Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Time for a Checkup?

Monday, February 13th, 2012

How are you feeling these days? Could it be time for a spiritual checkup?

Vaughan Roberts of St Ebbs Church, Oxford recently preached an excellent message on A Heart for God: Delight. I encourage you to take time to listen to it. Vaughan gives solid Bible teaching that does good like a medicine.

Knowing God (free audio book)

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Christian Audio is offering a free download of J.I. Packer’s Knowing God. If you haven’t read this classic, you should make it your new year’s resolution to read or listen to this wonderful book. If you have read it, here’s a great way to review and find yourself revived by Packer’s clear teaching.

Reading the Bible

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

The other day I asked readers to weigh in on their Bible reading program for 2012, so today I thought I’d share with you my reading plan, the reasons I’m using it (again).

As in so many years past, for 2012 I’ve chosen to follow the M’Cheyne Calendar of Daily Readings. I first encountered this little tool as a high school student and immediately fell in love with it (Hey, it was done by a Scotsman. What can I say?). Its origin, however, had little to do with my liking the plan. I appreciated the genius of M’Cheyne’s arrangement. By reading four chapters a day, which doesn’t take very long, you can read through the entire Bible once and the New Testament and Psalms twice in a year.

M’Cheyne’s calendar offers variety. Each day you read from four different passages. Some of you may think that’s too diverse and that you’ll become confused. Try it, however, and you’ll find a lot of cross fertilization in your reading. For example, three of the passages for January 1 (Matt. 1; Ezra 1; Acts 1) stressed fulfilled Scripture. By noting connections like this (and there are many), it becomes easier to see how the various parts of the Bible relate to each other.

Have you chosen a reading plan for 2012? It’s only January 2. Start today. You can easily catch up.

If you choose the M’Cheyne schedule, you may also find D.A. Carson’s daily devotional helpful. Each day he discusses one of the passages from the plan.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

“You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance” (Psalm 65:11).

“I awake this morning in the presence of the holy angels of God. May heaven open wide before me, above me, and around me that I may see the Christ of my love and his sunlit company in all the things of earth this day.” Celtic Prayers from Iona by J. Philip Newell

Bible Reading for 2012

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Do you plan to read through the Bible in 2012? I hope so. Many people start out well and with the best intentions but become bogged down somewhere in Leviticus or the “begats” of Chronicles. What you need to help you overcome the “Bible bog” is a good reading plan that incorporates variety along with a reasonable pace which will allow you, in 15 or 20 minutes a day, to make it all the way through God’s Word in a year.

Justin Taylor has an excellent and extensive post on Bible reading plans along with hints and tips to help you persevere. It will be well worth your time to check it out.

If you plan to read through the Bible in 2012, leave a comment. Share which reading schedule you chose to use and your reasons for choosing it.

Back in Business

Friday, December 30th, 2011

The hobgoblins of cyberspace have had my website down for quite a while, but now we’re back in business!! And just in time for the new year too! Perhaps I should make a resolution about blogging on a regular basis in 2012. My normal new year’s resolution is “I resolve not to make resolutions.” I might also add that I’m very successful with such resolutions. We’ll see what happens in the new year. Lack of blogging is usually due to another hobgoblin—time.

I hope 2011 has been a good year for you. Feel free to leave a comment and tell us about a special blessing you’ve received. We’ll rejoice with you!

Happy New Year to all!

A Business Conference Based on the Larger Catechism?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Today’s post is by my good friend, Eric Anest. Eric is assistant editorial director for an architecture company in the Washington DC area. Formerly, he was assistant editorial director at P&R Publishing, which produces both popular and academic books from a reformed perspective. He and his family are members of New Hope Presbyterian Church and live in Alexandria, VA.

Ask anyone businessperson, doctor, lawyer, or another professional and you’ll find out just how many advertisements for conferences assault them on a daily basis. Many of these conferences have noble goals, and I’ve made meaningful connections at several such events in the past. Yet after a while, they all sound about the same.

