Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our righteous acts are like filthy rags...

In 2 Chronicles 26:20 we see that God struck Uzziah with leprosy for offering incense without a priest. Those of us whose righteous acts are like filthy rags deserve worse if we dare attempt to come face to face with a Holy God without the intercession of the spotless one - Jesus Christ.

Here's a wonderful quote by Horatius Bonar (1808 - 1889):

Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul; Not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole. Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God; Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load.
Thy grace alone O God to me can pardon speak; Thy power alone O Son of God can this sore bondage break. No other work, save thine, no other blood will do; No strength, save that which is divine, can bear me safely through. 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Quote of the Week - Martin Luther

“Christendom must have men who are able to floor their adversaries and take armor and equipment from the devil, putting him to shame. But this calls for strong warriors who have complete control of Scripture, can refute a false interpretation, know how to wrest the sword they wield, that is their Bible passages, from the hands of the adversaries and beat them back with them.”

Martin Luther (1483 - 1546)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review: "Welcome to a Reformed Church" by Daniel Hyde

Up for review is a neat little book by Daniel Hyde titled "Welcome to a Reformed Church." This book was published by Reformation Trust Publishing (part of Ligonier Ministries) and was written to help address the questions of what a reformed church believes and why reformed churches worship the way they do. I picked this book up last month and finished reading it last week.

The contents of the book are broken down into the following sections:

  1. ROOTS: Our History
  2. CONFESSIONS: Doctrinal Foundations
  3. SCRIPTURE: The Final Authority
  4. COVENANT: God's Story
  5. JUSTIFICATION: Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone
  6. SANCTIFICATION: The Christian Life
  7. CHURCH: Distinguishing Marks
  8. WORSHIP: Of God, by God, for God
  9. PREACHING & SACRAMENTS: Means of Grace   

Overall I found this book to be very thorough and well written. I heartily recommend this book to those who are new to reformed churches or just plain curious to learn more about them. For those who are already intimately acquainted with a reformed church this book will serve as a nice tool when explaining to others what you believe and why. Good book right here!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Puritan Devotion - "Man a Nothing"

I am a shell full of dust,
but animated with an invisible rational soul
and made anew by an unseen power of grace;

Yet I am no rare object of valuable price,
but one that has nothing and is nothing,
although chosen of thee from eternity,
given to Christ, and born again;

I am deeply convinced of the evil and misery of a sinful state,
of the vanity of creatures,
but also of the sufficiency of Christ.

When thou wouldst guide me I control myself,
When thou wouldst be sovereign I rule myself.
When thou wouldst take care of me I suffice myself.
When I should depend on thy providings I supply myself,
When I should submit to thy providence I follow my will,
When I should study, love, honour, trust thee, I serve myself;
I fault and correct thy laws to suit myself;
Instead of thee I look to a man's approbation,
and am by nature an idolater.

Lord, it is my chief design to bring my heart back to thee.
Convince me that I cannot be my own God, or make myself happy.
nor my own Christ to restore my joy,
nor my own Spirit to teach, guide, rule me.

Help me to see that grace does this by providential affliction,
for when my credit is good thou dost cast me lower,
when riches are my idol thou dost wing them away,
when pleasure is my all thou dost turn it into bitterness.

Take away my roving eye, curious ear, greedy appetite, lustful heart;
Show that none of these things
can heal a wounded conscience,
or support a tottering frame,
or uphold a departing spirit.

Then take me to the cross and leave me there.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bible Review: Allan Longprimer Diamond Jubilee Limited Edition

A few months ago I pre-ordered two of the R. L. Allan KJV Longprimer Diamond Jubilee bibles from and I came home this afternoon and found them on my doorstep. At last the wait is over. These are the first R. L. Allan bibles I have purchased. I bought one of them to commemorate the birth of my son Nathaniel (DOB 10/04/12) and plan on giving it to him when he gets older. I'm not sure what I'll do with the second one I purchased. Due to the limited number of these produced (only 60 of them) I went ahead and purchased the maximum number allowed per customer, which was two.

The Bibles Direct website posted this description of them:

To celebrate 60 years since the Allan Oxford Longprimer KJV edition was first printed in 1952, we are proud to publish a very special edition of this fine Bible setting, limited to only 60 copies.
Bound in smoke grey buffalo grain leather and full yapp edges, grey leather linings and double silver lines inside, with three ribbon markers in red white and blue, blue/white head and tailbands. Blue under silver gilded page edges, silver embossing.

Printed on writeable india paper with Presentation pages, dictionary of proper names, subject index, concordance, 32 pp lined writing paper, 16pp of Oxford Bible maps.

