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Showing posts from November, 2016

Messiah: Governor of the Nations

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Posted at Scottish Puritanism:

Messiah: Governor of the Nations of the Earth by Alexander McLeod, D.D.

This is a lengthy pamphlet outlining the basic Covenanter (and Reformed) view of Christ the Mediator and what this doctrine entails for the civil magistrate. It is no small encouragement to see McLeod’s book back in print. His writing style is simple and forceful and never tedious. The essay is divided into three parts: Messiah as Mediator, the acts of the Mediator, and Objections Answered.

He begins the first part surveying the texts which prove that the Ascended Christ is the Lord of the nations. There is no point in this review to survey all of the texts—there are just too many. It is remarkable that McLeod so artfully weaves these texts into his argument in a way that doesn’t tire the reader.
Read more here.
Read the online version of Messiah: Governor of the Nations of the Earth by Alexander McLeod, D.D. (Covenanter.org)

Castro death unlikely to halt revival or spur liberty

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By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press:


HAVANA (BP) -- Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who died Nov. 25 at age 90, is being remembered as both an unwitting catalyst of revival and an opponent of religious liberty.

Castro's death, said Southern Baptists with ties to Cuba, is unlikely to yield significant increases in religious liberty for the island nation until the fall of the communist government he inaugurated 57 years ago.

When Castro led a revolt that overthrew then-Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, he instituted a communist regime that viewed Christians as "anti-revolutionaries." And he barred them from attending universities or entering certain professional fields, according to the persecution watchdog group World Watch Monitor. But the global decline of communism in the early 1990s yielded decreased oppression of believers in Cuba.
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Stuffing the Public Education Turkey: How’s it going to Turn Out With DeVos as the Cook?

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By Gretchen Logue - Posted at Missouri Education Watchdog:

If you follow education reform, this Thanksgiving has been, well, interesting. Twitter comments on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary have ranged from those celebrating a charter school proponent to those concerned about her apparent 11th hour conversion against Common Core and praise from Jeb Bush:



Many of us are skeptical that she is not a supporter of Common Core as she has not spoken out against it one time during the seven years it was being implemented and as she sat on the Board of Jeb Bush’s organization, Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE). But hey, if you believe that statement from DeVos on her twitter feed, then you probably believe the Benghazi murders of four Americans happened because of a YouTube video.

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HT: Truth in American Education (Twitter)

Turretin vs. Doug Wilson on Calling

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Posted at Scottish Puritanism:

"After about a year and a half of meeting, the man who had been doing the preaching (ordained by a Baptist denomination) announced that he had gotten a job elsewhere and that he was moving. We were on our own the following Sunday. As I said, it was the seventies. The idea of going into pastoral ministry had not occurred to me, but when it did, I didn’t like it very much. Nevertheless, as things turned out, I was up in front with the guitar. That was my call to the ministry; I knew all the chords. I began to preach. ..." - Doug Wilson
I do not know if Wilson has since gotten a legitimate calling and ordination from an established church body. But he explains in his own words. (I thank Rachel Miller for finding this. Even though she unfriended me on Facebook because I said Saddam was better than ISIS).

I also recommend this post by Rev. Lane Keister.
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Christ is the Ruler of Nations

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Access the Book written by R. Andrew Myers that compiles the broad testimony of the Reformed Church on the extent of Christ's Mediatorial Kingship

How great indeed is the scope and extent of Christ’s Kingly rule! He is not only Lord of all as one Person within the Triune God, but in a special, mediatorial office as King, He was given “all power and authority in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28.18). He is not only the ruler of His Church, He is also “Head of all things to the church” (Eph. 1.22), the “Governor among the nations” (Ps. 22.28). “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Ps. 72.8).

Although this testimony is a distinctive today of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, it is a testimony shared throughout the history of the Reformed Church in general by many great and notable divines.

