Archives for April 2009

4.26.09 gbcvic sermons

Free Justifying Grace through a Particular Redemption

[Romans Series: (Rm 3.24)]

In this message we examine the incomparable value of God’s justifying those who believe by grace through the redemption, the one that is in Christ Jesus. What a glorious Saviour and what a glorious salvation!

The Creation of Man (1)

[Basic Theology series]

In this lesson we begin to look at the characteristics of the creation of man.  We had a lot of discussion today and didn’t move very far in our outline, but we had a profitable time looking at the word today.

Walking in the Spirit

[Galatians Series: Gal 5.16-18]

We look at the contrast between two walks away from God (the walk of the flesh and the walk under the law) and contrast them with the walk towards God, the walk in the Spirit. We examine the concept of the walk of the Spirit from several Scriptural angles as we work through the end of the message.


Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

quick report on NW regional FBF conference

My wife and I spent most of the week in Monroe, WA, at the Northwest Regional Conference of the FBFI. The host church, Monroe Baptist Church, pastored by John Stima were wonderful hosts for one of my favorite events. You can check their Sermons page for audio files, they should be available by Sunday or Monday, I am told.

Our main speakers were Dr. Bob Jones III, chancellor of Bob Jones University and Dr. John Vaughn, president of the FBF. Both men did outstanding jobs. Dr. Bob in particular gave us a series of three messages on the theme of meekness, very powerful, very convicting, and much needed by us all. Four of our area pastors also spoke, pastor Stima of Monroe Baptist, pastor Brian Ernsberger of Lincoln Park Baptist in Wenatchee, WA, Dr. Tom Nieman, former pastor of Galilee Baptist in Kent, WA, and yours truly. On Tuesday, my wife and Mrs Jones led a Ladies Seminar which was very well received and well attended.

The meeting was one of our best ever. (My wife says I say that every year.) The men who serve together in the Northwest are a great encouragement to me and this meeting is really one of the highlights of the year for me. It helps us to get together and talk about issues and needs, to encourage one another, to look into the Word, to sit under sound preaching, and to pray for one another and the various works represented.

I would encourage you to seek out the regional FBF meetings around the country and participate yourself. I am sure you will find a blessing and encouragement for the ministry if the others are anything like ours. (I have only ever attended one other regional FBF meeting, in Northern California, but I was similarly encouraged there.)

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

UPDATE: Here is a picture from the last evening service:

NW FBF - Monroe Baptist, Monroe, WA

NW FBF - Monroe Baptist, Monroe, WA

UPDATE: The audio files are now up on the Monroe Baptist site. I am downloading them as I type! Bonus! You can get Dr Bob’s messages from last Sunday, also preached at Monroe Baptist for their 10th anniversary.

4.19.09 gbcvic sermons

Assurance for Constant Sinners

[Romans Series: (Rm 3.22c-23)]

One of the remarkable aspects of our salvation is that God grants us righteousness without law, even though we continually fall short of God’s glory. We are all saved sinners, and thank God for it, but amazingly, we are also sinning sinners who are still saved by ‘without-law’ righteousness.

The Bible and Origins (4)

[Basic Theology Series]

We continue our discussion of the origin of man with a look at arguments for and against a literal 6-day 24 hour per day creation. We conclude that it is impossible to hold to any other position if you accept the Bible as the only authority.

The second threat to Christian Liberty

[Galatians Series: (Gal 5.13-15)]

The first threat to Christian Liberty is any attempt to add religious ritual to the gospel in order to be saved. The second threat goes in an opposite direction, to use our liberty in Christ as a pretext for fleshly indulgence. Such excuses fail to appreciate the purpose of Christian liberty and the joys of the new life in Christ.


theological disciplines

As I plod slowly through Warfield’s essay, “The Idea of Systematic Theology”, I come now to a section where he discusses the various ‘theological disciplines’.

He says there is a traditional categorization of theological disciplines around four heads, Exegetical, Historical, Systematic, and Practical. To these four he adds a fifth, the Apologetical. I’m going to take a few posts to talk about ideas suggested by this section of Warfield’s essay.

First of the five, Warfield lists Apologetical Theology. He says:

Apologetical Theology prepares the way for all theology by establishing its necessary presuppositions without which no theology is possible – the existence and essential nature of God, the religious nature of man which enables him to receive a revelation from God, the possibility of a revelation and its actual realization in the Scriptures. It thus places the Scriptures in our hands for investigation and study.1

What comes to mind from this definition?

[Read more…]


  1. Warfield, Works: Studies in Theology, p. 64 []


Now that John MacArthur has thoroughly and fully spoken on the subject, perhaps  my complaints will be taken a little more seriously, eh?

Oh, what subject? Read MacArthur


and here

and here

and here

If you want to reference my complaints, please see my posts in the archives connected with the preacher in question. See also this post where I express my dismay about some who might be in a certain ecclesiastical camp.

I really have to applaud Dr. MacArthur on this issue. I highly recommend, no, urge and admonish you to read his posts if you have not already done so. They are very well done. Would that fundamentalists would be so strong. Worried that they are not and don’t see the need to be. I’ll give you MacArthur’s closing paragraphs after the jump…

[Read more…]

one problem in our endless debates

I’d like to mention a problem I’ve observed in the endless debates we have online on a whole host of subjects. I am sure I am as guilty as anyone, so don’t think that I am throwing out some kind of blanket condemnation of everyone who is not me.

