Saturday, May 30, 2009

What is the formula for faith?

John Hendryx shares a helpful conversation held between him and a Roman Catholic regarding Sola Fide (Salvation by Faith Alone) ...

I was recently in an online discussion with a Roman Catholic who made the following assertions:

Ultimately, it makes no difference whether you hold that

faith + works = justification


faith = justification + works

In either case there is no justification apart from good works. According to the reformed view, if you don't have good works, then you don't have the right kind of faith. In other words, according to reformed theology, the equation would be

true faith = faith + works.

Well, there you have it. How does this not end up exactly in Rome? This is also the reason why Rome in 1998 agreed to the doctrine of justification by faith alone. For if "true faith" is really "faith plus works", well then embracing Sola Fide is really faith plus works, and Rome doesn't have to make a move. However, the reformed don't seem to realize that the phrase "faith alone" is utterly meaningless and empty words. Do you really assent to this: true faith = faith + works?

my response:

You asked, "Do you really assent to this: true faith = faith + works ?"

Thanks for your question. If you mean does salvation = faith + works the answer is yes, but not my faith and works. It is the faith and works of Christ that saves. My faith and my works have no redeeming value whatsoever.
Read the entire article here. His response was very helpful!

In addition, please check out the new June Gospel e-Letter at Just for Catholics.

Things You Don't Say to Your Wife - Tim Hawkins

I'd never heard of this guy, (Tim Hawkins) till a friend played this video and Chick-fil-A for me. He's a very funny comedian with clean content. You can see more of him on

Friday, May 29, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Fifteen

Who are these “humble” persons to whom God promises to extend grace (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)?

The humble are those whose first response to objective truth from God’s Word is not to ask, “How do I feel?” but to say, “I’m not going to let my faith be determined and directed by the subjective and the experiential. Instead I confess openly before God that I will believe the objective truth of His Word, regardless of how I feel.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once issued this warning: “Avoid the mistake of concentrating overmuch upon your feelings. Above all, avoid the terrible error of making them central.” Anyone making this mistake, he adds, is “doomed to be unhappy,” because of the failure to follow “the order that God himself has ordained.”

And what is that order? Lloyd-Jones reminds us that “what we have in the Bible is Truth; it is not an emotional stimulus … and it is as we apprehend and submit ourselves to the truth that the feelings follow.” When we focus first on truth, lo and behold, feelings follow! And they’ll be reliable feelings, because they’re anchored in truth. That’s the divine order.

Lloyd-Jones then proceeds to this profound application: “I must never ask myself in the first instance: What do I feel about this? The first question is, Do I believe it?” (p 35)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Fourteen

Some might find it surprising that I would teach a young boy about God’s wrath toward sin [C.J.’s son was twelve at the time]. But I find it surprising that any loving person would withhold this truth from another person they love. Because only when we understand God’s wrath toward sin can we realize that we need to be saved from it. Only when we hear the bad news that we’re deserving of judgment can we appreciate the good news that God, through His Son, has provided salvation and full, continuing forgiveness for our sins. Only those who are aware of God’s wrath are amazed at God’s grace.

This is what I hold out to my young son as the hope of his life: that Jesus, God’s perfect, righteous Son, died in his place for his sins. Jesus took all the punishment; Jesus received all the wrath as He hung on the cross, so people like Chad and his sinful daddy could be completely forgiven.

I hope to teach my son many other things as well, but the gospel is the one essential thing for him to know—as it is for us all. (p 29)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Thirteen

For Paul, the gospel—this “word of the cross”—was no cold theological formula. Paul lived a cross centered life because the cross had saved and transformed his own life. Paul never forgot what he once had been, or the mercy and grace God showed him. This remained at the forefront of his mind. As he wrote on another occasion to Timothy, “Though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent … I received mercy … and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (1 Tim 1:13-14)” (p 26)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Twelve

The gospel cannot be preached and heard enough, for it cannot be grasped well enough … Moreover, our greatest task is to keep you faithful to this article and to bequeath this treasure to you when we die. –Martin Luther (p 23)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Eleven

The subject of the cross, Charles Spurgeon once said, “is worth of an angel’s tongue. And this also is true: It needs Christ himself completely to expound it.” In humble agreement with this prince of preachers on the infinite worth and wealth of this topic, I add as well the prayer it prompted from Spurgeon: that God would “by his own Spirit expound it to your heart.” (p 22)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Death is Not Dying

My wife strongly encouraged me to watch this video about a lady dying of cancer. It is definitely a MUST-SEE. Here is the description of the video from the website,
On March 4, 2009, Rachel had an opportunity to share about her hope in the midst of terminal cancer. What began as a small talk to her church women’s group became an event attended by over 600 women and was an experience that left many with a desire to discover more about Rachel’s journey and faith.
This is not something I recommend for women, but for anyone (male or female) affected by the Fall (and the sin, suffering, evil and anguish which resulted). That covers everyone. Rachel's website is excellent as well, and I strongly recommend her Book List.

