Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Whither December 25?

An article in the December 25th local newspaper once again sought to present the so-called "conventional" wisdom that Christmas has its origin in a pagan winter solstice festival. Because of that, many old pagan customs crept into the Christian celebration. This is a great urban myth, repeated countless times in classrooms and in print.

William Tighe, a Professor of History at Muhlenberg College in PA debunks the myth and shows that the real issue was the true date for the resurrection (Easter) and the attempt by the Roman Emperor Aurelian to make a political statement and give pagan significance to a date already important to Roman Christians.

You can read the full article here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Lack of postings

Sorry for the lack of postings. Sometimes pastors get wrapped up is so many things! I'm trying to post 2-4 times a week. Bear with me. Thanks for stopping by.

Stem Cells

"If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough." -- James A. Thomson

Charles Krauthammer has a wonderful essay at Townhall: Technology Vindicates Morality.

One can only hope the promise of this breakthrough will be realized and the unborn will be spared.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veterans Day 2007

Thanks to all who have served and are serving now. God bless them and their families. Remember those who have given "the last full measure of devotion." Chaplain (Colonel, ret.) Tom Troxell US Army

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Reformation Day 2007

Today in NOT Halloween. It is Reformation Day, a day to be celebrated by Christians everywhere.

Al Mohler has a good article on his blog today; you can read it here.

I've snipped an except for you to think about: "The coming of Halloween is a good time for Christians to remember that evil spirits are real and that the Devil will seize every opportunity to trumpet his own celebrity. Perhaps the best response to the Devil at Halloween is that offered by Martin Luther, the great Reformer: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn."

"On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther began the Reformation with a declaration that the church must be recalled to the authority of God's Word and the purity of biblical doctrine. With this in mind, the best Christian response to Halloween might be to scorn the Devil and then pray for the Reformation of Christ's church on earth. Let's put the dark side on the defensive." Well said.

Friday, October 26, 2007

World Series

Well, I can't get over the fact that the Diamondbacks season ended so abruptly. I'd hoped for a D'Backs - Red Sox Series. So for now - Go Sox, Crush the Rocks!

Come On People

Over at his blog, Al Mohler has a wonderful review of Bill Cosby's new book "Come On People." As a native Philadelphian, I've always loved 'the Cos' and his humor - "Right!" Many people forget he has a Ph. D. from UMass.

Anyway, this is an exceptional review of what appears to be a landmark book for everyone to read at Al Mohler's blog.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

An Evangelical for Romney

With so much talk by supposed Evangelical 'leaders' about a third party candidate for President because Mitt Romney is a Mormon, it was refreshing to read Wayne Grudem's comments at TownHall. Wayne was a student with me at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. His comments may be found here

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Is Joel Osteen a Christian?

That what many are asking, including Paul Edwards and Mike Horton

You can read Edwards here: For Joel Osteen, Theology is Optional

You can read Horton here: Horton on Osteen

Friday, October 12, 2007

For Luke

I'm baptising my Grandson Luke on Sunday. He's all of one month old. I pray the following prayer for him, for his older brother and his cousins.

Our children, Lord, in faith and prayer, We now devote to Thee; Let them Thy covenant mercies share, And Thy salvation see.

Such helpless babes Thou didst embrace, While dwelling here below; To us and ours, O God of grace, The same compassion show.

In early days their hearts secure, From worldly snares, we pray; O let them to the end endure In every righteous way.

This prayer was written by Thomas Haweis about 1808. Haweis was an associate of the Countess of Huntingdon, John Newton and other Evangelicals in 18th century England.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Baseball playoffs

Go D'Backs, beat the Rockies.

Palestiain Christian killed

Gaza, Oct. 8, 2007 ( - A prominent Palestinian Christian was kidnapped and killed by Islamic militants in Gaza this weekend. Rami Ayyad, the director of the only Christian bookstore in Gaza, was abducted as he closed his shop on Saturday evening, October 6. His body was discovered the next day, riddled with bullet and knife wounds. An active member of the Palestinian Bible Society, Ayyad had been threatened in the past by Islamic groups who charged that he was using his bookstore to attract Muslims, hoping to convert them to Christianity. In April the bookstore was the target of an arson attack. Just before his abduction, Ayyad had reported that he was being followed by a car that had no license plates. The Protestant layman, who left a pregnant wife and two small children, was buried on Sunday, after a funeral conducted with protection by Palestinian police. Approximately 3,300 Christians live in Gaza, forming a tiny minority amidst a population of 1.5 million.