Each Bible will be individually marked 1 - 60 with the company seal.

Page size: 8 3/4 x 6 inches : 1 1/4 inch thick ( 222 x 152mm)

Type size: 11 pt bold


These really are beautifully made. The layout for these are the same as the other Longprimer editions and the grey and silver color scheme is very attractive. The three ribbon markers are a nice and unique touch as well.

If you didn't get a chance to place an order for one of these while they were available contact me and perhaps I will be willing to part with one of the two that I have.

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Book Purchase: "Theonomy in Christian Ethics" by Greg Bahnsen

Last week I purchased Greg Bahnsen's book titled "Theonomy in Christian Ethics" from Amazon. I had searched high and low on the regular online book stores I normally shop from and couldn't find it, so I headed over to Amazon where they had 9 copies left in stock.

This hardback book is published by Covenant Media Press and is in its 3rd edition of print. This particular edition is the 25th Anniversary Multimedia Edition and also comes with a CD that has PDF versions of this book plus the books "By This Standard", "No Other Standard", "House Divided", articles and a resource catalog. If that weren't enough there are also 20 MP3 lectures by Greg Bahnsen on subjects related to theonomy.

Greg Bahnsen's book "Theonomy in Christian Ethics" is over 500 pages and is divided by the below contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Abiding Validity of the Law in Exhaustive Detail
  3. Pharisaism Reproved
  4. The Law's Inability to Justify and Empower
  5. The Integrity of the Law
  6. Messianic Obedience and the Atonement
  7. Sanctification by the Holy Spirit
  8. Covenantal Unity
  9. The Ceremonial (Restorative) Law
  10. Alleged Negative Passages
  11. Theonomy and Grace, Faith, Love
  12. New Testament Substantiation of the Thesis
  13. The Functions of God's Law
  14. Theonomy vs. Autonomy
  15. Latent Antinomianism
  16. The Responsibility of Civil Magistrates
  17. The Magistrate in the Older Testament Israel
  18. The Magistrate in Nations Surrounding Israel
  19. The Civil Magistrate in the New Testament
  20. Separation of Church and State
  21. Penology
  22. Summation
  23. Our Duty to Promote Obedience
  24. The Blessedness of the Law and the Blessing of Obedience
  25. Conclusion   

I started reading this book a few days ago in the mornings and I have covered the forward, prefaces, and I'm halfway through the introduction. I'm really enjoying this book so far, though I must say it is not easy reading. Greg Bahnsen's writing style is very academic and the content is pretty heavy and will require slowly chewing the subject matter to digest it fully.

If you are interested in learning more about God's law and the topic of theonomy I recommend picking a copy of this up from Amazon or wherever you can find it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Create in me a clean heart, O God...

Psalm 51:10-13 - 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from they presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

The verses above are from a Psalm written after Nathan the prophet confronted David for the adultery he committed with Bathsheba...

In verse 10 you see David's plea to have God create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within him. There is nothing so filthy, impure, or as loathsome as the human heart prior to being converted. Our hearts are so corrupted and vile that mending them will not work - they have to be made altogether new and only God himself can do so. It has been said that a clean heart has been purified from guilt and cleansed from filth and it is seen here to be David's great desire.

In verses 11 and 12 we see David pleading with God to not reject him, abandon him, leave him in sin and sorrow, nor take his Holy Spirit from him. Having once tasted the joy of his salvation, David asks for this great joy that was racked by sin to be restored again. James Smith, the predecessor to Charles Spurgeon at New Park Street (1841-1850) states:  

When the Spirit of God once takes up his residence as the Spirit of life, of love, and adoption, he never finally withdraws, or abandons the soul to ruin. But though he does not totally and finally withdraw, he withholds his influence, and leaves us pretty much to ourselves. He ceases to comfort us, or to strengthen us with might, according to his power in the inner man. He refuses to assist us in prayer, and we are left to toil alone. Then like Samson, we become weak, and are like other men; or like the church we cry out, "The Comforter that should relieve my soul, is far from me!" 
When the Spirit is withdrawn from us, all our graces wither, our evidences become obscured, our joy dies out, and our duties become a task. Then we become light and frivolous, or gloomy and morose; our hearts are hardened, our understanding is darkened, and all within us appears carnal or cold. The greatest loss we can sustain, is the presence and operation of the holy Comforter in the heart. Then very often doubts, fears, and misgivings spring up, unbelief works, and a sense of condemnation is felt in the conscience. We turn everything against ourselves, refuse to be comforted, and begin to neglect duties, because we have no enjoyment in them. Past experience looks like delusion, the hard heart refuses to weep, and the mouth is often ready to speak against God. Sad, very sad, has been the experience of many professors, when the Spirit has left them for a time; well therefore may David pray, "Take not your Holy Spirit from me." 

