Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mahaney on Pride

We're at Windy Gap right now with the students from school. This place is incredible. They have a new building that seriously is like the Grove Park Inn. Its insane.
Austin is speaking this morning on humility and our approach to God. Its amazing how pride is our ever-present companion, so sometimes we don't recognize how disgusting it is. Mahaney has a great quote relating to pride and self-worship:

“Pride is when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence on him.” -C. J. Mahaney

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Windy Gap & The Glory of Christ

Today our school leaves for its annual Windy Gap retreat. We take over 200 high students to the mountains for a mid-week retreat...its incredible. This year, our speaker is Austin Rammell, and our music is led by the Vias. This year, I'm specifically praying that we would see Christ clearly. As you read through this, pray for our students on this trip.

“By his cross, divine holiness and justice were exalted, and through his triumph, grace and mercy are poured out to the full. In glorious thoughts of this let my soul live, and in believing it let my soul die. And let the present wonder of this glory make way for the eternal enjoyment of it in it’s beauty and fullness…

One view of Christ’s glory by faith will scatter all the fears, answer all the objections and disperse all the depressions of the poor, tempted, doubting souls. To all believers it is an anchor which they may cast within the veil, to hold them firm and steadfast in all trials, storms and temptations, both in life and in death.”

- John Owen, The Glory of Christ (p 80-81)

The Wrath of God was Satisfied!

We've been studying Romans 1 in my Romans class, and have come to the part about God's wrath being poured out against ungodliness. Against this backdrop the cross stands as a satisfaction of the wrath of God.

"On the cross the penalty of our sins was paid; it is as though we ourselves had died in fulfillment of the just curse of the law; the handwriting of ordinances that was against us was wiped out; and henceforth we have an entirely new life in the full favor of God.”

- J. Gresham Machen, What Is Faith?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Luther on Righteousness

Today, we're continuing our study of Romans 1 and the righteousness of God.

‘O law, Christ is my righteousness, my treasure, and my work; I confess, O law, that I am neither godly nor righteous, but yet this I am sure of, that he is godly and righteous for me.’ -Martin Luther

Sunday, September 23, 2007

At Church

Happy Sunday!

"We assemble not in the church to pass away the time, but to gain some great benefit for our souls. If therefore we depart without profit, our zeal in frequenting the church will prove our condemnation. That so great a judgment comes not upon you, when ye go hence ponder the things ye have heard, and exercise yourselves in confirming our instruction—friend with friend, fathers with their children...rejoice and be glad in the conviction that ye have put into practice the greater part of our exhortation."
-John Chrysostom (345?-407)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Counsel from Spurgeon

While preparing for upcoming messages I came across this:

'What a dreadful thing it will be for me if I should be ignorant of the power of the truth which I am preparing to proclaim!' -Charles Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students

Friday, September 21, 2007

More John Owen on Temptation:

"Temptations and occasions put nothing into a man, but only draw out what was in him before."
-John Owen (1616-1683)

In other words, temptations and the way we deal with them reveal whats in the heart

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Joy in the Christian Life

We were talking about the joy of the early church today in my Acts class. Here's a great quote from Helmut Thielecke about joy within the Christian life:

“Should we not see that the lines of laughter about the eyes are just as much marks of faith as are the lines of care and seriousness? Is laughter pagan? We have already allowed too much that is good to be lost to the church and cast many pearls before the swine. A church is in a bad way when it banishes laughter from the sanctuary and leaves it to the cabaret, the nightclubs and the toastmasters” (Helmut Thielecke).

Transformation as a Process

While speaking on transformation this past weekend, I tried to remind my listeners that growth in the Christian life is a process, not a moment. Here's the way Whitefield described it:

"The renewal of our natures is a work of great importance. It is not to be done in a day. We have not only a new house to build up, but an old one to pull down."
(George Whitefield (1714-1770), letter)

Monkey & Pigeon

A monkey & pigeon are apparently best friends. Odd couple.

Evangelism Linebacker

For my Acts class:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Spurgeon on Pluralism

More Spurgeon on the exclusivity of Jesus Christ:
"Now hear the Word of God! "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not" —What? "shall get to heaven some other way?"—"shall be damned;" that is the gospel. You perceive how boldly it launches out its censure. It does not pretend, "you may reject me and go by another road, and at last get safely to your journey's end!" No, no, no; you "shall be damned" it says." (Spurgeon, The Gospel's Power in a Christian's Life")

He recieves sinners!