HT: Sing to Jesus

Friday, May 22, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Ten

A while back I received a thank-you email from a young woman who recalled her reaction when she first heard me identify the gospel as our church’s lasting passion and priority. She told me, “I remember sitting there thinking … ‘What does he mean? Yes, we’re saved because Jesus died for our sins. But don’t we then focus on other aspects of the Christian life?’”

Meanwhile, under our teaching she began recognizing:

that there was a problem deeper than my outward expressions of sin (harsh words, complaining, etc.) …
I was learning about the sin in my heart and the motives at the root … I vividly remember driving down the road one day, and God opening my eyes to see that I’m a wretched sinner to the very core of my being. In that second I thought, What am I to do?!
Instantly I was clearly aware that this is why Jesus Christ came and died on a cross—for me … I laughed out loud, and said, ‘My God, only You could show me what a wretched sinner I am and make it the greatest news I’ve ever heard!’ The truth of Jesus’ sacifice became more real to me than ever before.

More real than ever before. Can you say that as well? (p 19)

Luther once said he felt as if Jesus Christ died only yesterday. Is that how you feel? (page 20)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Nine

If you think for a moment that the truth of the cross is something you’ve already adequately understood—if you suspect your life is already cross centered—allow me to bring to your attention some symptoms that arise from not being cross centered. Do any of the following describe you?
  • You often lack joy.
  • You’re not consistently growing in spiritual maturity.
  • Your love for God lacks passion.
  • You’re always looking for some new technique, some “new truth” or new experience to pull all the pieces of your faith together. (p 17)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Eight

“We never move on from the cross, only into a more profound understanding of the cross.”—David Prior (p 17)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Seven

Let me urge you to do whatever it takes to make the gospel your passion. Ask God to change your heart so you can personally affirm for your own life the words of Galations 6:14—“Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (p16)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Six

Every day we all face the temptation to move away from the gospel, to let it drop from our hands and hearts. Three main tendencies in particular tend to draw us away:
1. Subjectivism, which means basing our view of God on our changing feelings and emotions.
2. Legalism, which means basing our relationship with God on our own performance.
3. Condemnation, which means being more focused on our sin than on God’s grace. (p 16)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Performance of a lifetime!

This story has been around so perhaps you've seen it already. I had to get it here because it's a blessing!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Jesus is Alive!

Jesus is Alive (House of Tea Remix) from Josh Bonjour on Vimeo.

How to Get the Most from Reading your Bible

A friend sent me this very helpful article. I'll post here so you can check out the Scripture by moving your mouse over the references.

How to Get the Most from Reading your Bible by Thomas Watson
Abridged and Modernised by Matthew Vogan

1. Remove hindrances. (a) remove the love of every sin (b) remove the distracting concerns of this world, especially covetousness [Matt. 13:22] (c) Don't make jokes with and out of Scripture.

2. Prepare your heart. [1 Sam. 7:3] Do this by: (a) collecting your thoughts (b) purging unclean affections and desires (c) not coming to it rashly or carelessly.

3. Read it with reverence, considering that each line is God speaking directly to you.

4. Read the books of the Bible in order.

5. Get a true understanding of Scripture. [Ps. 119:73] This is best achieved by comparing relevant parts of Scripture with each other.

6. Read with seriousness. [Deut. 32:47] The Christian life is to be taken seriously since it requires striving [Luke 13:24] and not falling short [Heb. 4:1].

7. Persevere in remembering what you read. [Ps. 119:52] Don't let it be stolen from you [Matt. 13:4,19]. If it doesn't stay in your memory it is unlikely to be much benefit to you.

8. Meditate on what you read. [Ps. 119:15] The Hebrew word for meditate' means to be intense in the mind'. Meditation without reading is wrong and bound to err; reading without meditation is barren and fruitless. It means to stir the affections, to be warmed by the fire of meditation [Ps. 39:3].

