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Showing posts from June, 2011

Cleaving Unto God

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(This is a summary of Abraham Kuyper's devotional thought "Cleaving Unto Him" from his book Near Unto God)

"Therefore choose life...loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days,..." - Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a (ESV)

Religion, that is, the worship of the triune God, is the best means that enriches our heart. Yet it is in religion at the same time that sin best thrives. What started as true devotion to God degenerates into cold formalism, lacking in zeal and heartfelt service, because of sin.

Even though the West may appear better than the East in terms of religion, yet many have corrupted it to a great degree of disappointment. In God's point of view, out of millions who profess devotion to God only a few are really devoted to Him.

Yet God continues to issue His command, saying, "Choose life...holding fast to [the Lord]" (Deut. 30:20). Everyone of us, even the most saintly and godly amon…

Theology of the Reformers: A Review

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(This is my review of Dr. Timothy George's Theology of the Reformers)

In a time such as ours when many books and journal articles have already been written about the life and works of Protestant Reformers, particularly about Luther and Calvin, Timothy George's yet another volume on the subject deserves commendation. This book is well-researched, especially its frequent reference and quote of the primary sources. It is also carefully written that scholars, pastors, students of history, and interested Christians from every status and station in life can easily understand and appreciate.

Dr. Timothy George himself is Dean and Professor of History and Historical Theology at the Beeson Divinity School. As one of the most respected historians in the evangelical world, Dr. George is the author of more than 20 books and a hundred of journal articles, and editor of The Reformation Commentary on Scripture with InterVarsity Press. He has been active in the evangelical dialogue with th…

Bullinger and the Second Helvetic Confession

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Written by John M. Cromarty
From Our Banner: June 1976
Available at http://www.pcea.org.au/writings/church-history/bullinger-and-the-second-helvetic-confession/

1. INTRODUCTION

It is recorded that during the great spiritual upheavals of the 16th Century a Roman Catholic asked a Lutheran, 'Where was your Church before Luther?' It was an endeavour to stigmatise the Lutheran's religion as a recent innovation and a human invention. An answer was given in the form of another question, 'Where was your face this morning before you washed?' Under the hand of God the church was being revived and reformed. Man-made traditions could not stand the scrutiny of the Scriptures, and 'the Sword of the Spirit' wielded by its supreme Author was accomplishing that which God had determined. The 'face' of the Church was being cleansed 'with the washing of water by the Word' (Eph. 5:26) and the King and Head of the Church was equipping men with the gifts and …

The Content and Method of Home schooling

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(This is also taken from the article COVENANT AND HOME SCHOOLING by Mr. Slabbert Le Cornu of South Africa, which is available at http://www.spindleworks.com/library/slabbert/ezera_nov.htm)


Deuteronomy 6:7,8 points to the fact that all our thinking ("between our eyes") and all [we] do (hands), must be in service of God. Therefore, the Word of the Lord cannot be restricted to family and Church life only; for, as Scripture teaches: " ... on the way, when you lie down, when you rise up, etc." - in all you do - you must be led by the law of God. This is one of the advantages of home schooling, that the child experiences education and upbringing as a way of life and not as something that is done only on certain hours of the day, at school, or in Church, catechism classes, or society life.

At home they learn diligently, have work to do, they can play, everything according to the law of the Lord. Therefore, home schooling must not take place in isolation, for in Deut. 6:9…

The Presence of the Kingdom: A Review

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(This is my review of the book "The Presence of the Kingdom" by Jacques Ellul)


In this book, the author simply explores and answers the question, “How should the Christian live in the modern world?” In this age of technological advancement and mass media, Ellul vigorously pleads for Christians to live out their identity as the salt of the earth and light of world to this decaying and darkened society. Christ calls His followers to function as “visible signs” of the presence and reality of God's kingdom here on earth.