The book found here is a compendium of statements and resources on the subject of the scope and extent of Christ’s mediatorial kingship derived …

THANKSGIVING SERMON

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By Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas - Elijah Ministries

"As for me, says the Lord, this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants, says the Lord, from this time and forevermore (Isaiah 59:21)."
If one would ask the typical American why the Pilgrims braved a dangerous journey to come to the shores of America, most would declare, "They came to escape religious persecution or they desired the freedom to worship God according to the Bible." Though these perspectives have sentimental value for Christians in America, it does not square with the actual history the Pilgrims themselves recorded for posterity. The journal of William Bradford provides a more accurate depiction. It journals the Pilgrims determination to face unimaginable hardships to traverse the stormy seas of the Atlantic to come to the…

Squanto-A Real American Hero

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By Rusty Lee Thomas - Elijah Ministries

One of the most meaningful elements of the Thanksgiving saga centers on God's providential hand concerning an Indian known as Squanto. He was born and raised amongst an Indian tribe known as the Patuxets. They were one of the fiercest tribes located in New England. This particular tribe was especially brutal towards any visitors they might encounter.

As a young man, Squanto was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He was taken to a notorious slave-trading port known as Malaga, which is located off the coast of Spain. Fortunately for Squanto, instead of being sold and shipped off to North Africa, he was rescued by some local friars. It was here that Squanto became familiar with certain aspects of the Christian faith. Little did Squanto know at this stage of his life that God was preparing him for a significant role that he would later play at Plymouth.

Eventually Squanto attached himself to an Englishman bound for London. While in London,…

Judicial Watch Calls for Trump Administration Investigation of Hillary Clinton

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Issues Response to News Stories about Trump Not Pursuing Clinton Investigations

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding reports that President-elect Trump decided that his administration will not pursue investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal or the Clinton Foundation:
Donald Trump must commit his administration to a serious, independent investigation of the very serious Clinton national security, email, and pay-to-play scandals. If Mr. Trump’s appointees continue the Obama administration’s politicized spiking of a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton, it would be a betrayal of his promise to the American people to “drain the swamp” of out-of-control corruption in Washington, DC. President-elect Trump should focus on healing the broken justice system, affirm the rule of law and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton scandals. In the meantime, Judicial Watch will vigorously pursue its independen…

Education: Donald Trump Meets With Betsy DeVos, Michelle Rhee

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By Shane Vander Hart - Posted at Truth in American Education:

Republican mega-donor and education activist Betsy DeVos met with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence this weekend at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J this Saturday. Trump and Pence also met with Michelle Rhee who was the former D.C. Public Schools Chancellor and founder and former CEO of StudentsFirst.

DeVos has been a school choice and Common Core advocate who serves as the chairperson for the American Federation for Children. She also serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the group that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush created. DeVos has been discussed as being on Trump’s short list for Secretary of Education and this meeting just fuels further speculation. Trump also recently met with Eva Moskowitz, CEO of Success Charter Schools. Moskowitz recently stated that she would not be interested in the position.

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Se…

Trump Receives Standing Ovation at Apostate PCUSA Church: ‘Hope He Follows His Heart’

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:



BEDMINSTER, N.J. — Churchgoers at a PCUSA Presbyterian assembly in New Jersey gave President-elect Donald Trump a standing ovation on Sunday as he attended services with Mike Pence, Reince Preibus and others.

Trump and his entourage visited Lamington Presbyterian Church in Bedminster Township for worship, which is located just two miles from the National Golf Club Bedminster, where Trump is interviewing prospective cabinet members.