Source: Blogs for Bush

This brother was killed simply because he was a Christian.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Practical Calvinist

I was blogging and found The Shepherd's Scrapbook and this wonderful article by a former professor of mine at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, D. Clair Davis. Enjoy!

What's So Good About Being a Calvinist?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Myanmar Protest, Violence Sparks Prayer Calls

The following is an excerpt from The Christian Post: (By Ethan Cole, Christian Post Reporter)

Christian organizations are calling for prayers for Myanmar after last week's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protestors who stood against the country's repressive regime.

Myanmar (Burma) is one of the world's most repressive as well as one of the poorest countries in Asia.

The junta is accused of persecuting of ethnic minorities, ordering crosses and churches to be destroyed, permitting child labor and human trafficking. They are also criticized for squashing the freedom of speech, assembly and worship, as well as holding more than 1,000 political prisoners – including Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Furthermore, the military regime is accused of sanctioning sexual violence against women of ethnic minorities.

Nearly half of the reported cases documented against women of the Chin ethnic minority were gang rapes, and at least a third were committed by officers, according to U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

The Chin population in Burma is about 90 percent Christian and is severely persecuted by Burma's traditionally pro-Buddhist military regime.

Myanmar has one of the world's worst religious freedom records and is repeatedly designated by the State Department as a "country of particular concern" (CPC) – the worst religious freedom violator label. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent U.S. government agency, advised Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in May to again include Burma on this year's CPC list.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Monday Musings

* I am bothered by Dr. James Dobson and other Evangelicals threatening to stay home or go third party in the 2008 elections. Can you say President Hillary and a repressive regime? Scary - but our God is sovereign and we may get what we deserve.

* Baseball - Go Diamondbacks! I'm with Marvin Olasky at WORLD magazine who, like me, wants a Red Sox - Diamondbacks World Series.

* I'm praying for conservatives in The Episcopal Church and Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh (and others) as they weigh alternatives to the present situation of theological heresy. And, I pray for the Presbyterian Church USA folks as well. May God guide you to leave - enough is enough.

* Grandchildren are worth spoiling!

Eritrean Christians Describe Torture

An article here in The Christian Post describes one of many persecutions of Christians around the world. It is a call to pray for the persecuted church.

Friday, September 28, 2007

R. C. Sproul on "seeker" worship

“In Romans 3, Paul makes it abundantly clear that unconverted people do not seek after God. They may seek the “benefits” that only God can give them, such as ultimate meaning and purpose in their lives, relief from guilt, the presence of joy and happiness, and things of that nature. …they want the benefits without the Giver of the benefits. And so structuring worship to accommodate unbelievers is misguided because unbelievers are not seeking after God. Seeking after God begins at conversion, and if we are to structure our worship with a view to seekers, then we must structure it for believers, since only believers are seekers.” - - R. C. Sproul in Tabletalk, October 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tolerating Facism at Columbia U.

I've been busy with my new grandson and celebrating my wife's birthday, so forgive the lack of postings. I'm upset with the idiocy of the American left, particularly their intolerance of speakers from the right.

The following is from the PowerLine blog site, posted by Scott. Thanks, it says what I as a historian and Churchill lover want to say in response to the invitation: Historian Arthur Herman speaks for me in characterizing Columbia's hosting of Ahmadinejad yesterday as a squalid mistake. Herman draws on the appropriate Churchillian analogue to capture Columbia's disgrace:

Adolf Hitler got the clear message of the 1933 Oxford Union debate: We will not oppose you. Regardless of Bollinger's "tough questions" yesterday, Ahmadinejad the Iranian president is bound to use his speech to a hall of "open-minded" Americans as a major public-relations victory - and to see it as a clear sign that his enemy is divided at its heart.

As Churchill said, "There is no place for compromise in war. That invaluable process only means that soldiers are shot because their leaders in council and camp are unable to resolve."

