• TUESDAY (2nd): Joshua 5-7

    This is part of a bible study series. See the plan here.   Joshua 5-7   The Israelites have now crossed the Jordan under Joshua’s command and are about to begin their conquest of the land of Canaan. The people of Canaan are terrified by the approach of the Israelites (Josh. 5:1), and for good reason. They see that this army has an unusual power on its side. But before the Israelites can engage their enemies, the people must be spiritually prepared for the journey.   Joshua has all the men circumcised, as a sign of the renewal of their covenant commitment with God (Josh. 5:2-3). The practice of circumcision was initiated by God as a sign of the covenant He established with Abraham and his descendents (cf. Gen. 17), [...]

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  • What Causes Men to Differ?

    Here is a brief but powerful objection I want to reiterate for the non-Calvinist. I have never been offered a response, nor seen one anywhere, so I encourage non-Reformed visitors to share their thoughts in a comment below.   Some men are saved, some are not. This evidences a difference between two kinds of people. What is the cause of that difference? Why has one chosen to believe, while the other has not?   Either God is the cause of the difference, or man is. If God is the cause of the difference, then that difference must be attributed to sovereign election, in that God’s grace has been freely extended to some in a way that it has not been extended to others. Many who deny sovereign election would nevertheless [...]

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  • “Why I Am an Open Theist and Why It Isn’t Heresy” – A Response

    A college friend of mine has recently announced that he has become an open theist. He has begun posting a series on open theism on his blog, to which I wish to respond to on mine. Unfortunately, getting together to have a detailed discussion of our differences seems to be an on-going challenge due to the busy lives we both lead, but I hope that through posting on our respective blogs we might yet be able to have a conversation. I encourage my friend Randy to read my posts, as I will be reading his, and to interact with them thoughtfully and prayerfully, if not in written response then at least in private meditation.   Randy knows (I hope) that I seek a discussion with him on these things because [...]

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  • A Balance Between Extremes?

    I was directed to a recent blog post written by an individual named Matthew Lambert, who makes an attempt to articulate a “balance” between Calvinism and Arminianism. The claim to subscribe to such a “middle ground” is not an uncommon one, but is almost always characterized by a misunderstanding of one or both positions involved. Normally I would only take the time to give careful attention to such blog posts if they were published by well known and influential individuals, but as this is a new blog (and so is my opponent’s, it appears) I thought I would give the article a review and maybe help the both of us a bit in growing a reader base.   My own position on this matter is that no such “balance” can [...]

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  • TUESDAY (2nd): Joshua 5-7

    This is part of a bible study series. See the plan here.   Joshua 5-7   The Israelites have now crossed the Jordan under Joshua’s command and are about to begin their conquest of the land of Canaan. The people of Canaan are terrified by the approach of the Israelites (Josh. 5:1), and for good reason. They see that this army has an unusual power on its side. But before the Israelites can engage their enemies, the people must be spiritually prepared for the journey.   Joshua has all the men circumcised, as a sign of the renewal of their covenant commitment with God (Josh. 5:2-3). The practice of circumcision was initiated by God as a sign of the covenant He established with Abraham and his descendents (cf. Gen. 17), [...]

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  • MONDAY (2nd): Genesis 4-7

    This is part of a bible study series. See the plan here.   Genesis 4-7   The consequences of the fall are carried on into the descendents of Adam and Eve. In the story of Cain and Abel we see the introduction of the theme of brotherly conflict (cf. Gen. 25:19-34; 27:1-45; 37:1-35), and witness the origin and division of the two distinct mindsets that characterize all of humanity. One represents a delight in God, the other represents a delight in oneself.   In the story of Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:1-18), the two brothers bring a sacrifice before the Lord but only Abel’s is received with favor (Gen. 4:4-5). Cain was a farmer, and Abel was a shepherd (Gen. 4:2). God did not prefer Abel’s offering over Cain’s because [...]

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  • A Change of Pace

    This is awesome. Here is video footage from cameras attached to the rocket boosters on the Atlantis shuttle.  

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  • SUNDAY (2nd): Psalms 6-10

    This is part of a bible study series. See the plan here.   Psalms 6-10   Psalm 6 Every individual will undergo suffering. For the non-elect it is judgment; for God’s people it is discipline. In this Psalm David cries out to God to deliver him from the immense suffering he is enduring. He begins by appealing to God’s grace and forgiveness (Psalm 6:1-3), and then seeks deliverance from his situation (Psalm 6:4-5). So serious is his situation that he is concerned that he may die (Psalm 6:5). His enemies are bearing down on him and have brought him to a level of desperation (Psalm 6:7). But the psalm takes an optimistic turn in the end as David expresses his confidence that God is going to help him in due [...]

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  • SATURDAY (1st): Romans 1-3

    This is part of a bible study series. See the plan here.   Romans 1-3   Paul begins all of his letters with a greeting identifying himself (Romans 1:1-17). Romans contains the longest of these greetings, as Paul wants to emphasize his apostolic authority to a church that is not familiar with him. Paul had never visited the Roman church and needs to establish his credentials. He could have easily used the opportunity to boast of his education and achievements, but chooses instead to refer to himself only as a “servant of Christ Jesus” (Romans 1:1). True freedom can only be found in service to Christ, and that service should therefore be the identity of the believer.   Paul speaks of his desire to visit Rome and defines the theme [...]

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  • FRIDAY (1st): Matthew 1-3

    This is part of a bible study series. See the plan here.   Matthew 1-3   Matthew begins his gospel with a genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:1-17), though we might equally refer to it as a list of the descendents of Abraham, because Matthew’s concern in writing his gospel is to demonstrate that the Old Testament has been fulfilled in this promised Messiah. To understand Jesus, we must refer to the Old Testament. And so Matthew begins with Abraham, tracing his descendents through the kingly line down to Christ, demonstrating Jesus’ right to the throne, and pointing out the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.   Jesus’ genealogy tells the story of God’s sovereign grace. How many different events and details and human decisions are involved in constituting the marriage of [...]

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  • THURSDAY (1st): Isaiah 1-3

    This is part of a bible study series. See the plan here.   Isaiah 1-3   The first chapter of Isaiah summarizes the two major themes of the book: judgment for Judah’s rebellion, and the hope for future restoration. The text is presented as a legal trial, in which God is bringing charges against His people. The people of Judah are the defendants, the prophet is the witness, and God is both the plaintiff and judge.   The heavens and earth are personified and called to hear the case. They are the witnesses of God’s covenant with Israel (Deut. 30:19). This is a way of saying that there is no contest. Judah is almost being mocked, that she would even think that she could defend herself against the Creator of [...]

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