Lamington Presbyterian, led by female interim minister Jacqui Van Vliet, is a member of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), which is considered apostate by orthodox Christians as a majority of presbyteries voted last year to amend the Book of Order to redefine marriage and allow ministers to officiate same-sex ceremonies. PCUSA congregations are also generally pro-abortion.
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Prayer for a President You Prefer Not

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By DAN MICHAEL COGAN - Posted at Anchorline:
"I do not think, as some evangelical leaders have, that Mr. Trump is a kind of David or Samson anymore than I thought that of Barack Obama. To compare either of these men to the foreshadows of Christ is borderline blasphemy, but more likely merely bad exegesis."
I was pretty vocal during the 2016 election about my opposition to Donald Trump. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want Hillary Clinton to be our next President either, but that didn’t mean I could bring myself to vote for Mr. Trump as a result. Instead, on Election Day, I cast the ballot for a candidate I knew wasn’t going to win, but with whom I could stand on most issues.

But can I be honest for a moment? I was actually kind of relieved Mr. Trump won. Kind of.
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Missouri Appeals Court: Frozen Embryos Property, not People

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Posted at Christian Patriots:


A ruling out of Missouri’s Court of Appeals found that frozen embryos have the same rights as any other marital property, but not children. The case was the result of a woman who wanted to use frozen embryos from her and her ex-husband against his wishes.

Corporations are still people under the eyes of justice, but embryos are not, according to a ruling out of Kansas City’s Court of Appeals. This will come as bad news to Jalesia “Jasha”McQueen, 44, and as great news to her ex-husband, Justin Gadberry, 34.

The couple froze several embryos in 2007, CBS News reported. Some were used and resulted in the couple having twins, but when their 2010 separation brought the issue to the courts. McQueen hoped to use the remaining embryos to have more children, but Gadberry was not interested.
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Political Idolatry and Mocking Your Mission Field

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By Jordan Standridge - Posted at The Cripplegate:



We were warned. I feel like it was over and over again. Pastor after pastor told us that if politics becomes an idol in our heart that those who don’t agree with us will slowly become the enemy. We were told that when we put our hopes and trust in the one who sits in the Oval Office and into avoiding persecution and holding on to religious freedom then when people speak out with opposing views from us we will despise them and treat them like an enemy.

And yet despite the warning, many of us in the church have raised the idol. Many in the church have worshipped at the feet of this idol and are simply overjoyed that this idol seems to have produced results. And the mocking has begun. My Facebook is filled with comments about snowflakes, hypocrites and lefties who supposedly are so evil and so despicable that they need to be ridiculed for their tears. The problem is that these snowflakes we’re mocking are my mission field. I talk to so many…

The Truth about the Mess We're In

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By T.M. Moore - Posted at The Fellowship of Ailbe:

The Word of truth knows what we need most.

Let God Be True (4)

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
… Romans 5.12

A matter of opinion?
Ask a dozen people what they consider the greatest problem facing our world, and you’re likely to get almost as many different answers: “More justice!” cries one. “Economic opportunity,” insists another. “Less government”; “More government”; “Better education”; “Free health care”; “Environmental reform!” – the list goes on.

Most of these answers identify real problems, but they don’t quite get at the true nature of the mess we’re in as human beings. They’re rather like Yossarian, the character in Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22, who believed that covering his cold comrade with his flight jacket would relieve his suffering, only to discover that the reason he was cold had nothing to do with the outside air, but eve…

Is This Presidency the End of America? The Executive Branch Up Close

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By Jake MacAulay - Posted at Institute on the Constitution:

This has been an unforgettable and historical election where the first woman campaign manager in American history was able to bring a candidate to the oval office. Not to mention, this candidate is the first non-politician, non-military veteran to be elected to the high office. Regardless, certain demographics were literally in mourning for days after the election, including desperate crying fits and depression!

For this reason, I have decided to outline why we can “exchange our mourning for gladness,” because our founders placed so much emphasis on limiting the Executive Branch of government in America.

Understanding the nature and the limits of the authorities and powers granted to the Executive Branch of the federal government by the Constitution is very liberating unless you countenance tyranny. Our founders provided a way in which the different branches can impede each other, thereby slowing down the actions of governmen…

Pastoral Malpractice

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By Eric Davis - Posted at The Cripplegate:

It’s no small thing. Incorrect medicine is prescribed. Cardiac conditions are misdiagnosed. Wrong limbs are amputated. One study estimated that medical errors take the lives of about 15,000 elderly patients per month.