Here's Spurgeon commenting on the return of the prodigal:

"This Man, who is no other than the eternal God, before whom angels veil their faces—this Man receiveth sinners. It needs an angel’s tongue to describe such a mighty stoop of love. That any of us should be willing to seek after the lost is nothing wonderful— they are of our own race; but that he, the offended God, against whom the transgression has been committed, should take upon himself the form of a servant, and bear the sin of many, and should then be willing to receive the vilest of the vile, this is marvellous." (Charles Spurgeon, Morning & Evening)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Inordinate Loves

Tomorrow in my Romans class, we'll be studying about the horrible & deadly exchange that takes place in Romans 1:22-23: “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”

“It would be a great tragedy if a man loved his wedding band more than he loved his bride” (Piper, The Pleasures of God).

iTunes U

For those who subscribe to iTunes podcasts, you may be familiar with iTunes U. There are tons of free courses available through this service. Recently, RTS (Reformed Theological Seminary) has posted several of their courses on iTunes U, including Systematic Theology courses, Ethics, Apologetics & Church History, and even lectures on the Puritans by J. I. Packer.

What is the Gospel?

John Piper answers the question of "What is the Gospel?":

"What’s the gospel? I’ll put it in a sentence.

The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy.

That’s the gospel."

Monday, September 17, 2007

The motive of studying Theology

We're studying a lot of theology right now in my classes. In Acts, we've been studying the doctrine of the Spirit. In John, we've been studying Christology, and in Romans we've been studying Apologetics specifically related to the Existence of God. Here's a great reminder to my students about our studies:

“The study of religious truth ought to be undertaken and prosecuted...with a view to the improvement of the heart. When learned it ought not to be laid on the shelf, as an object of speculation; but it should be deposited deep in the heart, where its sanctifying power ought to be felt." (J. L. Dagg, Manual of Theology)

In heart, mind, soul & strength may we love Him more!

"The dungeon flamed with light"

Here's a line from one of my top two favorite hymns (the other is It is Well), that ties in well with the prayer of God opening up our eyes:

"Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee."
(Charles Wesley, And Can it Be)

Justified by death?

In my Romans class, we've been (and will continue to be) studying how a person comes to be in right standing with God. Scripture is clear that "the righteous shall live by faith!" Here's an interesting observation from R.C. Sproul about the most common view of justification today:

"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, The Truth of the Cross, p. 10).


"Hiding of ends and designs is the principal property of deceit"
-John Owen

One reason sin is tempting is because we don't see the end result of it. If we could clearly see that the "wages of sin is death," we wouldn't be so deceived by it. So, when John Owen says that the "Hiding of the principal property of deceit," he's reminding us of how short-sighted we often are when it comes to sin.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

HS Fall Retreat

I just got back from Parkwood's HS Fall Retreat. We had a great time and I appreciate all the prayers! The theme was "More Than Meets the Eye" and this is my continued prayer over the weekend:

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might…” (Eph. 1:17-19).

Friday, September 14, 2007

Discussion Day Friday

Today's topic is Violent Video Games


Without trying to quote him verbatim, I came across a Charles Wesley hymn recently that said something along the lines of "Jesus is more full of grace than I of sin."

Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Super Stick Man

One of my students, Brent Edwards, has been producing some short films recently. This is a trailer for one of the films called Super Stick Man:

Also highly recommended is his short film on dueling banjos in which he does all the parts...genius.

Modern Slavery

There are more slaves today than there have been in any other time in history. According to the "Not For Sale Campaign," there are over 27 million slaves today. There's a documentary called Trade coming out at the end of the month that I'm sure would be extremely difficult to watch, but would raise awareness to this hidden sin.

This is a biblical heart-of-God issue, as William Wilberforce said:
"The fatal habit of considering Christian morals as distinct from Christian doctrines insensibly gained strength. Thus the peculiar doctrines of Christianity went more and more out of sight, and as might naturally have been expected, the moral system itself also began to wither and decay, being robbed of that which should have supplied it with life and nutriment."

