Monday, December 28, 2009

Matt Chandler Is In A Win/win Situation

I have been a pastor for 15 years and a hospice chaplain for seven years. I have seen many dying people. I am always grateful for those testimonies of believers who understand their mortality and boast in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Matt Chandler is one of those believers, who when diagnosed with cancer, glorifies God by his confidence in his savior no matter what the outcome.

Over my Christmas travels back home I downloaded some of Matt’s sermons on my Ipod. One was from November 4th, 2007 called, Departing In Peace, from the gospel of Luke. I recommend downloading this sermon.

It was very profound for me to listen to Matt preach a sermon from two years ago when he had no clue he would be diagnosed with cancer. It was not diagnosed until two years later when he had a seizure this past Thanksgiving (2009).

Here is part of the sermon that really caught my attention because of what he is dealing with at the present time:

In the sermon, Matt says:

Listen, there is an appointed time for man to live and a time for man to die, and we don't get to control that date. Even when we think we're controlling it, we're not. No, this is about living well and it's about dying well. Because death is this inescapable reality for all of us. It's coming, it's chasing us and it will eventually run us down. You're just not going to be fast enough. I think we joke all the time, I know we're learning all these new things, there's exercises and certain foods to eat and certain foods to not eat. You can go obey all those rules and still, I don't know how many of you looked at the news today, you can still be an elite marathon runner that drops dead at mile 5. So this is about living in peace and then dying there.

Further on he says:
Dell Steele, our chairman of elders, found out this past week that he has an inoperable, really aggressive cancer, and more than likely he's going to go home with the Lord sooner rather than later. He found that out on Tuesday, and on Tuesday night he's up here praying with his men. So on the day you find out you've got a year or two tops and those year or two are going to be difficult, you do what? “Alright. I've got to go pray with my boys.” Why? Because he knows. That's who I want to be when I grow up. And then here's the other fear that befalls us. I think we constantly have an elevated view of who we are and our importance in the great picture. Like, I love my daughter and I love my son very much, and I want to see my daughter grow up and turn down the proposal of a, I want to see her get married and love God deeply. And I want to see my boy turn into a godly man. I'm going to surround him with all the godly dudes I can, all kinds of different godly guys, godly guys that love sports, godly guys that love music, godly guys that love the arts. I just want him to see those different kind of things. I want to see those things. I want to sit with Lauren when we're really old and drink coffee...I want to be with her for 50 years. That would be awesome. And I think the thing we start doing when we start thinking of death is, we're like, “Oh man, what would happen to my family? What would happen to my children?” And listen, I know this might be difficult for us, but in the end God loves my wife monumentally more than I'll ever be able to love her. And my children? I'm a huge fan of strong male presence in the home, gentle, strong, loving male presence in the home. And I don't know how your children are, but if I'm gone for four or five days, my children start to want someone to beat them for some reason. Seriously, they just go to that one thing that they know they shouldn't do and are like, “Somebody's going to spank me up in here. Someone is going to show me they love me. I need boundaries.” And my kids will start doing that. But listen, Christ is a better father than I'll ever be able to be. It's just the truth. And then sometimes I'm like, “Oh, what would happen at the Village? What would happen...” and God's like, “Please. You might be thinking a little bit too much of yourself...EIGHT DAYS IN ASIA!!!!” And stuff like that happens. How’d you like to lose 20 pounds?  Excellent! And in the end here's the truth. My role is one of a pawn whether I like it or not. And if my young death furthers the kingdom and furthers the name and renown of the king, if that's what He so desires to do, to call me home early, then please don't cry for me.
I'm not going to be crying for you. I'm going to be home drinking the new wine, without the Baptists getting so angry at me. And so in the end, it's an understanding of the gospel that helps us live well, that helps us suffer well and in the end, helps us die well. And these are important things because let me assure you of some things. Your body's going to break down sooner or later. Very, very, very few people get out of this place without suffering physically, without the body reminding you that all of creation has been subjected to futility. But our boy here says, “With peace I go into the night. With peace I've lived; with peace I've died. Free me. Open my cage. Let me fly.”

The closing thoughts Matt says,

Maybe tonight we don't want the thought of death or dying to be anywhere near our minds and anywhere near our hearts because we live in such an unrest about who we are, about what's in our soul, about what we've been a part of, about what we've been capable of historically. Death is a horrifying idea for us because the thought of standing before God is just mortifying for us. And so maybe for the first time in our lives, we can be honest before a God who already knows. I mean, no shock, no awe, no shrug of disbelief, He knows. There's a freedom in you confessing that He knows. And then that next step is to confess to one another. Maybe we need more faith. We should ask for it. “Jesus, thank You for tonight, thank You for the gospel, thank You for Your voice, thank You for Your power and thank You for Your great glory loving us, hopelessly broken. I pray that by faith and grace we might live well at peace, that we might suffer well at peace and when it comes time, we might die well. It's for Your beautiful name. Amen.”

