Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Book Recommendations "Presuppositional Apologetics"

"Presuppositional apologists claim that there is no neutrality, invoking Jesus’ saying that “one cannot serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24). There can be no compromise between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world. Unbelief leads to distortion of the truth, exchanging the truth for a lie (Rom. 1:25). Only by trusting God’s Word can we come to a saving knowledge of Christ (John 5:24, 8:31, 15:3, Rom. 10:17). And trusting entails presupposing: accepting God’s Word as what it is, the foundation of all human knowledge, the ultimate criterion of truth and error (Deut. 18:18-19, 1 Cor. 14:37, Col. 2:2-4, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, 2 Pet. 1:19-21). So the apologetic argument, like all human inquiries into truth, must presuppose the truths of God’s Word." - John Frame from the article " Presuppositional Apologetics," for IVP Dicitonary of Apologetics

"Every Thought Captive: A Study Manual for the Defense of Christian Truth" by Richard Pratt is written for high schoolers, and it's a wonderful introduction to presuppositional apologetics. It's a brief and easy-to- read book, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who desires to share their faith in Christ.

"Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction" by John Frame is also an introduction to presuppositional apologetics, but it is written at a more college/adult-level. I would still recommend Richard Pratt's book over this one, if you have never read anything substantial on apologetics. And if you want something more scholarly on presuppositional apologetics, please refer to John Frame's "The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God", which should be read by every serious teacher of the Bible.

Congrats ERIC!!!!!!!!

9Marks of a Healthy Church MEMBER: Expositional LISTENING

Sometimes we are too quick to blame the preacher for us not "getting anything" from the sermon, but maybe it's our fault because we don't really know how to listen to a sermon. Below is a few excerpts from Thabiti Anabwile's article on how to listen (Expositional Listening) to a sermon and you can find the entire article at the link below.


9Marks of a Healthy Church MEMBER: Expositional LISTENING

By Thabiti Anyabwile

What is “expositional listening”?

There is an important corollary for every member of a local church. Just as the pastor’s preaching agenda is to be determined by the meaning of Scripture, so too must the listening agenda of the Christian be driven by the meaning of Scripture. What we are listening for when the Word is preached is not primarily “practical how-to advice,” though Scripture teaches us much about everyday matters. Nor should we listen for messages and ideas that bolster our self-esteem or that rouse us for political and social causes. Rather, as members of Christian churches we are listening for the voice and message of God as revealed in His word. We are listening to hear God speak to us the things He has in His omniscient love written for His glory and our blessing. Listening for the meaning of a passage of Scripture, and accepting that meaning as the main idea to be grasped for our personal and corporate lives as Christians, is what we mean by “expositional listening.”

How can church members cultivate the habit of expositional listening?

Well, if expositional listening is so vital to the health of individual church members and the church as a whole, how does a person form such a habit? At least six practical ideas can foster more attentive listening to God’s word.
1. Meditate on the sermon passage during your quiet time.
2. Invest in a good set of commentaries.
3. Talk and pray with friends about the sermon after church
4. Listen to and act on the sermon throughout the week.
5. Develop the habit of addressing any questions about the text itself.
6. Cultivate humility.

* Taken from:


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More on The Da Vinci Code

Westminster Seminary (PA) has set-up a webpage to help answer questions/controversies relating to the Da Vinci Code


"May 27th" -Meditations on Ephesians 5:25-33

1. Dan love Julia like Christ loved the church

25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

2. Dan love Julia by giving up your life for her

25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

3. Dan present Julia as holy and without blemish through God's word

26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

4. Dan love Julia like she part of your own body

28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies...31"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."

5. Dan make your relationship with Julia, reflect the relationship between Christ and the Church

32This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"Do Not Be Ashamed of Lord": Mediations on 2 Timothy 1:1-14

Being ashamed of God or Christ as a 'still sanctifying' Christian is easy to do, especially when the consequences of following Christ seems too much to bear such as a lost of reputation, money, family's approval, and maybe your life.

In 2 Timothy 1-14, Paul writes a letter to Timothy encouraging him not to be ashamed of being a Christian and exhorting him not to compromise the gospel truth despite the pressure of persecution. Lets see how Paul exhorts Timothy, so that we can be encouraged not to be "ashamed of Lord" too.