The moral system should be supplied by the motive of doing all things for the glory of God

More Huckabee on being pro-life:


My friends Mike & Holly are moving from North Carolina to Texas, and they've decided to not move their dog Jabez with them. I'm sure it was a difficult decision, but no doubt in my mind that this pup's territory will be enlarged and his impact will increase

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How could you not be a Boston fan?

Midway through this video of an autistic person singing the national anthem, the whole crowd joins in with him

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I taught on Acts 2 today dealing with the subject of the Holy Spirit's filling on the day of Pentecost. In preparation for it, I read this from Charles Spurgeon in a message called "Pentecost," delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Sunday morning, 24 May 1863:

"When you get the Spirit of God to come upon you like fire and like a rushing mighty will only be just for this, to make you preach Christ, and preach him more simply than ever you did before."

Thomas a' Kempis on Humility

"Do not boast of personal stature or of physical beauty, qualities which are marred and destroyed by a little sickness. Do not take pride in your talent or ability, lest you displease God to Whom belongs all the natural gifts that you have.Do not think yourself better than others lest, perhaps, you be accounted worse before God Who knows what is in man. Do not take pride in your good deeds, for God’s judgments differ from those of men and what pleases them often displeases Him. If there is good in you, see more good in others, so that you may remain humble." -Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

Church Sign...sigh

Monday, September 10, 2007

Prosperity Gospel

The Glory of Christ

This coming weekend, I'm speaking for a retreat in which the theme is "More Than Meets the Eye." The objective is to show forth that the more clearly we see Christ, the more we're transformed into His image. About 5-6 weeks ago when I was first approached about the retreat, I decided I should reread John Owen's book called the "Glory of Christ," which speaks to this subject better than anything else I've ever read. Here's a great quote I came across while preparing:

“All that may be known of God for our salvation, especially his wisdom, love, goodness, grace and mercy on which the life of our souls depends, are represented to us in all their splendor in and through Christ. No wonder then that Christ is glorious in the eyes of believers!”

- John Owen, The Glory of Christ


“Read often, learn all you can. Let sleep overcome you, the roll still in your hands; when your head falls, let it be on the sacred page.”
- St. Jerome c.340-420 AD


This kid is gonna be a wild man:

Sunday, September 9, 2007

"Do this? in remembrance of Me"

We took communion together this morning at church and it was a wonderful experience. I saw this earlier this week, and it seems more like a Handi-Snack than Communion:

Is nothing sacred?

The heavens declare the glory of God...

A new telescope helps provide clearer pictures of space. Read Psalm 19 and then the article.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Word Became Flesh...

We're getting ready to study John 1:14 in one of my classes. Here's a fitting excerpt from J.C. Ryle related to His becoming flesh:

"He did not sit in heaven pitying us from a distance: He did not stand upon the shore and see the wreck, and behold poor drowning sinners struggling in vain to get to shore. He plunged into the waters Himself: He came off to the wreck and took part with us in our weakness and infirmity becoming a man to save our souls.

As man, He bore our sins and carried our transgressions; as man, He endured all that men can endure, and went through everything in man’s experience, sin only excepted; as man He lived; as man He went to the cross; as man He died. As man He shed His blood, in order that He might save us, poor shipwrecked sinners, and establish a communication between earth and heaven! As man He became a curse for us, in order that He might bridge the gulf, and make a way by which you and I might draw near to God with boldness, and have access to God without fear."

- J.C. Ryle, Old Paths

The "School of Temptation"

“We can never know God as we ought without temptations. … In this school of affliction it is that the soul is taught to suck sweetness out of the Word of God.” -Hercules Collins


Good counsel concerning pride:

"Stay close to the cross and never cease to be amazed and thankful that you are saved. People who are perpetually and thankfully amazed that God has saved them are not likely to be destroyed by pride." -John Piper

For you dog lovers

I recently came across this Martin Luther quote. I'm gonna look the next dog I see right into the eyes and quote this.

"Be thou comforted, little dog, Thou too in Resurrection shall have a little golden tail." -Martin Luther


I've known about this for a while, but it still shocks me that Joel Osteen has a board game. One of my classes last year wanted to order it and play in class just to see how bad it really is. I can't confirm for sure, but I think at one point there's a little mirror on the board, and you have to name positive things about yourself...