Sadly, medicine is not the only field in which malpractice occurs. Biblically speaking, pastoral ministry is also a field in which negligence can happen. No pastor is above it.

But there is one form of pastoral malpractice that is particularly common and serious. The more pastors I speak with, the more I am alarmed at how common it is. It is the act of harboring professing Christians in unrepentant sin and church discipline. I suppose that we could phrase it more generally by saying, “The act of failing to shepherd biblically those in unrepentant sin.”

The situation often happens like this: a professing Christian has been plugged in to a local church. That individual then begins to drift and distance themselves a bit. Either throug…

The Preacher and Politician Meets His Savior

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By Rev. David T. Myers - Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History:


These days, we don’t meet many preachers or politicians who have accomplished as much in the realms of both church and state as the Rev. John Witherspoon did in his seventy-one years of life—and those accomplishments spanned two nations, as well! He had a well-deserved reputation as one who was faithful to his Savior, to the saints of God, and to the average citizens of this great republic. He would go to be with his Lord and King on November 15, 1794.

Born in Scotland and raised to an effective ministry for the kingdom of God there in that “mother country,” Witherspoon answered the call to come to the American colonies. John and Elizabeth Witherspoon, along with their five children, traveled here by ship in 1768. Taking the presidency of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), he brought stability to that educational facility in their instruction, library, and financial matters. In the twenty-six year…

Trump on 60 Minutes: Same-Sex Marriage ‘Settled’ and ‘I’m Fine With That’

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

President-elect Donald Trump told CBS’ “60 Minutes” this past week that he believes the issue of same-sex “marriage” has been “settled” by the U.S. Supreme Court and that he is “fine with that.”

The interview, which aired Sunday night, included a variety of topics, such as immigration, abortion and the protests following the election.

“One of the groups that’s expressing fear are (sic) the LGBTQ group,” interviewer Leslie Stahl stated, referring to concerns from homosexual groups that Trump might null and void their nuptials.

“And yet I mentioned them at the Republican National Convention,” Trump interjected.
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Being Peaceably Principled in a Poisonous World

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Posted at Reformation Scotland:

The words most commonly used for the US presidential election campaign have been “toxic”, “venomous” and “poisonous”. Insults seemed to be the sound-bites of choice. Some fear that similar strains have blighted political discourse in the UK. It is not difficult to see that language can be not only divisive but degrading. In a polarised world, how should we respond to the invective directed against our views? How do we avoid worldly spite infecting our response? Disagreements among Christians also arise. Sometime there are necessary differences for the sake of truth, but is it possible to handle them peaceably?

John Brown of Wamphray gives some answers to these questions in his comments on the wisdom that Paul expresses in Romans 12:17 “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men”. He notes how helpful it is that Paul goes on to say in verse 18: live peaceably with all men” but qualifies this with “if it be possible…

Trump's Revolution Has Ended

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By Dr. Gary North - Posted at The Tea Party Economist:

“President Obama is a very good man. I will seek his counsel in the future.” — Donald Trump (November 10, 2016)
The honeymoon with his supporters did not last long, did it?

I begin with two statements.

First, Donald Trump is not part of what is sometimes called “the conspiracy.”

Second, he will be on January 20, 2017.

We are about to see the capture of Donald Trump. It has already begun.

The mainstream media are beginning to see this. By January 20, it should be clear to anybody who wants to look at his nominees for the top cabinet positions. CNN’s headline has it right: Team Trump is already filled with Washington insiders.

We have already learned that the transition team has approached Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase. He was offered the position of Secretary of the Treasury. Anyone who thinks that this would be an improvement over the former CEO’s from Goldman Sachs is living in a fantasy world.

