Making the Issue Clear?

31 05 2008

After bringing up the topic of Calvinism the other day, I thought it would be a good idea if everyone was clear on the difference between Calvinism and the opposing view, Arminianism.  So, in an effort to be helpful, I offer the following two dictionaries (wink, wink):

A Dictionary of Calvinistic Terminology (helpfully produced by an Arminian)

A Dictionary of Arminian Terminology (helpfully produced by a Calvinist)

Both dictionaries were produced in jest, two bloggers having some good fun with the other side.  I found them humorous (and even a bit enlightening!) so I thought I’d share the fun.  Enjoy!

However, if you truly aren’t familiar with either system, check out the following helpful links:

Overview of Calvinism    

Overview of Arminiansim


What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?

29 05 2008

When the subject of “Calvinism” comes up, people usually get pretty excited.  Either they love the theological system or they hate it, but either way the conversation usually heats up. 

I remember the first time my wife and I had a discussion about the doctrine of unconditional election.  We were both in college, and dating at the time, and as she explained the doctrine to me I grew more and more upset.  I couldn’t believe what she was telling me and told her that this “ridiculous doctrine” was unfair and cruel.  Thankfully, I kept reading my Bible and came to see that what my wife was explaining to me is the clear teaching of the Scripture.  But that first conversation was a tense one!

Now, over a decade later, I find myself on the other side of this debate.   Read the rest of this entry »

From the Margin of… John 4:23

27 05 2008

Where does true worship come from? I don’t mean good singing or a really great Sunday service, but true humility before God; that place where I am viewing both myself and God correctly? 

I wrote down the following quote from John Piper in my Bible next to John 4:23.  See if these thoughts don’t help answer this question and explain some of what Jesus packed into that wonderful statement: “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”

The fuel for worship is the truth of God, the furnace of worship is the spirit of man, and the heat of worship is the vital affections of reverence, conviction, trust, gratitude, and joy.  But there is something missing from this picture… there must be ignition and fire.  This is the Holy Spirit.   

I find this quote challenges me to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all things, specifically my worship.  As I fill my mind with the truth of God, this activity must be accompanied the Spirit’s ministry of illumination.  This quote reminds me to be seeking, through humble prayer, the Spirit’s ministry; that He would set the truth ablaze in my spirit so that my affections would long for the True and Living God and my will would manifest the Spirit’s work through my faithful obedience.  Then I will have a life of a true worshiper, who both glorifies and delights my God.

Of a Caveman and an Angel…

23 05 2008

“to my dream girl”

one day, as my mind spun
and chased thoughts and dreams,
you returned and woke me up.
you were a vision of all i thought
should be and could be, but wasn’t.

you showed me what it was
and put a few fresh dreams in my tired head.

the chase began

from my distance i began to know you,
to see you, my angel, as more wonderful than i had ever imagined.

days flowed into weeks and weeks into time
and in time we found a friendship that beckoned for more

more change, more maturing, and more amazed
led to days of summer and years of wonder
that i will always hold as proof
that a dreamer’s dreams
can come true.

happy 10th anniversary.

(still) your dreamer

What’s So Great About Irresistible Grace?

22 05 2008

Sometime in the next few weeks I’ll hopefully be posting a review of Richard Phillips new book What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?  However, this morning I just couldn’t help sharing this quote with you.  This is part of Phillips’ answer to “What’s so great about the doctrine of Irresistible Grace?”:

It reminds us that when we speak about God’s grace, we do not mean that God sits afar and cuts sinners a little slack by giving them a second chance.  Rather, God places His holy hands on our filthy hearts.  With more personal contact than any surgeon uses in operating on our bodies, God is intimately involved in saving our souls.  How sublime beyond words it is to realize that the transcendent, majestic God takes such a personal interest in every sinner who comes to faith in Christ.  Far from being a nameless number in a vast crowd, every believer has been personally ministered to by God’s overwhelming grace.  Truly, He is to us as a Father to His dear children and as a Shepherd to His beloved flock.  (pgs. 80-81)


Want $200 Worth of Free Books?

21 05 2008

Tim Challies, blogger extraordinaire and master of spiritual discernment, has posted his monthly giveaway and it’s a great one!  He is giving away a gift certificate to to three winners, with first prize being a $200 certificate, second $75, and third $35.  In order to enter, all you need to do is visit his site and fill out a little form. (Don’t worry, he does NOT use the information to spam you to death.)  To sign up for the contest and take your shot at this great prize, simply click the banner below.

May Giveaway


Ah, Holy Jesus

20 05 2008

I asked one of our pianists to pick some of the songs for our evening service this last Sunday. One of the songs she chose was “Ah, Holy Jesus.” I had never heard this song before, but was blown away by both the humbling message and the haunting melody. The lyrics brought us face to face with our sin (or better said “me face to face with my sin”) and the minor key that drives the accompaniment set the perfect musical tone.

Thank you, Becky, for expandning our musical library!

In case you’re not familiar with this song, below are the lyrics and a link to the music.

“Ah, Holy Jesus”
(click for midi file)

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
That man to judge thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty? who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee:
I crucified thee.

Lo, the good Shepherd for the sheep is offered:
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered:
For man’s atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

For me, kind Jesus, was thine incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and thy life’s oblation:
Thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee
Think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.