Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Obama, Notre Dame and Abortion

Here is a link to a very fine lecture given by Professor Francis Beckwirth at the 2009 Notre Dame Collegiate Right to Life Conference on March 28. It deals with Notre Dame's planning to award the President an honorary degree 'for cause.' The professor takes the university to task for the invitation to speak at commencement, given the Roman Catholic Church's clear teaching on pro-life issues. Read it here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Persecuted Church

On a more somber note comes this word from ChinaAid:

Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, has now been missing 50 days, and there is increasing concern for his life. He was last seen being hauled away from his home by more than a dozen police officers on February 4. Reports from inside China indicate he is undergoing brutal torture.

The situation is critical, and with each day that passes, Gao Zhisheng's life hangs in the balance.

ChinaAid and The Voice of the Martyrs, together with Gao Zhisheng's wife and children, call on all Christians and those who value human dignity and justice to speak out on Gao Zhisheng's behalf by signing a petition to free Gao.

Sign the petition at www.FreeGao.com.

Easy Sermon Preparation

"You too can save tons of time writing your sermons" was the tag line on an email the automatically went to my junk mail file. I believe you will see why as you read it.

"[link deleted] is the monthly sermon subscription service that will revolutionize the way you do ministry! Imagine always being prepared a month in advance with complete sermon manuscripts and accompanying Powerpoint files, all in relevant, biblically based, series."

"Your congregation will be blessed as you preach the Word with power, ministering to their needs and equipping them to fulfill their calling."

"How does it work? With your Annual Sermon Subscription you will receive 12 months of quality sermon material in Word, RTF, and PowerPoint formats. Each month we will send you a new username and password to access your sermons online."

Wow, just think of it, no more having to wrestle with hard texts, no more digging deep into God's Word, just read the outline and show the slides and I'll have preaching power and meet the needs of the congregation. NOT! That's not preaching but plagiarizing and pandering. God deliver us from such folly and fakers. There is no excuse for laziness in sermon preparation. It does not honor the Lord, it is not faithful to our calling as pastors, and it certainly does not serve our congregations well. Personally, I hope the venture fails, but given the climate of emergent and seeker sensitive churches I suspect it will be a whopping success.

What think ye gentle reader?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ligonier follow-up

I was greatly blessed by the Ligonier Conference last week. For the next few posts I'll be quoting from the works of the various speakers.

"Glory is what God shows us of Himself and it is what we give Him in response. It is only in such praise that we discover our true humanness. Man is standing on his head in asking the question, ‘Who or what does God think He is, commanding me to revere His name?’ He [man] needs to be turned the right way up and then he will learn to ask in humble wonder, ‘what is man that you are mindful of him?’ (Psalm 8:4)"
-- Alistair Begg in Pathway to Freedom

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ligonier National Conference, Final post

Well, the conference ended (for me) with two great messages - Robert Godfrey and Derek Thomas, both excellent on holiness. Godfrey gave a fresh look at Isaiah 6. Now home for Lord's Day services - 3 of them; two at the church and one at a retirement facility. Soli Deo Gloria !

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ligonier National Conference, Day 2

Wow! A high powered day with presentation by Sinclair Ferguson, Steven Lawson, Alistair Begg, Thabiti Anyabwile, D. A. Carson and a wonderful concert this evening. Again, I'll refer you to yesterday's post and the link to Tim Chailles' blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ligonier National Conference, Day 1

Fantastic. Most of the day was spent dealing with the legacy of John Calvin in preparation for the 500th anniversary of his birth this summer. Speakers were Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson and Steve Lawson. This evening RC lead off on the holiness of God from Isaiah 45:1-8. For a great blog go to Tim Challies' blog. He is live blogging and a really great blogger.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ligonier National Conference

I've arrived in Orlando for the 2009 National Ligonier Conference. The focus of the main conference is the Holiness of God. Tomorrow's sessions deal with John Calvin (Celebrating a Legacy) as part of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth. Speakers are Steve Lawson, Joel Beeke, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson - quite a line up. I'll post a followup tomorrow evening.

You can get information about live streaming here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Legend of St. Patrick

I thought I'd get a jump on things with this post. I'll be busy on Tuesday the 17th.

As much as we might like corned beef and cabbage, green beer, the shamrock and the ridding Ireland of snakes – this has very little to do with the real St. Patrick.

Patrick was born in Britain @390. At age 16 he was captured by Irish pirates and held for 6 years, during which, as one of my chaplain instructors used to say, “He had a ‘significant religious experience’.” After his escape/release he sought training as a priest either in Britain or Gaul (France). He returned to Ireland and was responsible for the conversion of most Irish to Catholicism. He was opposed by the Druid (pagan) priests.

Patrick spent the remainder of his life in Ireland and died there @460.

The following is attributed to him. It is from a longer work called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.”

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,Through the belief in the threeness, Through confession of the oneness Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today Through God's strength to pilot me: God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's host to save me From snares of devils, From temptations of vices, From everyone who shall wish me ill, Afar and anear, Alone and in multitude.

The entire text may be found here.

So here’s to St. Patrick from this Presbyterian; lift a glass and toast his memory.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Preparing for The Lord's Day

“Tragically, most of us have been taught that duty, not delight, is the way to glorify God. We have not been taught that delight in God is our duty! Being satisfied with God is not an optional add-on to the real stuff of Christian duty. It is the most basic demand of all. ‘Delight yourself in the LORD’ (Psalm 37:4 is not a suggestion, but a command. So are: ‘Serve the LORD with gladness’ (Psalm 100:2) and, ‘Rejoice in the LORD always’ (Philippians 4:4).”

John Piper, The Godward Life

Friday, March 6, 2009

'Nuff Said

I have not posted becaues I am so frustrated with the new President and Congress; but this was a photo-shop not to be resisted: