Archives for September 2008

9.28.08 gbcvic sermons

Unfortunately, I was out sick this weekend, the second time in 25 years of ministry. I led our men’s breakfast Saturday morning then went to my study and proceeded to feel increasingly terrible. By the time the day was out my temperature had soared over 100 degrees and I could barely get two thoughts together in succession (when it I am well, it is a challenge once I get past those first two thoughts!!). In any case, two of our men stepped in for me in our services. We cancelled our afternoon service, but that meant an extended time of fellowship for our people as my wife and daughters didn’t arrive home until almost the usual time on Sunday afternoon.

By the way, after a couple of days of sleeping (and zero interest in eating), I am back to normal and out and about. We had the stump removed at church today and the sewer is almost hooked up. (Video will follow soon, I promise! The removal of the stump was quite a sight, the excavator operator did it in about two hours.)

Anyway, to the summaries:

Witnessing to the Blind (2 Cor 3.16)

For only the second time in 25 years of ministry, Pastor Don was ill and unable to fill the pulpit this Sunday. He thanks God for the willing hearts of the men of our church to stand up in his place and bring God’s Word to God’s people.

Today’s message comes from one of our deacon’s, Harry Lloyd. This message appeals simply to the sinner concerning the veil that lies over the sinner’s heart and prevents him from seeing Christ. It also appeals strongly to the believer to be a faithful witness and prayer warrior to friends and loved ones (and unknown ones) who live still behind the veiled heart. It is a fine message and well worth your time.

Pastor’s note: I am very deeply moved in hearing this message from my brother and friend. I have known him since before the Lord removed the veil from his heart and praise God for His wonderful work! To God be the Glory, great things He hath done. (3 Jn 4)

The House Beautiful [Pilgrim’s Progress]

Another one of our deacon’s, Bill Miner, led our Pilgrim’s Progress study this week due to the pastor’s absence. This session dealt with Christian’s time in the House Beautiful, a picture of the local church. He is guided by four sisters who equip him with the armour of the Spirit to protect him against the fiery darts of the wicked one.

Read the handout for this session as you listen.

Note: we also have a handout with answers for those who might like to use our material as teachers. All of our previous messages have been likewise updated.

Pastor’s note: I want to thank the Lord for brother Bill’s willingness to step in the gap for me today. He is the son of a missionary and a beloved brother in the Lord. We are blessed to have in our little assembly men and women who give evidence of God’s glorious grace. My recent illness was not serious or long lasting, but gave us an opportunity to see and experience the grace of God evidently at work in the hearts of our people through the men who stood in the gap today.


I am dismayed

… at this.

In light of this, this, and especially this.

Dismayed. Disappointed. Disheartened. Discouraged.

Let’s say Chris Anderson has just been busy and hasn’t had time to read the recent news. Even so.

What excuse could there be for positively referencing the crass crude and vile Driscoll even two weeks ago, before the latest outrage? With only the mildest of disclaimers… “I don’t agree with much of what he says…” Is that all?


profanity and logs

I wrote recently about problems with the current Desiring God conference and the silence of FINOs with respect to it. As an update, you should check out another post by Steve Camp, Steve Camp’s outrage over Mark Driscoll. The culpability of Piper et al with respect to the blasphemous Driscoll grows with each passing day. No rebuke from anyone? Will the Piper groupies, any of them, turn in their Fan Club badges?

I must say, however, to Steve Camp, when we are speaking of profaning the holy, how is Driscoll’s language any worse than your music? The sound of the bar and the disco isn’t the sound of the choirs of heaven, is it?

I agree with everything Steve has written in these posts about profane speech. But profanity (making things common) occurs in more ways than just by speech. The church culture that ultimately produced a Mark Driscoll is one that has been profaning holy things for a long time.

May we all repent of our sins and plead our unworthiness before our Holy Saviour.


silence reigns in FINO land

Scott Aniol alerts us to a raging discussion over in the realms of conservative evangelicalism. Nathan Busenitz, managing editor at Pulpit Magazine wrote an article published on the 17th of September entitled “John Piper, Mark Driscoll, and Harsh Language“. Busenitz rightly takes Driscoll and Piper to task for Driscoll’s foul language. In the comments, we discover in a post by Steve Camp that Driscoll isn’t the only one to use bad language in connection with the Desiring God conference. No, Paul Tripp likewise has a foul mouth. You can read about it (and see the associated video, if  you care to) at Steve’s blog, “PAUL TRIPP-ING – HE REALLY LIKES TO SAY THE ‘S’ WORD …has Piper lost his mind or just forgotten his Bible?

It is instructive to read the comments on both posts. And equally instructive to read the execrable Doug Wilson come to Piper’s defense, ironically, in his post “A Temporizing Baa-Lamb“. Quite frankly, his comments are shameful. It is hard to believe that people become so devoted to such men that many objectionable statements, positions, and actions are just overlooked.

While this debate rages in the conservative evangelical realm, FINO land remains serene in its silence. Could it be that no one has read these posts? Surely not. Where is the response? Will anyone ever admit that perhaps there is something not quite right about Piper et al on this? At least the MacArthur camp is taking a stab at it, however mild.


UPDATE: Nathan Busenitz follows up with a still too weak rebuke of Driscoll and no rebuke of Piper. It seems to me that Piper is the one more worthy of rebuke, because his invitation to Driscoll and his public affirmation of him is only serving to enable Driscoll’s continuing bad behaviour. Were Piper to really rebuke Driscoll and refuse association with him, it might have had some real impact. Piper’s comments last year seemed to start working in that direction, then Piper backed off. For shame.

missing the key point as usual

The crowd at the FINO blog, Sharper Iron, are falling all over themselves to debate the anti-Calvinist feature article of John Davis, “Calvinism on the ‘N’ Train“. Of course, such a reaction is to be expected since Calvinism is the theology-du-jour of the neo-Calvinists. Any critique that challenges its tenets must be answered.