But a few weeks ago I heard about a conference called Business Ethics Today: Business and the 8th Commandment. That was enough to catch my attention, but when I found out the conference was based not just on the 8th commandment, but on the Westminster Larger Catechism’s explanation of the 8th commandment with all its implications, I was hooked.

So it happened that I attended the conference hosted by Westminster Theological Seminary and the Center for Business Ethics today at the Union League in Philadelphia.

Several of the sessions, including the first keynote address by Peter Lillback and another keynote by Jack Templeton, addressed “macro” concerns of the 8th commandment: Does making a profit constitute stealing and thus a breaking of the 8th commandment? As you might imagine, the point of this conference wasn’t to tell people to quit their businesses and go start nonprofits. No, the speakers contended, businesses run in a godly way does good not just for the owner and stockholder but for society at large by creating more prosperity for everyone.

But though the “macro” point needs to be made, I was even more interested in the “micro” concerns of the commandment–how I can better keep the 8th commandment with all its implications. Two speakers were especially helpful for this interest.

Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College, said that although the 8th commandment is a “thou shalt not,” a host of “thou shalt’s” follow as a result. We are commanded not just to refrain from stealing but to be a faithful steward of all of what God has given us, business included. This means working hard and well, using our time wisely, not taking shortcuts, and doing our work as though we’ll have to answer for it to God.

Calvin Chin, Entrepreneurship Initiative Director at the Center for Faith and Work, made a similar point but from a different line of reasoning. His main topic was a Christian work ethic, which he said was drawn from the fact that work is a creation mandate, not a result of the fall. Work is something that God created us to do and is therefore something we should put ourselves completely behind. Yet Chin made the insight that workaholism and a Christian work ethic aren’t the same thing. Diligently applying our limited energy to the right things is how the Christian should work. And Christian bosses should remember that demanding unreasonable amounts of time from employees amounts to stealing time and energy from them and thus breaking the 8th commandment.

It was difficult to pick just two highlights from the many sessions and speakers at the Business Ethics Today conference. Yet if anything the lesson I most learned was this: get out your Larger Catechism every so often and with its guidance think through the implications of the Ten Commandments. Far from being a dry compendium on 17th-century life, the Larger Catechism has much to say about living in a globalized, 21st-century world.

Update from Scotland

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

In an earlier post about the Church of Scotland’s new position to ordain practicing homosexuals, I mentioned one of the faithful pastors in that denomination, Dominic Smart. It now appears that the Rev Mr Smart is leading his congregation out of the Church of Scotland. Bravo for a stand well-taken.

Let’s be in prayer for this brother and his congregation.

Back from General Assembly

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

The busyness of the week’s schedule and some on-going computer problems kept me from blogging as I would have liked while at the Assembly. Here’s an overview with links to catch you up on some of the news.

Mr. Dan Carrell, a ruling elder from James River Presbytery, served as this year’s Moderator. Mr. Carrell did an excellent job.

Something as seemingly mundane as the review of presbytery minutes led to an interesting debate on theology. I’m thankful to God that the PCA still takes a stand against preaching, teaching, and practicing paedocommunion.

Over the next year the Interchurch Relations Committee will examine the PCA’s membership in the National Associate of Evangelicals and consider whether the denomination should maintain its membership. I’ll perhaps blog more about this later in the year.

Another fascinating issues was the discussion of Insider Movements in foreign missions. The GA soundly rejected any hint of compromising the doctrines of the faith or any practice in missions that leads to syncretism.

For more articles on the General Assembly, check out byFaith online.

Beginning on Monday I’ll post several several articles from guest bloggers on their post-GA reflections.

I pray that the Lord blesses you richly on his day. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exod. 20:8).

Decisions of the Overtures Committee

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

There are two articles available about yesterday’s decisions of the Overtures Committee.

The first deals with setting term limits for Coordinators with in the PCA. The second concerns the Church’s position on marriage. While failing to elevate BCO 59 on the solemnization of marriage to the stance of constitutional authority, the PCA takes a clear stand on biblical marriage. Praise the Lord!

Having sat through the debate on both of these issues, I’m thankful that neither of them were taken lightly.