In order to fulfill their mission, Christians ought not to separate themselves from the culture as most pietists do. However, they ought not to be triumphalistic either, engaging themselves deeply into the culture in order to conquer it or “redeem” it. While modern men are fascinated with, even enslaved by, technology and progress, Christians, however, should be preoccupied with God's kingdom and His righteous rule in the world, living as loyal subjects…

Building Strong Christian Marriages

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(A message shared at Harold's and Pam's wedding based on Ephesians 5:22-33)

Many of us, if not all of us, would agree that “When marriage is founded on God’s Word, it is more enjoyable, more fulfilling, even though misunderstandings and mistakes exist.” The trouble is that many marriages – even by couples who are professing Christians – are not governed by God’s Word and the consequences of this are tragic.

What I’ve just read from Ephesians 5 is one of the clearest guidelines and most life-transforming passages in the Bible pertaining to marriage. And marriages founded on the Word of God are strong and healthy, not without problems, of course. And a healthy marriage makes a healthy home.

But you and I know that although we know these things pertaining to marriage, it doesn’t automatically follow that our marriages will turn out healthy and strong. I am aware that many Christian couples here – whether you are living consistently your faith or not – are hurting and are bearing …

Practical Considerations Concerning Home schooling

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(This is a portion of an article written by Mr. Slabbert Le Cornu of South Africa about Homeschooling. The whole article is available at http://www.spindleworks.com/library/slabbert/ezera_nov.htm)

It is important to mention that home schooling does not mean that the parents must be the only teachers, but it does mean that the parents are the primary educators and instructors, who then can call for help and assistance with the subjects and skills they are not qualified to teach. But with all the means and technological possibilities that are at our disposal today, it is for the average covenant parent possible to do mostly or even all of the teaching for the primary grades.

When our parents once more take upon themselves this noble task, we will have one more possible practical advantage,...at our disposal, which could specialize in training parents how to instruct their children, and at the same time also offer special subjects and courses for the children.

Home schooling promotes gr…

Introduction to Christian Worship: A Review

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(This is my review of Dr. James F. White's Introduction to Christian Worship as part of my reading requirement in Liturgics class)

For many of us knowledge of our Christian heritage goes back no further than the beginning of our own local church or particular denomination. This is a sad state of affair because it leaves people unappreciative of, even feels disconnected from, their own rich history and heritage. In this book, Professor James F. White does a very fine job of providing his readers with a comprehensive view of how and why Christians worship God throughout Church history.

Aside from the fact that the book is teeming with reliable materials on the history and development of Christian worship, White also has some good insights about Christian worship in every chapter. His survey on the definitions of Christian worship by famous theologians from the main branches of Christianity is truly helpful for someone who tries to work on a definitive explanation of Christian wors…

Receiving the Word of God

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"And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers" 1 Thessalonian 2:13.

Every time Paul remembers how the Thessalonians accepted and treasured every gospel truth he shared to them, he can't help thanking God for such a response. Of course, we are aware that Paul's evangelistic sermons were done by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit who opened the hearts of the Thessalonians, both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, to believe and appropriate the Word of God. And that's the occasion for Paul to say, “For this reason we also constantly thank God...”. God, through His Word and Spirit is at work in them.

Through Paul's bold gospel proclamation and by the power of the Holy Spirit, coupled by their exemplary lives, the Thessalonians eagerly embraced the Word of God. They were pers…

ON ALLEVIATING POVERTY

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INTRODUCTION

I am aware that different people understand poverty differently. Everyone has his own concept of poverty because we see images of ‘poor’ people on television and internet every day. We daily hear their stories and situations over the radio and so we recognize the ‘face’ of poverty. Images and stories have power to create a certain concept in our mind shaped by our own unique personalities, experiences, backgrounds, cultures and thought processes.

However ‘we need to begin by reminding ourselves that poverty is the condition of people whom we describe abstractly as “the poor”.’ One definition of ‘poor’, for example, states that they are ‘those who barely survive. They struggle to obtain the necessities of life.’ One may consider poverty simply to be short of money or wealth. Another may associate it with hunger, malnutrition or homelessness. Still others may see it as a curse or bondage wherein one is bound and destined to suffer for the rest of his life.

Since there are…