Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The ESV Literary Study Bible

I received yesterday my copy of the The ESV Literary Study Bible. So far I am very pleased with it. I have not yet used it enough to provide a review but here are some reviews that might be helpful. The following is from the website:

Combining thousands of insightful notes with the complete ESV text, the new Literary Study Bible will help you understand God’s Word more fully, in all its richness and beauty. You’ll explore in detail the Bible’s story lines, complex characters, historical settings, literary genres, motifs, theological themes, imagery, and important terms, making the Bible come alive with greater clarity and impact.

This one-of-a-kind Literary Study Bible is an indispensable tool for devotional reading, teaching, and in-depth study—for all who treasure God’s Word.

About the Editors

Leland Ryken, the Clyde S. Kilby professor of English at Wheaton College, has written and edited more than twenty-five books, including The Literature of the Bible, Words of Delight: A Literary Introduction to the Bible, How to Read the Bible as Literature, A Complete Literary Guide to the Bible, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, and Ryken’s Bible Handbook. He has been a leader of the Literary Approaches to the Bible interest group of the Evangelical Theological Society. He earned his PhD in literature at the University of Oregon.

Philip Graham Ryken, senior minister at the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, has written and edited more than twenty books, including Exodus and Jeremiah and Lamentations in the Preaching the Word commentary series and Galatians in the Reformed Expository Commentary. He also coauthored with his father, Leland Ryken, Ryken’s Bible Handbook. He earned his MDiv at Westminster Theological Seminary and his DPhil at the University of Oxford. He serves as visiting professor of practical theology at Westminster Seminary California.

The Invitation System

Strange Baptist Fire has some links to more than a few good essays and posts on the invitation system and altar calls.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sheep, Wolves, Snakes and Doves

John Piper writes on whether to stand or flee...with some help from Bunyan.

A Kind of Announcement about Free Download from


'our November Free Audiobook of the Month is going to be a really really good one. We cannot announce what it will be quite yet. Well, we'll just give a little hint. The title starts with "Rel" and ends with "ions".'

"Religious Affections"

Thinking About Halloween?

John MacArthur and Tim Challies have some good thoughts on Halloween.

Monday, October 22, 2007

New favorite Blog

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has an excellent blog that is fairly new. The following is from the "About Us" section of the website.

The Mission & Vision of CBMW

The mission of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is to set forth the teachings of the Bible about the complementary differences between men and women, created equally in the image of God, because these teachings are essential for obedience to Scripture and for the health of the family and the church.


The vision of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is to see the vast majority of evangelical homes, churches, academic institutions, and other ministries adopt the principles of the Danvers Statement as a part of their personal convictions and doctrinal confessions and apply them in consistent, heart-felt practice.

What's at Stake?

With the Mission and Vision in mind, it is important for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood to clearly state how it intends to help the church, and perhaps more importantly, why it needs to help the church.

In 1987, CBMW was established primarily to help the church defend against the accommodation of secular feminism. At this time many evangelicals were beginning to experiment with an ideology that would later become known as evangelical feminism. This was a significant departure from what the church had practiced from its beginning regarding the role of men and women in the home and local church. The effects of this departure have not been benign. As evangelical feminism continues to spread, the evangelical community needs to be aware that this debate reaches ultimately to the heart of the gospel.

1. The authority of scripture is at stake.
The Bible clearly teaches that men and women are equal in value and dignity and are have distinct and complementary roles in the home and the church. If churches disregard these teachings and accommodate to the culture, then the members of those churches and subsequent generations will be less likely to submit to God's word in other difficult matters as well.

2. The health of the home is at stake.
If families do not structure their homes properly, in disobedience to the teachings of Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3, and Colossians 3, then they will not have the proper foundation from which to withstand the temptations of the devil and the various onslaughts of the world. This hinders the sanctification of married couples and also introduces confusion about basic parenting issues such as raising masculine sons and feminine daughters.

3. The health of the church is at stake.
Just like the home, if the church disobeys the teachings of 1Timothy 2, 1 Corinthians 11 and disregards the structure that God put into place for the community of faith from the beginning, then the church will be weakened. If the church is weakened in its convictions, it will be less effective in accomplishing its mission.

4. Our worship is at stake.
Increasingly, members of the evangelical community, in the name of gender equality, are advocating calling God "mother" as often as we call him "father." God has named himself and for us to make changes to his self revelation not only undermines the written Word, but also undermines God's authority in our lives.

5. Bible translations are at stake.
There are many who are currently advocating for Bible translations that would essentially be "gender-neutral." These translations, in hundreds of places, remove the words he, him, his, brother, father, son, and man. Our concern is that in the name of gender equality, the Bible is undermined and the very words of God end up being revised.

6. The advance of the Gospel is at stake.
Ephesians 5 calls husbands and wives to relate to one another as a picture of Christ and the church. The picture involves the humble, sacrificial leadership of the husband and the joyful, intelligent submission to that leadership by the wife. Husbands and wives who model this improperly portray a distorted and false picture of Jesus Christ, the Head and Savior of his bride, the church. Deviation from biblical teaching on manhood and womanhood hinders the advance of the gospel.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Love the NFL but...

It is insane that Tom Brady and can get his girlfriend pregnant, ditch her for another supermodel and be fauned over by....well, everyone.

Koren Robinson gets reinstated after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, driving drunk and leading police on a car chase at up to 100 miles per hour.