I thank God for the way he has worked in Matt’s life and I pray that God would heal him and give him many fruitful years in ministry; but Matt is in a win/win situation. If the Lord heals Matt then it will mean fruitful labor for him as he encourages others in their progress and joy in the faith (Phil. 1:25) and if he departs to be with Christ--that is far better; he is a winner as well (Phil 1:20-26). 

Here is an article I wrote on this topic:
Absent From The Body--Present With The Lord

Here is the latest update on Matt

Message from Matt on 12/20/09

John Piper preached a very encouraging sermon at The Village Church on December 27th. His text was Romans 8:18-25 titled, “Subjected in Hope.” You can find it here and here (check out the last few sermons preached at The Village Church)

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I highly recommend the book, Finally Alive, or the sermon series (here) for those who wish to understand the new birth.

Purchase (here)

Monday, December 21, 2009

READ NOW (a couple of days before Christmas): A Word about Family Tensions and the Holidays

Russel Moore has written an excellent article that deals with handling tensions during the holidays.  Check it out here

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Romans 1:1-5 God's Good News

Romans 1:1-5
God’s Good News

Rom 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called {as} an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,(2) which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,(3) concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,(4) who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,(5)through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about {the} obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake,

Here is the sermon audio

You can listen from the website (headphone icon) or download it (down-arrow icon).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Encouraging Testimony From A Pastor Facing Brain Surgery

Matt Chandler is lead pastor at The Village Church

My Heart is full…I am Thankful
The last seven days have been some of the most interesting of my life. I have felt anxiety, fear, sadness and a deep and unmovable joy simultaneously and in deeper ways than I have felt before. I am grateful for this heightened sense of things. Today at 10:45 a.m. CST I will have a good portion of my right frontal lobe removed. I head into that surgery with a heart that is filled with gratitude and hope.

Here are some of the things I am thankful for in no particular order:

1.  I am thankful for the thousands of you who have prayed and fasted for my health. It has brought far more tears to Lauren’s and my eyes to receive this kind of attention from the Church universal than this tumor has.

2. I’m thankful for health insurance because I’m guessing they aren’t doing my five-hour surgery for free!

3. I am thankful that I have deep, real friendships at The Village with Michael Bleecker, Josh Patterson, Brian Miller, Chris Chavez and Beau Hughes. They have been such a comfort to me and my family this past week. Pastors should have good friends on their staff. It’s risky but worth the risk.

4. I am grateful for the men of God in my life, namely John Piper who taught me to hold my life cheap and to join with Paul in saying “I don’t count my life of any value or as precious to myself if only I might finish my course and complete the work that He gave me to do to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. I’m nothing, I just have a job. God keep me faithful on the job and then let me drop and go to the reward.” Without this strong view of God’s sovereign will, I’m not sure how you don’t despair in circumstances like mine.

5. I am thankful for my wife Lauren. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’” “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

6. I am thankful for my children. Audrey the Beautiful, Reid the Valiant and Norah the Joyous. Being a daddy to these three is one of the greatest joys of my life.

7. The privilege of seeing and appreciating all of life through the grid of a heightened sense of my own mortality.

8. I am thankful for brilliant doctors and surgeons who have been given a real gift by our great God and King to repair things as complex as the brain.

9. I am thankful for The Village Church. If there is a place that loves Jesus more, takes sanctification as seriously and wants to see the lost love the great King deeply I am unaware of it. These last seven years have been a spectacular joy!

10. More than anything else I am grateful to my King Eternal, my Lord Immortal, for my God invisible. He alone is God. All Glory and Honor, Forever to You O God. I am overwhelmed in these moments by God Himself and the assurance of a future inheritance of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken and where all things are made new (Hebrews 12).

Christ is All,
Matt Chandler

This video was taped a few days before Matt's brain surgery and was aired during the Sunday service time at The Village Church, TX.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Death By Love

Real people. Real sin. Transformed lives. Deep theology meets gritty pastoral experiences as Death by Love explains the practical implications of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. This compilation of heartfelt letters written from a pastor to his people is for all those who have sinned and have been sinned against.

Death by Love is a unique book on the cross of Jesus Christ. While many books debate the finer points of the doctrine of the atonement, what is often lost are the real-life implications of Jesus’ death on the cross for those who have sinned and have been sinned against. Written in the form of pastoral letters, Death by Love outlines the twelve primary effects of Jesus’ death on the cross and connects each to the life of a different individual.

Driscoll, one of America’s most influential pastors, and Breshears, a respected theologian, help readers understand, appreciate, and trust in Jesus’ work on the cross in a way that will transform their lives. Both deeply theological and intensely practical, this book shows how everyone can find hope through the death of Jesus Christ.

“This book is brutally honest about sin and suffering, and wonderfully hopeful as it points us to our true Savior.”
Timothy S. Lane, Executive Director, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

“The stories portrayed in the chapters of this book are all too real, but more importantly, the pastoral responses offer riveting applications of the cross for true and lasting transformation.”
Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Practical and powerful. It applies the sufficiency of Jesus to the real-life challenges we face in the church every day. If you work with hurting people you need Death by Love.”
Dan Jarrell, Teaching Pastor, ChangePoint Church, Anchorage, Alaska

“A key reason for my confidence in this book is its brilliant presentation of the historic theology of the cross and how it defends reprehensible attacks against it.”
Gregg R. Allison, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“The authors connect squarely with our ever-changing culture, declaring the central doctrine of Jesus’ death and why it is important.”
Bill Mounce, President,

Click here to purchase the book for 19.99 and get a free PDF downoad of the book.
Click here to purchase the book for 13.59.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Death is not Dying--for the Christian

Rachel Barkley was a dear believer who shared her view of death (the Biblical view) before she died. Watch here:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Helpful Discussions on Prayer

Colossians 4:2 "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving."

Don Carson

John Piper

Now that you have a taste of Piper's clips on prayer--check out the resources below for full length sermons and articles:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

40 Days For Life

40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that draws attention to the evil of abortion through the use of a three-point program:
Prayer and fasting
Constant vigil
Community outreach
40 Days for Life takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families. It puts into action a desire to cooperate with God in the carrying out of His plan for the end of abortion in America.


LIFE CHAIN is a peaceful and prayerful public witness of pro-life Americans standing for one hour praying for our nation and for an end to abortion. It is a visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception.

Oct. 4, 2009
2:00-3:30 p.m.Burlington

Meet at 2 pm at Salvation Army’s Park Shelter (behind Aldi’s on Agency St.) for corporate prayer and to get a sign. From 2:30-3:30 pm, we’ll stand on the sidewalk along Agency Street (east to Roosevelt and west till across from Hy-Vee)

We’ll pray in silence, being careful not to block the sidewalk for walkers, or to block access to any driveways for businesses.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Reforming to Scripture or Reforming to Culture?

Our culture is embracing same sex marriage and promoting homosexuality as normal practice. The latest denomination to reform itself to the culture’s values is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The ELCA news service ran this article on August 13, 2009, ELCA Clergy Support Gay, Lesbian Rights, Ordination, Survey Says.[1] Then on August 19, 2009, the social statement "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust" was amended and adopted by a more than two-thirds majority vote at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, meeting in Minneapolis.[2] On August 21, the official ELCA NEWS SERVICE posted an article, ELCA Assembly Opens Ministry to Partnered Gay and Lesbian Lutherans.[3]

Within the ELCA there is a group that is concerned with reforming to Scripture called Lutheran CORE.[4] The opening line of the ministry section that describes who they are says: “Lutheran CORE is a coalition of pastors, lay people, congregations and reforming groups. We seek to preserve within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America the authority of the Word of God according to the Lutheran confessions.” In a news release,[5] Mark Chavez, director of the Lutheran Coalition for Reform (CORE), says, Lutheran CORE leaders renounce ELCA decision to endorse gay marriage and to allow pastors to be in same-sex relationships. Ryan Schwarz of Washington, D.C., a member of the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee stated, “The assembly has voted to remove the ELCA from the universal Christian consensus on marriage and homosexual behavior. Lutheran CORE intends to remain faithful to the clear teaching of Scripture and the consistent teaching of the Christian Church worldwide and throughout time.” For those who appreciate the late Martin Luther, you have to appreciate this group within the ELCA who desire to stop the slide further to the left of Scripture. Schwarz also went on to say, “The ELCA Confession of Faith says that Scripture is ‘source and norm’ of the church’s faith and life, but this assembly has shown that the ELCA is willing to violate what it officially says it believes about the Bible.” It is also refreshing to hear the words of Jaynan Clark, president of the WordAlone Network, (The WordAlone Network is one of the renewal organizations that make up Lutheran CORE) say: “It is appalling that ELCA leaders brought these proposals to a vote. The church should not be voting on whether or not to follow the teaching of the Bible… Luther’s stand was on the Word of God and sound reason. He was not convinced then, and we are not convinced now. We just voted out the Word of God, sound reason and the good orders of creation.”

