Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reading many blogs using a feed reader

If you are like me, then you are probably keeping an eye on many blogs or sites that provide RSS feeds. Whenever you see the logo on the right, you know you have to do with an RSS feed or site feed. If you click on the logo on the right, your browser will want to subscribe you to this blog's site feed. But, hang on, read to the end!

I use Opera as my main browser, which by the way scored 100/100 on the ACID3 test with its version 10.0 alpha. In the past I used to have a tab open for each blog that I used to read. So, every time I opened Opera, all those tabs had to load first with each blog. This became quite tedious.

I then discovered feed readers. I tried a few client application readers, but I cannot say that I was ever really satisfied. The way a reader works is that it keeps track of what you have read already. Whenever you start up your feed reader, it will check all the feeds you have subscribed to in order to see if the authors of those blogs have posted new blog posts. It will then inform you how many new articles are available for reading.

Click to see a sample Google Reader pageI eventually discovered the Google Reader. Google Reader is an online reader that you can use wherever you are. You do not have to install it on every computer you use. All you need is a computer connected to the internet and an internet browser.

It has really made my life easier. I no longer have to visit each blog I keep an eye on to see if something new was written.

To make it easier for beginners on the subject, the folks at the Google Reader blog put together a nice post specifically called Google Reader for Beginners. Here they explain how to use Google Reader, also using videos in their explanation.

Of course, feed readers do not only keep track of blogs. It can also keep track of any website that has a site feed. That can include websites such as Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and a whole lot of others.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

MUST Bible teachers be trained in the Biblical languages?

I read a blog post over at Hebrew and Greek Reader, called Case and Point, that puts forth the thesis that
"all Bible teaching needs to be done by someone trained to read biblical languages. That means that if your pastor can’t read biblical Hebrew and Greek, he should keep his mouth shut and not preach from the Bible. This standard is even more necessary when untrained Bible teachers mistakenly try to incorporate some fun facts from the world of biblical languages, as Rob Bell has done in his Nooma videos. Art Boulet and Andrew Naselli have the skinny, no need for me to repeat their spot-on responses."
On the other hand, Bill Mounce, in a blog post called How do you use Greek in the pulpit? wrote:
"I just don’t think there are many times you need to parade your knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. As I said in the previous blog, people want to put you up on a pedestal. They want to think that you are different from them. But as I have told people many times from the pulpit, we are all gifted people in the same body, and only Christ is the head. My gift puts me up front and puts me in a position of leadership, but I am still just one gift in the midst of other gifted people."
Are these two writers at odds with one another, or are they simply elevating different nuances of the same thing?

You decide!

Ted Haggard Interview

Ted Haggard, disgraced pastor, seems not to understand the concept of personal repentance.

Find out more in this interview with Haggard.

HT: Justin Taylor

Monday, January 26, 2009

Joyner's pagan rituals

I don't think I have to say anything about the video you are about to see. It is disturbing to say the least. Pagan rituals in the church?

HT: A little leaven

Ted Haggard's indiscretion not isolated

It seems that Ted Haggard's gay 'experience' with the former male prostitute, Mike Jones, was not an isolated event.

Read more in Disgraced pastor faces more gay sex accusations.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, et al.

I was getting rid of some stuff I had in my study for some time now. While throwing things in plastic bags I saw some audio tapes and checked them out. Lo and behold! It was a tape of Jerry Savelle. There were some others there too by Kenneth Copeland and others.

You are probably thinking, "Why would you have audio tapes by these guys?" For those who know me and have seen my theological growth will know why I might have had them. However, others may not know why I had them.

I had to think for a moment what I was doing with them... Then it dawned on me.

This is the reason! It was a series of posts I did on Copeland and others.

NCT Friday: Audio Sermons

It is great to be able to read theological treatises on different doctrines, however, sometimes it is not possible to read pages of anything. Maybe you are driving somewhere and you have time to listen to some MP3 teachings.

Well, today you can find some sermons/teachings by NCT proponents. Enjoy!

NCT Overview Part 1
NCT Overview Part 2
The Place of Israel in History
Rom 9-11: What about Israel Part 1
Rom 9-11: What about Israel Part 2
The Ten Commandments
Understanding the Law
The Future of NCT
Christ's Glorious Covenant

First NCT Friday.
Next, NCT Friday: New Covenant Theology websites.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Holy hip-hop

Thabiti Anyabwile talks about how "holy hip-hop" aided a resurgence in Reformed Theology in black American and urban churches.

HT: Lukas Naugle

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When "black" carries more weight than morality

It is a sad day, no, a calamitous day, for the church when it deems the colour of a person's skin more important, and of higher value than the morality, or in this case, immorality of a person!

Where is the church doing this? you may ask. Well, a large portion of the black church in America is doing just that!

On Sunday, 18 January 2009, some of the black church held the African American Church Inaugural Ball in celebration of Barack Hussein Obama's inauguration as U.S. president that will happen today.

I can understand that there is jubilation in the hearts of many blacks that there will now be a president that has at least half "black" blood in him. I am glad for them! But why the jubilation when the person they are so mesmerized by is a baby-killer, legalizer of sodomy and according to most accounts a communist?