9. Read with a humble heart. Acknowledge that you are unworthy that God should reveal himself to you [James 4:6]

10. Believe it all to be God's Holy Word. [2 Tim 3:16] We know that no sinner could have written it because of the way it describes sin. No saint could blaspheme God by pretending his own Word was God's. No angel could have written it for the same reason. [Heb 4:2]

11. Prize the Bible highly. [Ps. 119:72] It is your lifeline; you were born by it [James 1:18] you need to grow by it [1 Pet 2:2] [cf. Job 23:12].

12. Love the Bible ardently [Ps. 119:159].

13. Come to read it with an honest heart. [Luke 8:15] (a) Willing to know the entire and complete will of God (b) reading in order to be changed and made better by it [John 17:17].

14. Apply to yourself everything that you read, take every word as spoken to yourself. Its condemnation of sins as the condemnation of your own sin; the duty that it requires as the duty God would require from you [2 Kings 22:11].

15. Pay close attention to the commands of the Word as much as the promises. Think of how you need direction just as much as you need comfort.

16. Don't get carried away with the minor details, rather make sure to pay closest attention to the great things [Hosea 8:12].

17. Compare yourself with the Word. How do you compare? Is your heart something of a transcript of it, or not?

18. Pay special attention to those passages that speak to your individual, particular and present situation. e.g. (a) Affliction -- [Heb. 12:7, Isaiah 27:9, John 16:20, 2 Cor 4:17. (b) Sense of Christ's presence and smile withdrawn -- [Isaiah 54:8, Isaiah 57:16, Ps. 97:11] (c) Sin -- [Gal 5:24, James 1:15, 1 Peter 2:11, Prov 7:10&22-23, Prov 22:14] (d) Unbelief -- [Isaiah 26:3, 2 Sam 22:31, John 3:15, 1 John 5:10, John 3:36]

19. Pay special attention to the examples and lives of people in the Bible as living sermons. (a) Punishments [Nebuchadnezzar, Herod, Num 25:3-4&9, 1 Kings 14:9-10, Acts 5:5,10, 1 Cor 10:11, Jude 7] (b) mercies and deliverances [Daniel, Jeremiah, the 3 youths in the fiery furnace]

20. Don't stop reading the Bible until you find your heart warmed. [Ps 119:93] Let it not only inform you but also inflame you [Jer 23:29, Luke 24:32].

21. Put into practice what you read [Ps 119:66, Ps 119:105, Deut 17:19].

22. Christ is for us Prophet, Priest and King. Make use of His office as a Prophet [Rev 5:5, John 8:12, Ps 119:102-103]. Get Christ not only to open the Scriptures up to you, but to open up your mind and understanding [Luke 24:45]

23. Make sure to put yourself under a true ministry of the Word, faithfully and thoroughly expounding the Word [Prov 8:34] be earnest and eager in waiting on it.

24. Pray that you will profit from reading [Isaiah 48:17, Ps 119:18, Nehemiah 9:20].

Natural obstacles You may still be able to profit from reading even though:

1. You don't seem to profit as much as others do. Remember the different yields [Matt 13:8] though the yield isn't as much as others it is still a true and fruitful yield.

2. You may feel slow of understanding [Luke 9:45, Heb 5:11].

3. Your memory is bad (a) remember you are still able to have a good heart despite this (b) you may still remember the most important things even if you cannot remember everything, be encouraged by John 14:26.

HT: Ryan

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Five

“The gospel, is not only the most important message in all of history; it is the only essential message in all of history. Yet we allow thousands of professing Christians to live their entire lives without clearly understanding it and experiencing thejoy of living by it.”—Jerry Bridges (p 15)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Four

What’s the one thing that’s really best, according to God? Here’s how Paul answers that question for us: “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you … For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins. (1 Cor 15:1,3)

First importance. Paul is pointing us to the one transcendent truth that should define our lives. In the midst of our various responsibilities and many possible areas of service in the kingdom of God, one overarching truth should motivate all our work and affect every part of who we are: Christ died for our sins. (p 14-15)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Three

“Each of our lives is centered on something.”, the book begins. C.J. asks “What’s at the center of yours? … What’s really the main thing in your life? … What is is that defines you? … what’s the one thing that’s really best, according to God?”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day Two

“The Cross is the blazing fire at which the flame of our love is kindled, but we have to get near enough for its sparks to fall on us”—John Stott (p13)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Download Allistair Begg Sermons for Free!