Be careful when you say that Lutherans are embracing gay clergy. Remember that under the heading of any denominational name like Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Methodist there are subgroups that range from liberal to conservative and differing degrees between the two poles. Under the name, “Lutheran” you have the Evangelical Lutherans Church in America, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has a statement regarding the latest discussion of the ELCA. Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, president of LCMS, said, “ELCA’s vote is contrary to the synod’s biblical interpretation. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has repeatedly affirmed as its own position the historical understanding of the Christian church that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior as ‘intrinsically sinful.’ It is therefore contrary to the will of the Creator and constitutes sin against the commandments of God.”[6]
The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod has also made a statement regarding ELCA’s recent decision. Rev. Mark Schroeder, president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), stated, “To view same-sex relationships as acceptable to God is to place cultural viewpoint and human opinions above the clear Word of God.”[7]

Luther was determined throughout his life to reform his beliefs to the authoritative Word of God. It seems that the ELCA is determined to reform their beliefs to the norms of society. The Bible condemns homosexuality and the ELCA condones it? Pray for those within the ELCA, such as CORE, who are taking a stand. Thank God for the other Lutheran groups seeking to stay faithful to Scripture regarding the issue of homosexuality.
We must always be reforming ourselves to the authority of Holy Scripture—God help us to stand!

A must read:

**Click here for Gagnon's website [ ]








Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Fury of the Wind (new modern hymn)

A good friend of mine, Eric Schumacher, has written another "modern hymn" that I highly recommend checking out...

Here is a description:

This text by Eric Schumacher is a beautiful mixing of the fiery descriptions and words of God in Job and the need that seeing such wrath stirs within the human soul to “flee to Christ.” We would all be “knocked off our high horse” if God were ever to appear to us the way He did to Job in the final five chapters of the book. What a frightening and humbling experience that would be! Our only sane response would be to fall before the feet of the Holy One. It is this very realization of our mortal and sinful selves that shows us the need that we have for the Holy God to make provision for us (no other could possibly do so!). God the Son is the only one who can “make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24).This text can also be set to a traditional tune.
You can download the MP3 on the website

The fury of the wind,
The raging of the sea,
How small a whisper do we hear
Of our God’s majesty!
The thunder of His pow’r,
O, who can understand?
Before the fullness of His wrath
O, who of us could stand?

“Shall man find fault with God?”
He asks of man below.
“Now, gird yourself to answer Me.
And tell Me, if you know:
Who made the earth and sea?
Who speaks and stars obey?
Who plays with creatures of the deep?
Who gives the beast its prey?”

You, Lord, can do all things,
And none can stay Your hand.
I uttered what I did not know
And could not understand.
Before Your greatness, Lord,
I fall upon my face.
And, by such glory stripped of pride,
I cast myself on grace.

The raging wind and sea
Cause me to flee to Christ,
Who bore the tempest of God’s wrath
To be my sacrifice.
Though in the storm I’m blind,
I trust my Sovereign’s plan.
I know that my Redeemer lives
And with Him I shall stand.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ApologetiX Jehovah

Dear Jehovah Witnesses,

Please listen to this song.

If you want to buy the album, check it out here:

If you are mad that Christians would make a parody of a Steve Miller song...............well--go find a discussion board to air your complaints.... I happen to like the song!

***They will be in Washington, Iowa on August 8th.***

ApologetiX returns to Iowa next Saturday, our only concert of 2009 in The Hawkeye State.

Here are the details:Sat, August 8 at 7 p.m. Hamakua Place 604 S. Iowa Ave.Washington, IA 52353

Here are some nearby cities and how many miles away they are:Iowa City (35), Burlington and Cedar Rapids (60), Davenport and Bettendorf (75) Galesburg IL (105) and Des Moines (110).

To purchase advance tickets at a discount, please go to: and click on this concert. If you attend, keep in mind that we always meet with friends and fans in the lobby after our shows. Hope to see you there!J.J. JacksonApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Christian View of Death—Absent from the Body and Present with the Lord

We have a material body and an immaterial soul/spirit (Genesis 35:18; 2 Kings 17:21; Matthew 10:28; Acts 7:59)
• Genesis 35:16-18 Rachel began to give birth and she suffered severe labor. 17 When she was in severe labor the midwife said to her, "Do not fear, for now you have another son." 18 It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.

• Matthew 10:28 28 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

• Acts 7:59-60 59 They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" 60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" Having said this, he fell asleep.

• Luke 23:42-43 42 And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" 43 And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."
•**Luke 23:43 –both Jesus and the thief died and were buried, but Jesus while on the cross said they would be in paradise “today”.