The handwriting is on the wall.…

Winners and Losers

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By Dave Orrison - Posted at Grace for my Heart:

I wish I didn’t think that a person had to be a narcissist to be in politics these days. Maybe it isn’t true on the lower levels, but it seems almost a requirement for higher offices. Narcissists love the praise and adoration of politics, and their supporters faithfully shield them from the criticisms or help them blame the accusers. Most politicians are used to getting what they want, from people who want to serve them. Politics offers a wonderful playground for a narcissist. Power, attention, prestige, admiration—these attract narcissists like spilled 7-up attracts ants. Politics offers all of these.

But please don’t think of this as a political post. I have never wanted to use either the pulpit or the blog for that purpose, in spite of my own opinions. Instead, my desire is to point out something about narcissism that we all see but may fail to recognize.

I recently watched both the victory and the concession speeches of a couple of t…

Calamity Brings Clarity

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By Rutledge Etheridge - Posted at Gentle Reformation:

Published 11.09.2016
The following is an adapted version of a message I preached during the chapel service at Geneva College, just hours after our nation elected our new President. In God’s kindness, the message seemed to strengthen some stricken hearts. Whatever your emotional state after an exhausting election season, I hope it’s a blessing to you, too. It was written to be spoken, but hopefully comes across clearly enough in this format.

A loss can be very hard to take; but sometimes, so can a win.

We have a new President of the United States. He won in dramatic fashion, in the early morning hours, and like the campaign season itself, the angst-ridden process left the American public emotionally and physically exhausted, and for so many of us, feeling profoundly sick. One of the saddest parts of this sick feeling is that had the election gone the opposite way, it likely would have left us feeling much the same, though for d…

Oklahoma Voters Reject Proposal to Allow Ten Commandments at State Capitol

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Voters in Oklahoma have rejected a ballot proposal that would have allowed the Ten Commandments to be displayed on the grounds of the state capitol building.

As of press time, State Question 790 had failed with over 55 percent of voters saying no an initiative that asked whether or not the state Constitution should be amended to allow government property to be used for religious benefit.

“This measure would remove Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution, which prohibits the government from using public money or property for the direct or indirect benefit of any religion or religious institution,” the ballot question read.

“Article 2, Section 5 has been interpreted by the Oklahoma courts as requiring the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the grounds of the State Capitol,” it explained. “If this measure repealing Article 2, Section 5 is passed, the government would still be required to comply wi…

Commander in Chief

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By Eric Davis - Posted at The Cripplegate:

It’s the most important statement in Scripture. Actually, in all of written literature. Actually, in the universe.

“The Lord reigns.”

It is a phrase that appears five times in Scripture, four of which are in the psalms (1 Chron. 16:31; Ps. 93:1, 96:10, 97:1, 99:1). Despite the simplicity of the statement, it is not simplistic. When we gaze on this fundamental truth, we do well to pull over, park, and take a slow walk around this site so that we do not miss the grandeur of the truth contained therein. There is much to learn about God in nature and creation; his care, power, design, and creative ability. But we learn far more from his word.

The declaration, “the Lord reigns,” contains at least 10 sites to see pertaining to the supremacy of God. Like any season between Genesis 3 and Revelation 20, these are appropriate times to take a longer than shorter gaze upon at least 10 sites contained in the phrase, “The Lord reigns.”

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Casting (Bal)lots

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By Barry York - Posted at Gentle Reformation:

(Published 11.07.2016)

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. -Proverbs 16:33

Many have commented how incredible it is that we have come to the point of having these two major presidential candidates before us as a nation. I have heard it expressed that it is like trying to choose whether you would prefer a boisterous, drunken uncle or a conniving, wicked stepmother. As people agonize over how to vote tomorrow, perhaps it is helpful to remember the verse above.