Friday, September 7, 2007

"Neither do I condemn you" -Jesus

I read this article today and then read John 7:53-8:11. The contrast between the two stories is a remarkable display of the unconventional beauty of Christ

Discussion Day: Perseverance of the Saints

I recently taught on this subject for Sunday School, and its also our discussion day topic. While preparing for this discussion I came across this from Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

"Let me put it like this: God, who is sufficiently concerned about me to send his Son to die on the cross of Calvary for me, is not going to let me down when any difficulty or temptation faces me. My dear friends, there is nothing for you to fear! You belong to One of whom we are told that all power has been given to him over all flesh. You are in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ if you but knew and realized it, and he controls everything. He controls every human being, all the affairs of nature, he is even controlling the devil himself. All power is given unto him, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers are subject unto him, so you need never fear! You and I have but to realize that we are in those mighty hands, that that strong arm is engaged on our behalf, that all flesh under his power, and that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him." (Lloyd-Jones, David Martyn: The Assurance of Our Salvation : Exploring the Depth of Jesus' Prayer for His Own : Studies in John 17).

In the midst of plenty...

Next week, a pastor friend of mine named Tim Smith will be coming to speak in chapel on the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are beautiful, powerful and timeless. Below is a quote from one of Calvin's sermons on the Beatitudes that relates to our culture quite well:

"In the midst of plenty we must guard against greedy excess, lest we choke ourselves and bring this curse upon us: Woe to you who are filled. If we are to be filled, it is in a different way--by contemplating God's face, as we read in Psalm 16. We should regard material possessions simply as props to help us, until we see the Father face to face. He is our bliss and happiness."
-John Calvin, Sermons on the Beatitudes (Banner of Truth), p. 80.

May our possessions serve as props to see Him better rather than as distractions that occupy our attention

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Pavarotti 1935-2007

In honor of Pavarotti, here's a video of him with Eno & Bono

The new Ipod

The new ipod was released yesterday. Its beautiful.

Mike Huckabee & Pro-Life

Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee on being pro-life:

"My point is, for us to show true credibility, we must show as much compassion for the child sleeping under the bridge or in the back seat of the car as we do for the one in the womb. That's what pro-life really means...It is really about understanding the value of each individual life as having intrinsic worth. So whether that life is in the womb or is an 89-year-old invalid in long-term care, what we value is the individual and respect the dignity and value of that person."

Isaac Watts on Righteousness

We're getting ready to study Romans 1:16-17 and discuss the righteousness of God!
Here's a hymn that speaks to this:

"Thy Works Not Mine O Christ" (Isaac Watts)

"Thy righteousness, O Christ,
Alone can cover me:
No righteousness avails
Save that which is of thee."

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Simeon on Brokenness

"I am sure that whatever God may despise . . . He will not despise the broken and contrite heart." (Charles Simeon, Moule, 133f)

Running Forever

"She loves to run. Many people don't understand us"
-Zhang Jianmin
I'm one of those people who don't understand.

Augustine's Conversion

This past Wednesday, I spoke on Saul's conversion on the Damascus road. Here's Augustine's description of his conversion (perhaps the most influential Christian thinker outside of Scripture). This is another big moment in history that has the left the world forever changed:

"I flung myself down beneath a fig tree and gave way to the tears which now streamed from my eyes . . . In my misery I kept crying, "How long shall I go on saying 'tomorrow, tomorrow'? Why not now? Why not make an end of my ugly sins at this moment?" . . . All at once I heard the singsong voice of a child in a nearby house. Whether it was the voice of a boy or a girl I cannot say, but again and again it repeated the refrain 'Take it and read, take it and read.' At this I looked up, thinking hard whether there was any kind of game in which children used to chant words like these, but I could not remember ever hearing them before. I stemmed my flood of tears and stood up, telling myself that this could only be a divine command to open my book of Scripture and read the first passage on which my eyes should fall.

So I hurried back to the place where Alypius was sitting . . . seized [the book of Paul's epistles] and opened it, and in silence I read the first passage on which my eyes fell: "Not in reveling in drunkenness, not in lust and wantonness, not in quarrels and rivalries. Rather, arm yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ; spend no more thought on nature and nature's appetites" (Romans 13:13-14). I had no wish to read more and no need to do so. For in an instant, as I came to the end of the sentence, it was as though the light of confidence flooded into my heart and all the darkness of doubt was dispelled." -St. Augustine

I had a conversation last week with someone that used the "Tomorrow, tomorrow..." approach. But as Augustine says, "why not now? why not make an end of your ugly sins now?"