At the moment of death, our soul separates from the body and departs to be with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:20-25; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 6:9-11; 20:4 )• 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord-- 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight-- 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

• Philippians 1:20-26 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith . . .

Our material body returns to dust (Genesis 3:19) and we remain in a disembodied state in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23) until the resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).• Genesis 3:19 19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return."

At the second coming of Jesus Christ , believers who have died will return with him and receive their resurrected bodies first; the believers who are alive at that time will be transformed as well (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:20-23, 51-52)
• 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

• 1 Corinthians 15:20-24 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father . . .

• 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

A resurrected body is the final phase of our redemption (Rom. 8:23; Philippians 3:20-21) Other resurrection passages: Matthew 22:23-33; John 5:24-29 [*our deeds are produced by God 3:21], 11:23-27; Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:4-6, 12-15 )
• Romans 8:23 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

• Philippians 3:20 - 4:1 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

• Matthew 22:23-33 23 On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him, 24 asking, "Teacher, Moses said, 'IF A MAN DIES HAVING NO CHILDREN, HIS BROTHER AS NEXT OF KIN SHALL MARRY HIS WIFE, AND RAISE UP CHILDREN FOR HIS BROTHER.' 25 "Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; 26 so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27 "Last of all, the woman died. 28 "In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her."
• 29 But Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 "But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: 32 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB '? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." 33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.

• John 5:24-29 24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. 25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28 "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. [***Deeds are evidence of God’s work among confessing believers… John 3:21 21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." ]

• John 11:23-27 23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world."

• Acts 24:15 15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

See also:

 Therefore we also have as our ambition,
whether at home or absent,
to be pleasing to Him.
2 Cor. 5: 9

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Troubled Soul (PS 42) by CJ Mahaney

You need to download and listen to the sermon below. I preached on Psalm 73 Sunday and I heard a great sermon preached live via the internet of C.J. Mahaney's sermon on Psalm 42 from RESOLVED 2009

click on the title The Troubled Soul PSALM 42
C.J. Mahaney
Mon, Jun 15, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Psalm 73 Working Through a Spiritual Crisis

If you live long enough you will encounter trials that could cause a spiritual crisis. Psalm 73 is a soul searching Psalm that shows how a person worked through their own spiritual crisis.

click here for the MP3 download page for the Psalm 73 sermon

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sermon: The Called Ones of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:6)

Sermon Text:
Romans 1:6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ

For the audio download of this sermon click here

(I preached this sermon in 2006)

Sermon Notes:

What does it mean that the Roman believers are “the called” of Jesus Christ (see also Jude 1)?

There are at least two uses of the word called

(1) The General Call: a call that comes through the preaching of the gospel (Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10; Acts 8:40).

(2) The Effectual (Effective) Call: The effectual call is effective, that is, it always results in salvation (Romans 8:30, Romans 1:6-7; I Corinthians 1:9, 26; II Peter 1:10)

"Effective calling is an act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which he summons people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith."
Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1994) 693.

Commentaries of Romans that see the special use of calling here:

- Douglas Moo
“ ‘Call’ and its cognates are used by Paul to express an “effectual” calling. What is meant is not an “invitation” but the powerful and irresistible reaching out of God in grace to bring people into his kingdom.”
Douglas G. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, NICNT (Grand Rapids, MI.: Eerdmans, 1996) 54.

- Thomas Schreiner
“Here it denotes the effective call accompanying the preaching of the gospel. Those who are called exercise faith in Christ (see 8:28-30). To say that Roman believers are “beloved by God” and “called to be saints” applies language to the church that was used for Israel as God’s elect people.”

Thomas R. Schreiner, Romans, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament ( Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998) 36.

- Albert Barnes
The called of Jesus Christ. Those whom Jesus Christ has called to be his followers. The word called (see ver. 1) denotes not merely an external invitation to a privilege, but it also denotes the internal or effectual call which secures conformity to the will of him who calls, and is thus synonymous with the name Christians, or believers. That true Christians are contemplated by this address is clear from the whole scope of the epistle. See particularly Roman chapter 8.

- Matthew Henry
“The called of Jesus Christ; all those, and those only, are brought to an obedience of the faith that are effectually called of Jesus Christ.”

- Leon Morris
When we think of our position as Christians we are inclined to think first of what we do, and so we speak of our faith or our commitment or the like. But Paul stresses God’s initiative. Christians are people whom God has called. He goes on to speak of being called to belong to Jesus Christ. There is a responsibility attaching to call. Those called belong to Christ. Their lives are his.
Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, IVP (Leicester: IVP/Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988) 52

Other key text:
Rom 8:28-30 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to {His} purpose.For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

**See 1 Cor. 1:18-31 for this effectual calling of God.**

The ultimate purpose in God choosing and calling us is so that no one would boast before him.