Much like we use dice or choose straws, lots were pebbles or sticks with markings representing different parties. They were cast and one chosen, most likely, by landing in a designated spot. This practice was common in biblical times. Aaron casts lots to see which goat would be the offering and the other the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement. Joshua cast lots to divide the land of Israel among the families of the tribes. In the days of David lots were …

A Political Paradigm Shift for Christians

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By Richard D. Phillips - Posted at Reformation 21:

With the 2016 Presidential election drawing near, Bible-believing Christians are as divided over their votes as at any time in recent memory. Very few offer support to Hillary Clinton, given her rabid support of abortion and disrespect for religion. The divide instead comes between Christians who plan to hold their noses and vote for Donald Trump and others who refuse to endorse such a scandalously ungodly man. On the one hand, we hear, "Save the Supreme Court!" On the other hand, "Disassociate from evil!" What we are really hearing is the shattering of a paradigm, in this case the evangelical willingness to compromise politically with "lesser evils" in pursuit of public good. A couple of realities are making this approach less palatable to many believers:

First, Christian involvement in politics has not succeeded in rallying a "moral majority" that will keep America from going down the tubes. The…

What Does the Bible Say About Voting?

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From OpenBible.info:

Deuteronomy 1:13 ESV
Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’

Romans 13:1-14 ESV
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. ...

Exodus 18:17-21 ESV
Moses' father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing …

God and Government: God's Evaluation of America's General Election

What Does It Mean to Be Reformed?

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By Tim Challies - Posted at The Master's Seminary:


Every year or so I find myself crawling back to a definition of the word Reformed that I first wrote up a couple of years ago. I find it worthwhile to revisit this every twelve months or so. With the amount of reading and studying I do in a year, I feel it is interesting to turn to this definition to see what I would change and what I would refine. I also find it humbling to see which parts of the definition I may have emphasized at the expense of others.

And so today I thought I would define the word Reformed, trusting that the readers of this site will find it helpful. While Calvinism and Reformed are not fully synonymous, most people understand them to be so. Because the differences between them are subtle, I will use them synonymously.

It is important to understand that because the Reformed tradition arose from the Protestant Reformation, the term Reformed was not defined from within a void. Rather, it was defined as a biblica…

Seven sins among professing Christians (London’s Lamentations)

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Posted at Christian in Canada:



An educational look at how Christians used to think about natural disasters and judgments from God. Here is Thomas Brooks writing about the Great Fire of London, September 2–5, 1666:
London’s Lamentations
By Thomas Brooks, 1670
A serious discourse concerning “The Great Fire” which recently turned our once renowned City into a ruinous heap. Also the several lessons that are incumbent upon those whose houses have escaped the consuming flames.
Seven sins among professing Christians
The next thing we have to inquire after is those sins for which the Lord inflicts so heavy a judgment as this of fire upon men. Now for the opening of this, give me permission to propose this question—namely,

Question. What are those sins which bring the fiery dispensation, which bring the judgment of fire upon cities, nations, and countries? Now, that I may give a full and fair answer to this necessary and important question, will you please to PREMISE with me these four things—

[1.…

The Evangelical Fall From The Means Of Grace

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:

The prayers had been offered, the promises read, and the psalm sung. Two princes stepped forward to receive Communion, but the deacon refused to give them the cup. The superintendent of the city’s pastors ordered a second minister present to take the cup from the deacon and give it to the nobles, and a struggle for the cup ensued. Outraged by the deacon’s insubordination, the superintendent excommunicated him on the spot. This nasty business occurred in 1559 in Heidelberg, Germany. The minister was the Lutheran theologian Tilemann Hesshus (1527–88), and the deacon was a Zwinglian named Klebitz.1

As ugly and sub-Christian as it was, the story of the Communion combatants of 1559 reminds us of a time when men took seriously the means of grace, and it presents us with a sharp contrast to our own times. Few evangelical Christians or churches in our time are so devoted to the Supper as to be willing to argue about its proper use, let alone phy…