Archives for 2009

well meaning error

A recent series of articles deals with the problem of error creeping into the church. First, an overview of ancient heresies is offered. Second, a modern error by an other-wise well-respected Bible teacher, Henry Morris, is highlighted. And third, an error by M. R. DeHaan with respect to the nature of Christ’s blood is exposed, with this comment:

Sadly, DeHaan’s views have had wide circulation among fundamentalists for the past five decades. Whatever one may believe about the present location of the blood of Christ, there can be no biblical retreat from the fact that Jesus’ blood was human blood.

One might suspect that the series of articles was written so that this statement could be uttered, but that might be seen as too cynical.

In any case, it is true that it seems very easy to slip into error when it comes to the person of Christ. These errors seem to come when, in our zeal to defend one area of biblical truth, we overstate the case and make an error in another area of biblical truth. And sometimes such errors come when, in our zeal for rhetorical flourish, we indulge too much in the speculative nature of things about which the Bible is silent. It seems that we would be safest by simply affirming ONLY what the Bible affirms and leaving speculation entirely aside.

For example, consider the following statement from the articles pointing out errors. Do you see anything wrong with it? Do any aspects of it make you a little uncomfortable?

[Read more…]

Sunday, Dec 27, 2009 Sermons

See our new Sermons Page for this Sunday’s Sermon Summaries.

The conclusion of our Christmas Series, The Word made Flesh:

The Word Received

Our first look at Tyndale’s Prologue to Romans:

Tyndale on Romans (1)

A message on Christian Living by our pastor’s son, Duncan Johnson:

The effects of the truth on Christians


new sermons page and podcast feed

We updated Our Sermons page on our church web-site. We are using a new look plug-in for handling our sermon files.

We are still tweaking the setup a bit, but we think it will be a big improvement to our old system. It will definitely be easier to use from our end. The plug-in picks out sermon title, speaker, and other metadata items automatically. Just a few clicks to upload and we are done.

From the web-user’s point of view, the new plug-in will allow filtering by date, speaker, series, Bible book, or any combination you like. We do have a new feed for any who might be interested.

Any other church leaders who like the look of the plug-in can find it for their own use here.


an interesting resource

I just got an e-mail notification of a resource put out by Zondervan, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament. It looks like a fascinating source of information.

Readers should note that such publications often support liberal views on Biblical dates and tend to minimize the miraculous. Nevertheless, if read with discernment, such resources can provide valuable background material for studying and teaching the Bible.

A sample is offered where you can read the Ezra-Nehemiah section and see what is offered in this set.

[Read more…]

why drink?

Jesus said, “for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” (Lk 16.8)

An article by an admitted drinker demonstrates how often this is true. He asks and answers my question this way:

Why drink?

Oh, I know the stock answers as well as anyone. Because of the taste. Because of the camaraderie it encourages. Because it helps me relax. All of which are true, up to a point, and all of which bring to mind government ads of young, attractive twenty-somethings responsibly enjoying a single glass of wine over a candle-lit dinner (rather than binge-drinking, which is what they normally do).

The truth, in my experience, can be more ragged and dark. We drink because at the end of the day we feel like we have a wolverine sitting on our chests and a drink is the only thing that helps us breathe. We drink because our jobs suck. We drink because we want to be someone else. We drink to feel attractive. We drink because we sometimes feel the need to be bad. We drink because we fear the future. We drink because the world is sobering enough as it is.

Why is it that Christians who drink want to claim the fairy-tale view of the wine ads?

By the way, if you read the whole article, you will see that the author is no supporter of my views. He is arguing against further taxation of alcohol in our province, saying that increasing costs are very unlikely to have any effect on reducing problem drinking. I tend to agree with him on that conclusion, but I don’t have any problem sticking it to the drinkers.


a word about manhattan

I’m a little late to the party, but it seems to me that so far one point is missing from all the discussion of the manhattan declaration.

The fundamentalist reaction, all over the place, is to note that the declaration is a serious compromise of the gospel by its declaration that all signers are Christians. I’ll not repeat all of the analysis on this point, you can find that elsewhere.

The evangelical reaction is mixed. Some fairly conservative names have signed the document while others have notably and publicly made their opposition clear. Al Mohler is a prominent conservative signatory while John MacArthur is a prominent non-signatory.

Dave Doran comments in one of his blogs on the subject:

Thankfully, to this point Dr. Mohler has kept a theological edge that has prevented him from fully embracing the ecumenical path of men like Timothy George and Chuck Colson. I hope he never loses that edge. Well, truth be told, I really hope he slides closer to John MacArthur’s position.

This quotation contains all the elements of the one point I’d like to highlight and poses a serious question for the rising neo-fundamentalists who seem to want closer ties to the conservative camp.

[Read more…]

reflections on an evangelical service

I am in my home town, assisting my parents in a move out to the coast so that our family can more directly care for them in their old age. Today I went to church with my dad. It was in this church that I grew up and had my first preaching opportunities. It is a church almost 100 years old. It has had a significant impact on many lives during its existence, including at least 5 men in the ministry from its young people just in my generation.

The style of service and many doctrinal issues make this a church I could no longer have close fellowship with, even if the Lord had brought me back to my home province for my ministry. I rarely attend here, not usually visiting my parents over a Sunday. In the last 27 years, I have probably been in the church for one of its services less than 5 times.

[Read more…]

fun techno stuff

I thought I might mention a couple of things I have found online recently. The first is something called Readability, which is a button you can add to your browser toolbar. On web-pages that are very busy with all kinds of adds, pics, etc, it will find the relevant story and eliminate all the clutter for you, making it easier to read.

I found out about Readability at a NY Times site, Pogue’s Posts, a blog by one of the NYT technical writers, David Pogue. Mr. Pogue is an interesting writer and covers a wide variety of gizmos and gadgets if that is something you are interested in. The Readability column is here.

Last, this one is kind of … different. I suppose several web-news sites have these kinds of aggregators, but I stumbled across MSNBCs “Weird News” feed a couple of weeks ago. They often come up with hilarious and interesting stories, some of which would make great sermon illustrations, if only one could find the text they go with. Of course, some of what they post is drivel, but I am finding that I am clipping columns for later use fairly regularly. With Readability of course!


four posts on alcohol

I’d like to recommend four posts on alcohol by Jeff Straub. Jeff and I tend to tangle online. We have widely different opinions in some areas. But I have to say these four articles are extremely well done and worth your time:

  1. The Christian and Alcohol: Does the Bible Permit Drinking in Moderation?
  2. Popping the Cork on a Can of Worms?
  3. Choosing to Abstain
  4. One Final Word on Alcohol

Regular readers will know that I don’t subscribe to the two-wine theory, but that I totally oppose the use of alcohol as a beverage for Christians at any time. I actually oppose the use of beverage alcohol for anyone, but my position is very unlikely to gain a hearing in the world at large. My hope is that Christians will get serious about alcohol and totally abstain. There is no good reason for any believer in Christ to ever participate in its use.


wheat and tares

One of the kingdom parables is often misinterpreted. I am amazed at this since our Lord Jesus Christ himself gave us the proper interpretation. Here is the parable:

Matthew 13:24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 "But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 "But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 "The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 "And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 "But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.

What is the popular misinterpretation?

[Read more…]