Examples of the divine/effectual call:
One non-salvific example—the raising of Lazarus (Jn 11:39-44)
Salvific—the apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-6; 22:3-11)
Salvific—Lydia (Acts 16:13-14)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Excellent Review of The Shack at "Girls Gone Wise"

Mary Kassian has written a great review of The Shack.
Click here to read it: Re-imagining God in the Shack
I couldn't agree more when she said,
I’ve had good friends tell me that I’m missing the point of the Shack. Maybe I am. But maybe, just maybe, they are. Maybe they are getting caught up in the emotion of a heart-wrenching story and are failing to notice the horrendous theology that under girds it. The authors claim that “at its core the book is one long Bible Study.” This isn’t an ordinary story book. It’s a book that seeks to transform people’s ideas about God. The fiction is merely a vehicle for the theology.
In my post Gender Bending in The Shack (The Shack Inspection Part 1) I said,

Mary Kassian has some great articles to check out here:,com_metabrowse/browse,keyword/value,Mary%20Kassian/Itemid,116/

Thank you-- Mary! ( )

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Shack Inspection: No Penal Substitutionary Death of Jesus, No Reconciliation to Claim

The Shack: “Honey, you asked me what Jesus did on the cross; so now listen to me carefully: through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world” (192).

How do you get reconciled to God without the death of Jesus propitiating the wrath that should have been ours? This is a question I wish I would have pursued further with Paul Young. Since Paul denies that Christ died as a penalty for our sins, how can he believe in reconciliation? Romans 5:8-10 says,

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
How is it that the blood of Christ saves us from God’s wrath if he was not providing a Substitutionary atonement that bore wrath? We see in the text that we (Christians) were at one time, enemies of God. The universal declaration is that everyone is guilty at God’s court because of sin (Rom. 3:9). We are all sinners in need of forgiveness and a righteousness which we do not have (Romans 1:18-3:20). A person cannot be justified (declared righteous) by good works because no one can do them perfectly (Romans 3:20-21; Gal. 2:16; 3:10-11). When we were in the position of being objects of wrath, God brought about a reconciling work in His Son’s death (Rom 5:10). Because the death of Jesus was a sacrifice for sins (Rom. 3:24-24; 5:10; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:26; 10:12), those who believe in him are justified and reconciled to God (Rom. 3:22-26; 5:1; Gal. 3:24-26).

Because Paul Young denies the penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, I don’t see how he can then claim reconciliation. No penal substitutionary atonement, no reconciliation. We (believers) have gone from being enemies to being in a reconciled relationship with God. This all based on the propitiatory death of Jesus the Messiah.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Learning More About Our Triune God

There are many problems in The Shack regarding the Trinity. I have blogged about two problems already and will probably add a few more later.

If you want to learn about the Trinity I suggest the following:

1. Prayerfully read through the Gospel of John many times

2. Listen to good sermons or lectures on the Trinity

"This is My Beloved Son!" Exulting in the Trinitarian Relationships of Jesus Christ

The Trinity of Persons
2005 Desiring God Conference for Pastors
January 31, 2005
Bruce Ware
Listen Download
Download: Audio

Contending for Our All
The Life and Ministry of Athanasius
February 1, 2005
John Piper
Read Listen Download
Download: Audio

Jesus and the Father
2005 Desiring God Conference for Pastors
February 1, 2005
Bruce Ware
Listen Download
Download: Audio

3. Read good articles on the Trinity


4. Read good books on the Trinity

I have read the following books and highly recommend all of them

The Kostenberger/Swain book would be great to use while reading through the Gospel of John

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Does the Father Have Scars?

The Shack: Papa didn’t answer, only looked down at their hands. His gaze followed hers and for the first time Mack noticed the scars in her wrists, like those he now assumed Jesus also had on his. She allowed him to tenderly touch the scars, outlines of a deep piercing, and he finally looked up again into her. Tears were slowly making their way down her face, little pathways through the flour that dusted her cheeks.“Don’t ever think that what my son chose to do didn’t cost us dearly. Love always leaves a significant mark,” she stated softly and gently. “We were there together” (p95-96).