In verse 13 we see the desires of a grateful heart revealed. When we have had our hearts of stone turned by God to hearts of flesh and when by God's grace he renews a right spirit within us it will then be the heart's great desire to share the gospel to a lost and fallen world, to go tell it on the mountain top, and to yell it from the roof top. Sinners need to have God's truths shared with them...they need to be made aware of their sins, and they need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. There is an old British proverb that says "reclaimed poachers make the best gamekeepers." My friend if God has created in you a clean heart and if he has given you the joy of his salvation then go...go and share what God has done and point sinners to Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quote of the Week - Charles H. Spurgeon

This week's quote is from the "Prince of Preachers" - C.H. Spurgeon. Great quote on humility!

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 - 1892)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New KJV Study Bible Coming in 2014

Last month Joel Beeke announced that Reformation Heritage Books plans to publish the "KJV Study Bible for Personal and Family Worship" in 2014. This got me excited as I can not think off the top of my head of any other modern KJV Study Bibles out there that is written from a reformed perspective. Here is an excerpt taken from the advertisement:

The planned publication date for this quality Study Bible is the Fall of 2014. Dr. Joel R. Beeke will serve as the General Editor, Dr. Michael Barrett as Old Testament Editor, and Dr. Jerry Bilkes as New Testament Editor. The following contributors are committed to write on various Bible books: Dr. Mark Allison, Rev. Geoff Banister, Dr. Charles Barrett, Dr. Michael Barrett, Dr. Joel Beeke, Dr. Jerry Bilkes, Rev. John Greer, Rev. Pooyan Mehrshahi, Rev. Andrew McIntosh, Dr. John McKnight, Rev. Alan J. Macgregor, Rev. Gerald Procee, Rev. Maurice Roberts, Rev. David Silversides, Rev. John Thackway, and Rev. Malcolm Watts. All of these men are Reformed in their theology, appreciate the experiential tradition of Reformed theology, and use the KJV in their own pulpit and teaching ministries.

If you want to see the advertisement in its entirety click here. Please pray for this project as it will be an enormous undertaking involving a substantial amount of time, money, and resources....but oh what a blessing this will be for those who use the King James Version of the Bible. Lord willing we will see the first of these new study Bibles become available in about two years.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: "A BibleTime Book" Series by Carine Mackenzie

Last month I purchased a dozen or so books from the "A BibleTime Book" series written by Carine Mackenzie. This series is published by Christian Focus Publications and each book is about 30 pages in length and focuses on a Bible story centered around a specific character of the Old or New Testament. I selected these stories with the intention of reading my three year old daughter a couple each night before tucking her into bed.

Cover of one of the books I purchased

Since purchasing these books a day has not passed without my daughter asking me if she can pick a couple books to read in bed at night. These books are illustrated and written in a way that is well suited for children needing to be read to and for children who are able to read on their own. My daughter really gets into the stories and enjoys them a lot. These books are rightfully praised for their accurate retelling of the great stories of the Bible. While these in no way should replace the actual reading of God's written word as found in the Bible, they are in fact a great tool for retelling Bible stories to children and emphasizing lessons from the Bible.

Page from Mary Mother of Jesus (sorry for the poor scan)

I have been so impressed by the "A BibleTime Book" series that I plan on purchasing Carine Mackenzie's other series "Biblewise" for Christmas this year. I highly recommend these books to parents for their children. They are sturdy and well made and cost on average around $3 per book. The best place I have seen online to purchase these are at Reformation Heritage Books and at Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service (CVBBS).

The books in the "A BibleTime Book" serious include:

OLD TESTAMENT (* are books that I own and personally recommend)

  • Esther - The Brave Queen*
  • Gideon - Soldier of God*
  • Hannah - The Mother who Prayed*
  • Jonah - The Runaway Preacher*
  • Joshua - The Brave Leader*
  • Moses - Man of God*
  • Nehemiah - Builder for God*
  • Rebekah - The Mother of Twins*
  • Ruth - the Harvest Girl

NEW TESTAMENT (* are books that I own and personally recommend)

  • John - the Baptist*
  • Martha & Mary - Friends of Jesus*
  • Mary - Mother of Jesus* (pictured above)
  • Paul - the Wise Preacher*
  • Peter - the Apostle*
  • Peter - the Fisherman*
  • Simon Peter - the Disciple*