So here is what I am seeing… Someone makes an argument based on history, but what he says isn’t exactly what happened. It is how he remembered (perhaps) or how he wants to remember it or how someone taught it to him, or whatever, but it isn’t quite right. Nevertheless, he bases a strong argument for a particular view on a weak foundation. Someone with knowledge (or the time to look it up) can easily dismiss what he says. Yet even when corrected, some stubbornly persist in their view of reality… The mind boggles.

What is worse is when we do this with arguments based on the Bible. Someone makes a statement based on a half-remembered verse and fulminates away without so much as looking the verse up so as to speak authoritatively and certainly doesn’t quote the verse. But because he remembers it a certain way, he is making a ‘biblical’ argument.

As I said, I think I am guilty of this as well, I am sure. If our online discussions are important (perhaps they are in some ways), don’t they deserve accuracy? Or should our arguments be just what I feel about something because of the way I seem to remember something (or want to remember something)? Perhaps if we really did take time to be scripturally and historically accurate in what we say, we would say it better and actually persuade someone once in a while. And perhaps we would post less but with more quality.

Now, let’s see if I can find a verse for this…


Thru the Bible DVD

All the bugs are now fixed, so I am happy to announce the availability of our Thru the Bible DVD.


The DVD contains all our study guides, sermon notes, and audio mp3s from our series chronologically through the entire Bible from Aug 05 to April 07. I preached a total of 151 messages in the OT (audio for two didn’t survive!) with one guest message from our friend and mission director Dr. Fred Moritz. We also had 12 messages over the summer of 2006 from an exposition of Malachi and another 7 sessions teaching about the Intertestamental period. In the NT, we ended up with 124 messages as well, for a total of 293 audio files on the DVD.

The DVDs are available in two formats: “off the shelf” which are allegedly only good for 5-7 years and “100 year archival” DVDs which are supposed to last for a while. (Will there be machines capable of reading them in 100 years? Let me know when you find out!)

In any case, we are happy to make the off the shelf DVDs available just for the cost of shipping, $2.50 to Canada, $3.00 to USA. The Archival DVDs are available for $5.00 each, plus cost of shipping.

If you are interested in ordering, please send me an e-mail.


4.12.09 gbcvic sermons

What does it mean to Believe? (Rm 3.22)

We are rejoicing in the concept of ‘without-law righteousness from God’, we know we can’t earn it, we know we don’t deserve it, we receive it by faith in Jesus Christ. But what does it mean to have faith in Jesus Christ? What does it mean to believe? This message attempts an answer of these questions.

The Bible and Origins (3)

This session covers the Gap Theory – the main arguments for the theory and the weaknesses of those arguments.

The first threat to Christian Liberty (Gal 5.2-12)

In this message we show exactly what was troubling the Galatians and why they may have been tempted by it. The issue is adding religious works to the gospel so that you must do the work in order to be saved. We show how such an addition to the gospel utterly destroys not only the gospel but also Christian Liberty as well.

the source of theology

In two earlier posts, we have consider theology as science and attempted to define theology as ‘the science of God’.

This post continues our look at an essay by Warfield entitled "The Idea of Systematic Theology". Today our subject is the source of theology. In short, the source of theology is revelation. Without revelation, we could know nothing of God. Warfield earlier made the point that the fact of revelation by itself implies a personal God who is interested in His creatures. If there were no such person, there would be no revelation. There would be no idea of God if existence were truly random, uncaused, entirely by chance. The very ordered systems in which we live (water cycle, food chain, etc.) speak of an Orderer, not disordered random chance. If disorder were true, our world (if it could exist at all) would be chaos.

From these thoughts of the physical world, we find that revelation is not solely confined in Holy books. It is not merely written. Revelation is in ‘divers manners’. Revelation comes, Warfield says, from God’s ‘work or word’:

"Our reaching up to Him in thought and inference is possible only because He condescends to make Himself intelligible to us, to speak to us through work or word, to reveal Himself."1

[Read more…]


  1. Warfield, Works: Studies in Theology, p. 58 []

further to my cc4c post

My earlier post re: the Christian Century review of Bill Bright’s biography was picked up by Greg Linscott in the filings section of SI. (Thanks, Greg.) A bit of ensuing discussion followed, where one commenter was somewhat defensive of Bright and Campus Crusade, due to personal experiences.

I thought it might be worth clarifying the point somewhat.

I am not suggesting that Campus Crusade is/was the incarnation of evil! Nor would I suggest that local churches couldn’t learn a thing or two from their methodology, especially regarding discipleship (although one has to wonder how a local church can perform one-on-one discipleship functions when its best and brightest are siphoned off to parachurch organizations).

However, when criticism is made of parachurch organizations and their impact on local church ministry, it is Campus Crusade that historically spawned this criticism by its philosophy of ministry. It is important to note that the article I originally linked to, the liberal Christian Century review, also noticed that fact. Remember, it was Christian Century that said:

Despite the merits of helping irreligious students to become intentional followers of Christ, Crusade’s way of doing campus-based church altered young adults’ understandings in such a way that the older denominational congregations now appeared backward and culturally in accessible.

That’s not me… that’s Christian Century, a liberal rag. If the liberals can see it, clearly those who are conservative should see it also, only more so.

Thank the Lord for the spiritual benefits in individual lives, to be sure, but it is to the church and to preaching that God really assigned the task of evangelism and discipleship. The free-agent mentality that exists across the breadth of evangelicalism and fundamentalism is partly attributable to Campus Crusade and its powerful influence. I don’t think we can deny that when liberals notice it also.