First, God the Father is invisible and has not been seen by anyone, except Jesus (John 6:46). Speaking hypothetically--If he were to take upon flesh we would not see scars in his wrist. The triune God did not take upon flesh, only the eternal Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, took upon himself a human nature which we call the incarnation (John 1:14). Paul has Papa saying, “When we three spoke ourself into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human. We also chose to embrace all the limitations that this entailed. Even though we have always been present in this created universe, we now became flesh and blood” (99). There are many who praise The Shack because they say they learn so much about the Trinity. Yet, this book will only cause more confusion because the book shows Papa having crucifixion scars. Would it be a problem for a pastor to pray Sunday morning in church, “Father, I thank you for being crucified on the cross for my sins”? It would be theologically wrong. The Father was not crucified. We could thank the Father for sending (John 5:23; Gal. 4:4-5) the Son to die on the cross for our sins (Rom. 5:6, 8; 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:3), that would be Biblical.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gender Bending in The Shack (The Shack Inspection Part 1)

Gender Bending in The Shack (The Shack Inspection Part 1)

So Mack meets the Trinity at the shack. “Mack decided to bang loudly and see what happened, but just as he raised his fist to do so, the door flew open, and he was looking directly into the face of a large beaming African-American woman”(pg. 82). Mack reflects on this and says, “Since there were three of them, maybe this was a Trinity sort of thing. But two women and a man and none of them white? Then again, why had he naturally assumed that God would be white?”(p.87). Now I could care less in this story what color of skin the Father has, the issue is how Pau l Young portrays God the Father as a woman. Mack asks the question, “Am I going crazy? Am I supposed to believe that God is a big black woman with a questionable sense of humor? Jesus laughed. “She’s a riot! You can always count on her to throw you a curve or two.” (pp. 88-89) Mack has a problem with this new view of God the Father and says, “I think it’d be easier to have this conversation if you weren’t wearing a dress” (p. 93). But what justification does Paul present in the book that would lead him to do such a thing as presenting God the Father as woman? On page 93 we read: “Mackenzie, I am neither male nor female, even though both genders are derived from my nature. If I choose to appear to you as a man or woman, it’s because I love you. For me to appear as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning” (p. 93). When you have God the Father always addressed in Scripture as Father and never called Mother, one would think that if the Father were going to show up in the flesh, he would be in a male form. Fathers are male and to have a Father presented as a woman wearing a dress is gender bending at its worst. Now Mack, “believed, in his head at least, that God was Spirit, neither male nor female, but in spite of that, he was embarrassed to admit to himself that all his visuals for God were very white and very male” (p.93). It is correct to say God the Father is neither male nor female because He is spirit (John 4:24). But the Fatherhood of God is fully and only masculine language and to have a person called Papa (Father) appear as a woman is a very confusing image that deconstructs the orthodox view of the Trinity. The author is saying that since God is spirit then he is neither male nor female so we can switch it around. Scripture never does this—ever.

Now Papa (the large African American woman), explains to Mack why she/he had to be revealed as a woman, “Hasn’t it always been a problem for you to embrace me as your father? And after what you’ve been through, you couldn’t very well handle a father right now, could you?” (p. 93) Mack asks, “why is there such an emphasis on you being a Father? I mean, it seems to be the way you most reveal yourself”(p. 94). He has only revealed himself as Father in Scripture, God is never called “Mother”.

So if Mack has a problem with religiously stereotyping God the Father as a white Gandalf, why trade that stereotype for a worse one? Having “the Father” appearing as a female is really bogus. Since Mack had a bad father figure in his life you would think that you would give him a perfect father modeled before him over the weekend at the shack . After the fall of Adam, there have always been flawed fathers to differing degrees. Why didn’t God mix the metaphor if that is what people needed? Here is reason as I see it: because he is eternally Father, Son and Holy Spirit. No biblical author calls the first person of Trinity mother or any feminine noun or pronoun. God is spirit (John 4:24) and the Father has never revealed himself in a bodily form (John 1:18; 5:37; 6:46). If God the Father were to appear in a human form, I am sure it would be what we think a father would look like, not a womanly, mother figure. Every New Testament author calls the first person of the Trinity—Father. God as Father is used over 200 times in the New Testament. Jesus prayed to the Father. Jesus said he had a glory with the Father before the world began (Jn 17:5). God (first person of the Blessed Trinity) is eternally the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Scriptures were penned over 1,400 year span, composed by dozens of authors, and the resounding pronoun they used for God was—He. Thousands of times the pronoun used for God is he and is never she.