1. Don't be ashamed of God but share in the suffering for the gospel and by the power of God

8Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,

In verse 8, Paul, who is in prison, commands Timothy not to be ashamed of God or his imprisonment, but to suffer for the gospel through the power of God. It's important to note that Paul doesn't tell Timothy to avoid suffering, but to "share in it", that is, he is reminding Timothy that in order to be a godly Christian, it will involve suffering of some kind (2 Timothy 3:12). But Paul also reminds Timothy that he is not alone in this suffering for the gospel but "the power of God "will help him.

2. Past Testimony of God's Power

We should not be ashamed or fearful in our suffering for the gospel because the power of God has been shown in the past by God's redemptive purposes in Christ.

a. God's power has been shown through our holy calling, that is, through the regeneration of our hearts by the Holy Spirit

who (God) saved us and called us to[a] a holy calling (regeneration)(v.9),

b. God's power in salvation and regeneration was given outside of our works but was received based on God's sovereign design and grace through Christ

(Being Saved/Regenerated) not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began (v.9)

c. God's power in his purpose and grace has been reveal in the glory and beauty of Christ, who has conquered death and brought live through the good news.

and which now (salvation/redemption) has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, (v.10)

3. Present and Future Promise of God's Power

a. In verse 12, Paul is not ashamed and won't compromise the gospel in his suffering because he is convinced that God is able to protect him through the Spirit (v.14) until the day of God's judgment ( 2 Tim. 4:8)

But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed (God), and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. (v.12)

b. In verse 13-14, Paul encourages Timothy to be devoted to Christ and his teaching, knowing that the Holy Spirit will also help guard the gospel

13Follow the pattern of the sound[d] words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit (gospel) entrusted to you.


So FPC, let us never be ashamed of God and Christ by compromising the gospel, but let us be strengthen, realizing God's power in the past and in his present and future promise of the "Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, helping us guard the good deposit".

Please also pray for our brother in Christ, Pastor (Toby) Brown, and the Mission Presbytery (PC(USA)), which will be making some critical decisions on how to deal with some tough denominational (PC(USA) issues. Pray that they will be given wisdom on how to best guard the good deposit (gospel).

See below for more information on the issues they will be facing:



Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"From MJ to Piper" :Together for The Gospel Part 2

From MJ to Piper

A couple of years ago, I went to see Michael Jordan, who was my childhood hero, play against the Houston Rockets during his final year of pro basketball. The experience was a bit of a disappointment as I saw the once invincible MJ look like a mere human as he struggled, leading his team, Washington Wizards, to a defeat against the Rockets.

So as I anticipated John Piper's talk last week, I was a little nervous (for whatever reason) that I may once again experience another disappointing moment from one of my heroes. As the day of Piper's talk came, I wasn't expecting too much from Piper's message as I told my friend, Geoff, since we had probably heard this talk on 'preaching' like 5 billion times, so the only real excitement for me was to physically see Piper. But to my amazement and God's mercy, Piper probably gave the single greatest sermon/talk I have ever heard.

Piper, as always, spoke with weighty intellectual depth coupled with deep authentic passion for God's truth. Piper's balance of fire (passion) and light (truth) for God and Christ has always inspired me (since it seems so rare for a person to have both qualities), and seeing and experiening it live for the first time, made me feel like the very presence of God was there.

In Piper's talk, he spoke on:

1. Preaching that is aware of the glory of God
2. What you believe about the glory of God?
3. How do people awaken to the glory of God?

a. Essential components of the gospel

1. The Gospel is an objective message about Christ, that is, it's about a historic Christ which did something in history apart from us.
2. The Gospel is a message about Christ's accomplishments, like propitiation, expiation, and fulfillment of the law.
3. The Gospel is received by faith a lone
4. The Gospel is about benefits (justification, sanctification, reconciliation, and etc.) received by faith
5. The Gospel main benefit is God, himself, or as Justin and Kevin would say "Being with God"

4. How does the glory of God relate to expository preaching?

My Takeaway

My main takeaway from Piper's sermon is that God has chosen to reveal his glory in the gospel, which is spoken in WORDS, therefore as teachers/leaders of the church, we need to expound the gospel from the Bible to people in order to awaken them to the beauty and glory of Christ (2 Corinth. 4), and not rely too heavily on other methods