He added, "In war the clouds never blow over; they gather unceasingly and fall in thunderbolts." It was the falling thunderbolts of Nazi bombs that finally convinced the appeasers of the '30s that they had been wrong. New York City has already gone through its Blitz. What more will it take before Bollinger and his cohorts admit their squalid mistake?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


* We became grandparents for the third time Friday evening (number four is due at the end of the year). Our grandson is 7lbs., 14 oz. and 20 1/2"; a fine little boy. He joins his older brother. Praise God! * Weather - the hot days of summer here in Arid-zona are hopefully gone until next year. Right now it is a comfortable 94. Yes, 94 is comfortable, great golf weather! * Presbytery - the quarterly gathering of the Southwest Presbytery is set for later this week. It is a good chance for fellowship, renewed friendships and spiritual challenge. Some of us will be making the 3 hour drive to Sierra Vista, AZ and discussing the call to the ministry on the way.

Friday, September 14, 2007

On Justification

"The prevailing doctrine of justification today is not justification by faith alone. It's not even justification by good works or by a combination of faith and works. The prevailing notion of justification in Western culture today is justification by death. It's assumed that all one has to do to be received into everlasting arms of God is to die" – R. C. Sproul in The Truth of the Cross

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Reading Good Books

Dr. Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, offers some cogent thoughts on the reading of books. You can read the full article from The Christian Post here:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Nathan Clark George

Last night we hosted Nathan for a concert. His music is superb. He is a an award winning acoustic guitarist and composer. He travels the country with his family in a large motor home. I would recommend him to all. You can hear samples of his music at:

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Dr. D. James Kennedy dies

D. James Kennedy, pastor of Coral Ridge PCA in Florida died early on Spetember 5, 2007 at his home in Florida. “Now, I know that someday I am going to come to what some people will say is the end of this life. They will probably put me in a box and roll me right down here in front of the church, and some people will gather around, and a few people will cry. But I have told them not to do that because I don’t want them to cry. I want them to begin the service with the Doxology and end with the Hallelujah chorus, because I am not going to be there, and I am not going to be dead. I will be more alive than I have ever been in my life, and I will be looking down upon you poor people who are still in the land of dying and have not yet joined me in the land of the living. And I will be alive forevermore, in greater health and vitality and joy than ever, ever, I or anyone has known before.” - - D. James Kennedy, Ph.D. (1930- 2007) Dr. Kennedy will be greatly missed.

I'm a Fred Head

Fred08 Finally, Fred Thompson has entered the fray. For me, he espouses most things I stand for and like to hear from a candidate. Frankly, most of the the others, except Romney and Guliani, are losers. John McCain, even though he is from Arizona, has too many things that have left me, as one who voted for him, with a very bad taste in my mouth.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Christianity & Politics

For Christians, our hope is not in politics but in the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Politics does not change men fundamentally, though we do have a name for political systems that believe they can change men: totalitarianisms. Marxist regimes believed they could inculcate virtue, creating "the new man." The aims of Christian democracies founded on Christian truths are more modest, chiefly protecting life, liberty, and property (in the view of the United States' Founders). Because our ultimate hope is not in politics, we should lower our political expectations and heighten our cultural expectations. We should work for cultural change by means of preaching the Gospel and applying God's truth in all areas of life; a Christianized political order will come incrementally, over time.

Andrew Sandlin

...civil religion is the misidentification of the nation of the United States with the covenant people of God. It is the casual assumption that America enjoys a special role in redemptive history. It is the confusion of the office of the political leader with the office of the spiritual leader. It is the frequent presumption of divine blessings without submission to divine judgment. It is the sublimation of Christian distinctives to a generic amalgam that conflates many faiths into a common national identity. It is as old as America itself. And it is not biblical Christianity.

William Inboden


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Random Thoughts #1

At this time of year many people consider the question "Who is Jesus Christ?" Some people would reply: "He is a good teacher, but I cannot accept his claim to be God!" C. S. Lewis replies to that statement this way: "That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the things Jesus said would not be a good moral teacher. He would be a lunatic -- on the level of a man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Mere Christianity, p. 41

Monday, March 5, 2007

What is a Reformed Cactus?

Well, we've just come on line, so the short version is a desert dwelling blogspot from a PCA pastor. Stately, like a saguaro cactus, with the spines in all the right places. Obviously, this is a site under construction in the days ahead.