Obama promised Planned Parenthood, that baby killing organisation, that he will sign FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act), in which the ban on partial-birth abortion will be overturned. That means, that human beings will again be further butchered simply because they are on the wrong side of the womb!

The apostle Paul wrote that as Christians we are "neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:28) How is it that those involved in this celebration of the "pope of abortion" cannot see past their own skin colour? Why is it that they demand equal treatment by whites, but when something like this happens, they prove once again that their skin colour is more important than their professed belief in Christ, if any at all? Why is it that their skin colour is more important than the wholsesale slaughter of millions of babies? Is there no morality in the church? Where is true and pure religion, when those in the church celebrate a man that should be soundly condemned for his immoral and evil policies?

Oh, Lord, may your kindness lead these people to repentance! (Rom 2:4)

Further, Obama is also very pro-homosexuality. Does this not bother these people? I have already written on homosexuality, so I am not going to repeat myself.

Where is the church leading itself? When the church go off track like this, they are clearly forsaking the gospel of Christ and have forgotten the God of the gospel.

Perhaps, these are the days of the remnant. Many claim to be Christian, but there is only a remnant of real Christians.

Actions speak louder than words, don't they?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Series on clarifying Calvinism

Phil Johnson, the preeminent PyroManiac, has written a series of blog posts at the Pulpit Magazine, that he entitled Clarifying Calvinism.

Of course, like just Phil can write, he brings clarity where there is confusion. I think Phil is one of the best writers in the blogosphere and it is ALWAYS beneficial to read his posts, even if you do not agree with him.

Here are the links to the series on Clarifying Calvinism:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6


Friday, January 16, 2009

NCT Friday: Theology of Fulfillment

How should we treat the Old testament? Some want to discard the OT completely, and use only the NT, while others still hold onto the OT like the NT brought about no changes at all.

Should we bother with the OT at all, or can we still preach useful sermons based on the OT?

Did the New Covenant really supersede and fulfill the Old Covenant?

Read about this issue:
The Theology of Fulfillment
Did Paul Misinterpret the Old Testament? (PDF)
The Revelation of the Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ
The New Covenant in Promise and Fulfillment
How Should We Use the Old Testament?

First NCT Friday.
Next, NCT Friday: Audio Sermons.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

John MacArthur audio sermons online

One of the great expository Biblical preachers of our time, John MacArthur, has made his sermons available online, for FREE!

You can download them directly from the Grace to You website!

Common errors in understanding the Kingdom

D.A. Carson wrote a short article called "Common errors in understanding the Kingdom."

Here is an excerpt:
"A particularly virulent form of this approach is hidden behind what Tony Campolo now approvingly calls ‘red letter Christians’. These red letter Christians, he says, hold the same theological commitments as do other evangelicals, but they take the words of Jesus especially seriously (they devote themselves to the ‘red letters’ of some foolishly-printed Bibles) and end up being more concerned than are other Christians for the poor, the hungry, and those at war. Oh, rubbish: this is merely one more futile exercise in trying to find a ‘canon within the canon’ to bless my preferred brand of theology. That’s the first of two serious mistakes commonly practised by these red letter Christians.

"The other is worse: their actual grasp of what the red letter words of Jesus are actually saying in context far too frequently leaves a great deal to be desired; more particularly, to read the words of Jesus and emphasize them apart from the narrative framework of each of the canonical gospels, in which the plot-line takes the reader to Jesus’s redeeming death and resurrection, not only has the result of down-playing Jesus’s death and resurrection, but regularly fails to see how the red-letter words of Jesus point to and unpack the significance of his impending crosswork."
Continue reading here...

D.A. Carson's resources online

If you are interested in really good Biblical teaching, by an eminent Biblical scholar that is known as one of the best Bible scholars and teachers in the world, then you need to make use of the D.A. Carson library at The Gospel Coalition.

Here you will find over 440 sermons/teachings in MP3 format by Carson. They are free and they will really be an amazing blessing to you.

HT: Justin Taylor

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Calvin on Creating God in our own image

When I listen to or read the works of many that claim to be evangelicals today, I sometimes wonder which God they worship. Some of these people simply do not preach or believe the whole counsel of God, on God. Inevitably, they create for themselves and their congregations a 'god' in their own image!

John Calvin writes:
"In saying that some fall away into superstition, I mean not to insinuate that their excessive absurdity frees them from guilt; for the blindness under which they labour is almost invariably accompanied with vain pride and stubbornness. Mingled vanity and pride appear in this, that when miserable men do seek after God, instead of ascending higher than themselves as they ought to do, they measure him by their own carnal stupidity, and, neglecting solid inquiry, fly off to indulge their curiosity in vain speculation. Hence, they do not conceive of him in the character in which he is manifested, but imagine him to be whatever their own rashness has devised. This abyss standing open, they cannot move one footstep without rushing headlong to destruction. With such an idea of God, nothing which they may attempt to offer in the way of worship or obedience can have any value in his sight, because it is not him they worship, but, instead of him, the dream and figment of their own heart. This corrupt procedure is admirably described by Paul, when he says, that “thinking to be wise, they became fools” (Rom. 1:22)."
Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1.4.1.
Also read:
Which Jesus do you serve?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I finally have my own ESV Study Bible

From the first announcement that the ESV would be released in a study Bible (English Standard Version Study Bible - ESVSB) format, I was very excited!