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hauns Go to Africa

Our friends William & Heidi & their little boy Trey are getting ready to move to Ghana. They've put up a website that will be updated regularly concerning their trip ( Here are a couple of practical things you can do to be a part of this trip: 1. Bookmark the website and pray for them (see Aug. 25th entry on their blog), 2. and support them financially (moving to Ghana ain't cheap)

I thought of William & Heidi a few days ago when I was reading a book called, "The Culturally Savvy Christian" by Dick Staub. At the beginning of the book, Staub discusses the Christian's relationship with culture through the means of art. He then gives a brief definition of what he terms the "culturally savvy Christian": "The culturally savvy Christian is serious about faith, savvy about faith and culture, and skilled in relating the two." Here's a promo video:

Luther on Christ & Scripture

"Christ is the master; the Scriptures are only the servant."
-Martin Luther

Machen on the message of the church

J. Gresham Machen:

"That Church is still alive; an unbroken spiritual descent connects us with those whom Jesus commissioned. Times have changed in many respects, new problems must be faced and new difficulties overcome, but the same message must still be proclaimed to a lost world. Today we have need of all our faith; unbelief and error have perplexed us sore; strife and hatred have set the world aflame. There is only one hope, but that hope is sure. God has never deserted his church; his promise never fails"

5 AM Club

Jennifer and I are big fans of the 5 A.M. Club. We're recruiting others to join, and encourage you to find some sort of alarm clock that forces you to get up

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Great One

Pedro Martinez just reached the milestone of striking out 3,000 batters. One of the best ever...

South Carolina beauty queen vs. French people

Education is down the water closet (toilet):

Repentance...and Faith

I've been reading a lot of the Puritans this year. I came across this quote and its reminding me to pray over this issue with regards to our upcoming high school retreat to Windy Gap. Every year I've seen this type of repentance, but not necessarily the follow-up with true faith.

"It is not only repentance toward God but faith in our Lord Jesus Christ that is required for the pardoning and purging of sin, for destroying sin and saving you. Repentance is not enough, for righteousness is not by repentance, but by faith (Phil 3.9). Prayers and tears, sighs and sorrows are not our saviour; it is Jesus only who saves us from sin (Mt. 1.21). None can out our sins to death but he who died for our sins. Bring all your repentance and righteousness, and it cannot compensate or make amends for one sin. If all the angels in heaven lent you their whole stock of righteousness - and it is a great one - yet it would not do. No satisfaction could be made nor anything merited for you but by the Son of God; he and he alone is the Saviour from sin…"
Ralph Venning, The Sinfulness of Sin

Praying for more than tears

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Old Testament Preaching

I don't have a copy of this book yet, but I'm sure its a great resource. Here's a quote from the introduction:

“One of the greatest enhancements that could come to most evangelical teaching and preaching- indeed, the best among the people of God worldwide- is a whole new appreciation for the majesty and greatness of our God as presented in the Scriptures. Unfortunately, one of the best sources for this teaching- the Old Testament- is all too often neglected in our teaching and preaching.” (p. 9)

An observation...

From Sally Morgenthaler:

"For all the money, time, and effort we’ve spent on cultural relevance—and that includes culturally relevant worship—it seems we came through the last 15 years with a significant net loss in churchgoers, proliferation of megachurches and all."

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Tattoos for witnessing

In light of the insistence of so many of my students arguing that tattoos are a witness for the Gospel, here's a reminder that the primary witness is in the living out of our relationship with Christ...My understanding of Scripture is that this is an issue of wisdom rather than a black & white, always right or always wrong kind of issue (see Romans 14 for more on that...), however, I do think its important to remember that our witness is much more than a stamped tee-shirt or bumper-sticker or tattoo.

A watchman

Jennifer and I are reading through Ezekiel now, and this morning our reading had the chapter about Ezekiel being a watchman for Israel. I don't often think about the protective & warning nature of my/others' teachings, but am mindful of it as I'm reading through Ezekiel. So, as Spurgeon said, "Get ye to your watchtower and guard the flock, lest the sheep be destroyed while they are asleep."

Bible Maps

If you're ever wanting to see maps related to a particular passage that you're studying, this is a great website