act like jerks?

I have experienced the sting of Christian criticism many times as I’ve posted Scripture or encouragements online. I’m sure you’ve experienced this, too. Christians critique my use of the Bible and correct my theological positions. This happens so frequently on Twitter, there is now a hashtag, #JesusJuked, for Christians who use Scripture as a correction-weapon to tell others how they are wrong. This isn’t cool and this isn’t classy. Nowhere in the Bible has God given us license to treat each other like jerks.

If we continue to pridefully announce our objections to everything, we will soon lose credibility to speak the truth of the gospel. We will be known for our desire to be right and prove others wrong, instead of being known for our love for one another. The world will not believe our points about God’s love when they are delivered with disrespect and pride. Some Christians have been so busy trying to make their argumentative points, they have lost the opportunity to make a difference. It’s that kind of non-Spirit-led, fleshly preaching that turns people from the gospel everyday.

Again, why do we act with such pride and arrogance toward one another?

At the root, we are relying on our own intellect, ego, and proven arguments instead of Christ. We are prideful and think we can get people to see the truth in our own strength. We trust our smarts and wit more than Christ. With our eyes on our selves, we miss others and the gospel.

A MATTER OF CONTROL

Today, we have access to the Holy Spirit’s power to control our lives. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live with “gentleness and respect” (1 Pt. 3:15) and be “the aroma of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:15) to the world around us. God has commanded us to walk and live by the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. — Galatians 5:22-23

Scripture tells us “when the Holy Spirit controls our lives” we will have certain characteristics that demonstrate his character. Through our words and actions people should see certain aspects of God’s character: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. If we are speaking out of bitterness, anger, frustration, fear, we are not being controlled by the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are the picture of what it looks like to follow Jesus. If our actions do not display these fruits, we aren’t being controlled by the Spirit.

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