It was my birthday on Sunday, Jan 11, and I received money from the family and work, and was able to go buy it this morning. Unfortunately, I had to pop out from work to pick it up, and so, being at work I have to wait till tonight to actually open it and start using it. It was quite providential that my wife had a "20% off" coupon for the store that I bought the Bible from. So, instead of paying R1,000 ($100) I only paid R800 ($80).

The format I bought is the one in the graphic on the left here. It is the Trutone® Classic Black.

It is a study Bible with 2,752 pages. It is extremely rich with features that are really useful. Further, the contributor's list is like a "who's who" in the evangelical world with many of them known as Reformed believers.

This study Bible has been in such high demand that the creators of the ESVSB, Crossway, is out of stock currently.

If you can afford the ESVSB, do yourself a favour and get one!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Emerging bloopers

Rob Bell, from the emergsoever crowd, made a basic neophyte New Testament Greek blooper by ascribing a "technical" but temporary nature to the Greek aorist tense. Of course, he is mistaken here, like in so many other cases.

Read more about the Rob "Belloopers" here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


John Owen's book, "REMAINDERS OF INDWELLING SIN IN BELIEVERS" is now online.

Here is the full title for the book:








Anyway, you can read it online here.

HT: Monergism

Friday, January 09, 2009

NCT Friday: What of Sabbath observance?

One of the big issues that others, especially Covenant Theologians, have with New Covenant Theology is NCT's stance concerning the Sabbath. Covenant Theology says that we are still to observe the Sabbath, just not on the Sabbath (Saturday), but on Sunday (the Lord's Day).

Also, because NCT believes that New Covenant believers do not have to observe the Sabbath, Covenant Theologians claim that adherents of NCT are antinomians (anti-law).

To find out what NCT believes on the issue, visit the following pages:
The New Covenant and the Observance of Days
John Bunyan on the Sabbath
The Sabbath: Celebrating Christ in the New Covenant
Sabbath Timeline
Jesus & the Sabbath
The Believer´s Sabbath

First NCT Friday.
Next, NCT Friday: Theology of Fulfillment.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

PDF files

Every now and again I link to a PDF file, and for those living in caves, you may think, "What?"

Anyhow, if ever you click on a PDF link and you cannot open or read the PDF file, most likely all you have to do is download a free PDF reader and you will be set to go!

You can download Foxit PDF Reader, which is my Windows default. It is small, fast and works really well.

You may also download the Adobe Reader which is available for Windows and Mac. It is bigger and loads a bit slower than Foxit, but is still good. However, PDF files should work fine on Mac since Mac's Preview reads PDF files fine.

Traducianism or Creationism?

On this point I am not sure which way to go. Traditionally I have been a Creationist, but not due to any real thought on the matter.

Jay Adams has written a short blog post on Traducianism and why he thinks that it is true and Creationism not. Gordon H. Clark agrees with Adams.

Francis Turretin disagrees with Jay Adams and believes that Creationism is true and not Traducianism. Oliver Crisp agrees (PDF) with Turretin.

Before I raise my own opinion, I will have to study this issue more, perhaps not right now.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Learn a bit about John Calvin (1509 - 1564)

For those who usually only believe a lot of nonsense about John Calvin and listen to a bunch of naysayers about Calvin, maybe you should listen to these audio lectures to become better acquainted with John Calvin, the theologian of the Reformation.

2009 is the 500th birthday of John Calvin, so make time to get to know him this year.

HT: Justin Taylor

Monday, January 05, 2009

Reading through the Bible

We have all heard it said that if we aim at nothing, we certainly will hit the target! The same goes for reading the Bible. Few Christians have actually read through the Bible, and perhaps you are one of them!

This is perhaps the year that you could put your shoulder to the wheel and actually read through the Bible. It can only benefit you, perhaps in ways that you have never thought of.

You are probably asking, "Where should I start and how will I do it?" Justin Taylor has put together a list of plans that you could choose from. There are several, so choose one and start today! It is never too late!

Friday, January 02, 2009

NCT Friday: NCT contrasted with Covenant Theology & Dispensational Theology

So, what are the differences between NCT and the two major theological systems, Covenant Theology and Dispensational Theology?

Well, you will find today that there are differences as well as similarities. Even though NCT is relatively new in terms of popularity as a theological system of interpreting the Scriptures, we do believe that it reflects more closely the proper way of interpreting the Scriptures.

But, let me not jump the gun!

As an introduction, here are some links to get you started on our topic for today:
An Examination Of The Presuppositions Of Covenant And Dispensational Theology - PDF
A Comparison of Three Systems
Christ's Children of Promise: A New Covenant Theological Rebuttal to Covenant Theology
A New Covenant Critique of Dispensationalism

First NCT Friday.
Next, NCT Friday: What of Sabbath observance?
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