But it isn’t really the theology of the article that is most problematic, and the theology, in the end, is unanswerable. The points argued back and forth have been argued back and forth for hundreds and hundreds of years. It is quite unlikely that lightweights like me and any others commenting on the subject are going to solve these theological questions any time soon.

It really is quite amusing to see some say “Scripture forces me to be a Calvinist.” If that were true, all Bible believers would be Calvinists.

But as I said, that isn’t the part of the article that is most problematic… and certainly not the part that needs serious comment and discussion.

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9.21.08 gbcvic sermons

Having the Law is not Enough (Rm 2.13-15)

The impartiality of God’s judgement is under further consideration. The religious man (the Jew) might ask, “Aren’t we students (hearers) of the Law? Doesn’t that count for something?” The answer: No, hearing the Law (being a diligent student) isn’t enough. In fact, the sinners of the Gentiles have the Law in a sense by their understanding and performance of natural law. They have the work of the Law written in their hearts as evidenced by their consciences. So merely having, or hearing, any aspect of the Law is not enough. We still stand under the impartial judgement of God whereby all men, pagan, moralist, or religious man will face the judgement of sins. Our religion (whatever it might be) is not sufficient to make us just before God. We need Some One else for that.

Interpreter’s House

We come now to the point of salvation for Bunyan’s Christian, the entrance at the Wicket Gate. From the gate, Christian proceed’s to Interpreter’s House, a place where the Holy Spirit (or some say a preacher) guides the new believer through various rooms illustrating the things that make for a stable Christian life. Some are guides, like the illustration of the preacher (the ‘man in a thousand’) and others are warnings like the man in the iron cage and the man not prepared for judgement. All are meant to make a Christian stable.

The Head of Our Church (2) (Mt 16.18)

Not being satisfied with our message of the same name last week, our pastor offers another. The Lord Jesus is the authority of every church since the church is his idea and his creation. He it is who stands as examiner, corrector, exhorter, and encourager of His church. If our church will truly have Him as our head, we must submit ourselves to Him, allowing him to examine, rebuke, correct, and challenge every aspect of our lives.


We had a good day with a few visitors (one of whom found us from our church web-site … yay!!!) and one young couple who just moved to the neighbourhood. Some of our folks were out of town and some sick, so we were glad to see a few extras and hope for their return.


cut it down! cut it down!

One of the items on my agenda this week was the removal of a large tree in the front of our church property. A Douglas Fir, it was about 160-180 yrs old. A big one, but not what they call “old growth”.

I will attempt to post video at some point, but here are some pictures.

One funny thing happened about noon, when our neighbouring elementary school let out for lunch. The kids saw what was going on and rushed out to have a closer look. As the fallers were taking the tree down section by section, they started a chant of “Cut it down! Cut it down!” They let out a big cheer when a huge section ‘bit the dust’.

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positive article on A Beka from Jamaica

I ran across a write-up from the Jamaica Observer speaking of the virtues of the A Beka School Curriculum.

We have used the A Beka Video curriculum in our home for fifteen years (I think I have the number right!). We have been very pleased with it. The article speaks highly of many aspects of the curriculum while noting the controversy (from the secular point of view) of its view on science and history.

While some criticize fundamentalism for not publishing enough books, it seems to me that fundamentalism has had a much more practical and down-to-earth ministering orientation. As a result, what we have written is curricula, not theologica. Should we say that these efforts were wasted, and beneath us?

Thank God for A Beka Book and BJU Press. These have been vital ministries for our times. May God bless them and grant them continued success.



My on-line friend Tim Bayly alerts us to a conference called the Princeton Regional Conference on Reformed Theology. This will be held at Princeton Seminary, on All Saints Day, no less. [That would be Nov 1, for those who don’t know…]

Here’s Tim’s introductory paragraphs:

In a month and a half, Dr. Diane Langberg will be preaching at the Princeton Regional Conference on Reformed Theology co-sponsored by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and she’ll be sharing the conference pulpit with Don [Carson] and Al [Mohler]. This ought not to be, right? Who governs this national parachurch organization?

Among others, Bob, Lig, Al, John, C. J., Alistair, Mark, Phil, R. C., and Gene– you know, men we all know as stalwarts in the battle for orthodoxy. So why are they approving and publicizing on their web site a conference where a woman will preach to men? A conference on “reformed theology,” mind you.

Why, indeed. Could it be that these men are CINOs?

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9.14.08 gbcvic sermons

The Moral Man’s Problem is Sin (Rm 2.12)

Our message today continues to look at God’s impartiality in judgement as Paul explains that regardless of racial or religious status, sinners will be judged. No one gets an edge by morality or pedigree. All stand before God who will judge men according to their deeds, delivering sinners over to destruction.

Worldly Wiseman

We continue our look at Pilgrim’s Progress, discussing the advice of Mr. Worldly Wiseman and the consequences of listening to the same. We also consider how to discern modern parallels to Worldly Wiseman in our secular society (much different from Bunyan’s 17th century English society).

The Head of Our Church

In our afternoon service, we begin an intermittent series on the philosophy of our local church and the emphasis we want to promote as we build up a self-supporting church for the Lord’s glory. The first of the series speaks to the notion that the head of our church is Jesus Christ.


We had a good day in a number of ways. One young couple finally joined the church (they have been faithfully attending for some time). Another visiting family continues regular attendance, so we are grateful for the opportunity that represents. And we had a visitor who may present another opportunity of ministry. All of that was good. I wasn’t happy with the third message and am contemplating tearing it apart and doing it entirely over sometime in the near future. Be that as it may, we thank the Lord for these opportunities to serve him.