And yet Michael Vick is a pariah for particpating in dog-fighting.

Listen, I have not cared about the Falcons since Steve Bartkowski was QB and Billy "Whiteshoes" Johnson was returning punts but something is really out of whack here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Brief Review of the Casting Crowns Concert in Tupelo

Let me give you a little context first. When I ordered the tickets for me and the rest of the students in the youth group, I was calling this "the Leeland concert." You see, me and the kids of Westminster Youth Ministries love Leeland. We have already seen them twice live and decided we would go to Tupelo to see them open up for Casting Crowns. Casting Crowns was the headliner but we were going to see Leeland.

I had only really heard a couple of songs by Casting Crowns before I bought the tickets so I decided to download some songs...legally of course. And then I was given their new album, "The Altar and the Door." The more I listened the more I liked what I heard. Actually, while not really liking all I was hearing I was suprised by what I heard. So many Christian musicians have gone the route of being so vague in their lyrics you really have no idea what they are singing about....God? Girlfriend? Lost Dog? Not Casting Crowns, the lyrics may not be "cool" but you have no question where they stand. The lyrics from the first song off the new album are indicative of what I have heard from their other albums...

What this world needs is not another one hit wonder with an axe to grind
Another two bit politician peddling lies
Another three ring circus society
What this world needs is not another sign waving super saint that's better than you
Another ear pleasing candy man afraid of the truth
Another prophet in an Armani suit

What this world needs is a Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love them in their time of need
A Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love
That's what this world needs

What this world needs is for us to care more about the inside than the outside
Have we become so blind that we can't see
God's gotta change her heart before He changes her shirt
What this world needs is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance
Blending in so well that people can't see the difference
And it's the difference that sets the world free

Intense, specific, culturally aware and Trintarian; this is my kind of music. And by the way, they are so uncool I could not help but begin to love them.

Anyway, back to the concert. Leeland was good...not as good as before, we all thought. But Casting Crowns, well, I was blown away. Following are the reasons why:

1. Humilty. When we walked in some guy was talking about the bands coming up (John Waller and Leeland) and some other things. Who was it? Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns. He is decidedly not interested in being a rock star or making a cool entrance. There was a concerted (pun intended) effort at pointing people to Jesus and away from the band. It has got to be hard to look at a sell-out crowd while in the spotlight literally, and point people away from your self.

2. Lyrics. All the lyrics for all the songs were put on a screen for all to read and sing along with. Seeing the lyrics not only helped with the enjoyment of singing along but I was blown away with some of the lines I had never heard or noticed before. I hope this will be a trend in all of CCM concerts.

3. Visual. The whole thing was visually stunning. Great Lights and a huge screen, tailor-made for those of us sitting in the back. There was also an artist working during a particular song...I don't want to say too much for those who have not seen the show yet but are planning to see it in Jackson or elsewhere.

4. Sound. The sound was phenomenal. Oftentimes there is a gap between the professionally produced sound on the albums and the live sound. Not on Saturday night. The instrumentation and the vocals were clear and crisp.

5. Prayer. One of the coolest parts of the night was the multiple times of prayer. Sometimes brief, sometimes a little more focused. Towards the end of the night all the members of the band brought out some chairs to the edge of the stage and asked us to bow our heads and then each one of them prayed for the people in the audience. One prayed for fathers, one for mothers (and those longing to be), one for the guys and another for the girls, etc. Now there was a time when I would have been annoyed by this, "hey, let's just rock!!!" but I realize now how much sense this makes. Think about it, there we were gathered - thousands around a common profession of belief in the gospel and a love for this music. And the ones who make the music end the night by praying for us. It was an awesome moment and I am thankful for their prayers.

All in all I enjoyed them more than my students did I think. They wanted more Leeland and suprisingly I wanted more Casting Crowns.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I now use carbonite to backup all my files; pictures, word docs, videos of the kids, and mp3s.

Use this link to download a free 15-day trial subscription to Carbonite, and get an extra free month of service when you buy.

From the "How it Works" page:

Installation is a snap. Carbonite’s online backup service starts automatically and works quietly and continuously in the background protecting your data. If you’ve accidentally erased something, don’t worry; we’ve still got a copy. You can restore deleted files with just a few clicks on your PC. If your PC crashes, just visit our website to recover lost files.

Your data is stored safely at our secure remote backup centers. No one can see your data but you because your files are encrypted before they leave your computer. We use the same encryption techniques that most banks and e-payment sites do.

Carbonite online backup software is always looking for new data on your PC. The moment you add or modify files, Carbonite swings into action to back up your data. Whenever your PC is connected to the Internet (at home, the office, a hotel or airport…) Carbonite is working to keep your data safe. And it will never slow down your PC or Internet connection.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Kirk Wellum on "Ministerial Flexibility"

Kirk Wellum waxes eloquent on Paul's example of being "all things to all people."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Life of David Brainard

The Life of David Brainerd is the free download from Christian Audio. To get it for free you must use the code OCT2007 when you checkout.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Spurgeon Quote

"I bind myself precisely to no form of doctrine. I love those five points as being the angles of the gospel, but, then I love the Center between the angles better still."

Breaking Down the HIgh Priestly Prayer

Justin Taylor breaks down the High Priestly Prayer in John 17.

Monday, October 01, 2007

2007 Desiring God National Conference

Here are the messages given by John Piper, Helen Rosavere, Randy Alcorn, Jerry Bridges and John MacArthur.