Every heard Allistair Begg on Truth for Life, the radio program? He's got a great Scottish accent and a powerful grasp on the Gospel! Now you can download all of his sermons for free!

Living the Cross Centered Life Quotes - Day One

Have you read this book yet? Last month, I read it again ... this time, I made notes of my favorite quotes. There are many, so I decided to put them on the blog, a day at a time. Now I can focus on their great truths in the coming weeks. I invite you to come along with me on this journey.

Of course, even better-buy the book. Buy several copies to give to friends and family, and neighbors. If you would like a review of the book, here are three to get you started:
Now for the first quote, from Al Mohler's Forward:

In Living the Cross Centered Life, C.J. walks us through the real meaning of Christ’s cross. He takes us right to the center of God’s plan to save His own enemies—a rebellious humanity. As C.J. writes, “Because of God’s amazingly gracious heart toward those who thoroughly deserve only His wrath, He both planned for and provided this mediator to resolve the divine dilemma—a mediator who, through His blood, whould accomplish a unique assignment utterly unlike any other work of mediation. In the mystery of His mercy, God—the innocent, offended party—offers up to death His own Son, to satisfy His righteous wrath and save the guilty party from it.”

That’s about as clear a description of God’s saving purpose as you will ever find. It is wonderfully grounded in Scripture (just read Romans 3:21-28!) and it points directly to God’s mercy toward sinners. Of course, this takes us right to the cross of Christ and its meaning for us. He explains why the good news of the cross is so infinitely good, and how you can know the grace of God through the message of the cross. (p 9-10)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Nathan Clark George in Concert May 17th

My brother-in-law passed this email along ...

Dear Redeemer Family,

Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 17 at 6pm. Our good friend Nathan Clark George will be passing through Kansas City and has agreed to do a concert at Redeemer May 17 at 6pm.

Nathan has performed at Redeemer several times in the past couple of years so he will be presenting previously unrecorded music and trying out some experimental tunes on us as well. Of course, you can count on some of his staples as well.

So, invite your friends and families to a wonderful night of acoustic guitar playing and singing with Nathan Clark George at Redeemer. There is no cost for this event but an offering will be taken.

In the Lamb,

Nathan’s website:


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

True or False?

"True or False: The essence of the Christian message is that you are to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. The answer is… FALSE!"

If you answered wrong, you're not alone. With little thought I answered "True, that's what Christ told the rich young ruler." But then I went on to read just how wrong I was! This post is a great reminder of the Gospel of Christ. Check out this quote.
The essence of the Christian message is that you can’t but Jesus Christ did. You can’t earn God’s favor, but Christ did perfectly through his life of obedience culminating with his sin atoning, guilt removing, wrath satisfying, death defeating sacrifice on the cross. It is with this reality fixed that the Christian then lives their life to love and honor God supremely while loving their neighbor as themselves. Christians obey God not to earn God’s favor but because Christ has earned the favor and we are now living lives controlled by the Spirit, in obedience to the Word.
Read the rest of Erik Raymond's post here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Super Mayhem!

Can you guess the giant who lurks in the background of this gruesome scene, the one giving Mr Incredible and Buzz Lightyear all the trouble they can handle?

That's right, it's this guy!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Foxe's Book of Martyrs - Free Audio Book!

From Christianaudio's website:
During the 16th and 17th centuries, many families owned two books: the Bible and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. This classic book arose during the Protestant Reformation and profoundly influenced many in the English Church. Beginning with Stephen and the earliest church martyrs and continuing through the French Revolution, Foxes details the sufferings of those who would courageously stand for Christ. Nadia May does a wonderful job narrating and her empathetic tone helps with the difficult subject matter.
You can get a free mp3 download of the audiobook for Foxe's Book of Martyrs by clicking here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

'Real life' Superheroes?

Click here to see a news story about a Cincinnati vigilante that thinks he's a real-life superhero. He's apparently seen one too many old Batman and Robin episodes.

There are a lot of these guys popping up, and of course they now have a website: The World Superhero Registry.

I can only hope Myles one day aspires to take the law into his own hands and rid the neighborhood of bad guys. Here he is with his 'Clark Kent' jacket ...

About Me

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