Here are some great articles that deal with the whole gender issue:

How Shall We Speak of God? Seven Reasons Why We Cannot Call God "Mother"
by Randy Stinson and Christopher W. Cowan

Death of Father Language: Attacking the Heart of Christian Identity
by David Lyle Jeffrey

Our Mother Who Art in Heaven: A Brief Overview and Critique of Evangelical Feminists and the Use of Feminine God-Language
by Randy Stinson

Father of the Fatherless: Women Approaching God as Father
by Mary Kassian

Tampering With the Trinity: Does the Son Submit to His Father?
by Bruce A. Ware

Here are some of the NT references to God- the Father:

Matt. 5:16, 45, 48; 6:1, 4, 6, 8f, 14f, 18, 26, 32; 7:11, 21; 10:29, 32; 11:25ff; 12:50; 13:43; 15: 13; 16:17, 27; 18:10, 14, 19, 35; 20:23; 23:9; 24:36; 25:34; 26:39, 42, 53; 28:19; Mk. 8:38; 11: 25f; 13:32; 14:36; Lk. 6:36; 9:26; 10:21f; 11:2, 13; 12:30, 32; 22:29, 42; 23:34, 46; 24:49; Jn. 1:14, 18; 3:35; 4:21, 23; 5:17ff, 26, 36f, 45; 6:27, 32, 37, 40, 44ff, 57, 65; 8:16, 18f, 27f, 38, 41, 44, 49; 10:15, 17f, 29f, 32, 36ff; 11:41; 12:26ff, 49f; 13:1, 3; 14:6ff, 16, 20f, 23, 26, 28, 31; 15:1, 8f, 15f, 23f, 26; 16:3, 10, 15, 17, 23, 25ff, 32; 17:1, 5, 11, 21, 24f; 18:11; 20:17, 21; Acts 1:4, 7; 2:33; Rom. 1:7; 6:4; 8:15; 15:6; 1 Co. 1:3; 8:6; 15:24; 2 Co. 1:2f; 6:18; 11:31; Gal. 1:1, 3f; 4:2, 6; Eph. 1:2f, 17; 2:18; 3:14; 4:6; 5:20; 6:23; Phil. 1:2; 2:22; 4:20; Col. 1:2f, 12; 3:17; 1 Thess. 1:1, 3; 3:11, 13; 2 Thess. 1:1f; 2:16; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; Phlm. 1:3; Heb. 1:5; 7: 10; 12: 9; Jas. 1:17, 27; 3:9; 1 Pet. 1:2f, 17; 2 Pet. 1:17; 1 Jn. 1:2f; 2:1, 13, 15f, 22ff; 3:1; 4:14; 5:1; 2 Jn. 1:3f, 9; Jude 1:1; Rev. 1:6; 2:27; 3:5, 21; 14:1

Why post the following Scriptures? Because I was blessed to go through the NT and think about the relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Gospel of Matthew
5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
5:48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

6:9 "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

11:25 At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 "Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

13:43 "Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

16:17 And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.

20:23 He said to them, "My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father."

23:9 "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

24:36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

25:34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."
42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done."
53 "Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

3:35 "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand.

4:21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
23 "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

John 5:17-45 Please read this section for yourself… it is incredible!

6:27 "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."

46 "Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.

John 8:41 "You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God."
42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.
53 "Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?"
54 Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God';
56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."
10:15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

John 11:41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

John 17:4-5 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,
5 "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Acts 1:4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me;
7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

Romans 1:7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

15:6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians
1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

15:24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.

2 Corinthians 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

6:18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.

11:31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.

1:1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),

1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,

1:4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

4:2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.

4:6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"

1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
2:18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
4:6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;

6:23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2:11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
4:20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
1:3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

1 Thessalonians
1:1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
1:3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,
3:11 Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you;
3:13 so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

2 Thessalonians
1:1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
1:2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,

1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Philemon 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU"? And again, "I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME"?
12:9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?

1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
3:9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;

1 Peter
1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1:17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

2 Peter 1:17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased "--

1 John
1:2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us--
1:3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
2:13-24 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

Jude 1:1 Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:

Revelation 1:6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father-- to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 3:21 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

I take it that God the Father has always been Father and will continue to be throughout eternity.

God the Father= 200x
God the Mother= 0

God with the pronoun--He = 1,000's of times
God with the pronoun--She= 0

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Shack Inspection (Introduction)

I plan on writing a series of articles on the controversial book, The Shack. I will be responding to the interview that I had with the author, Paul Young. You can listen to the interview locally (Burlington, Iowa) on KAYP at 89.9 FM airing 3-6-09 (6:00 am, 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm) and it will be archived here .

Before I write a series of articles dealing with The Shack, I thought it would be helpful for you to see that not everyone is fond of the book. My responses will be largely a response to the interview that I had with the author, Paul Young.

My approach is that the book is a top-seller so we might as well be prepared to engage others with the truth of Scripture.
One very insightful review of The Shack comes from a man that personally knows William P. Young. James B. DeYoung, is Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary. Go to click on the right hand side “Back of the Shack” or “Spurgeon Fellowship Journal Review”

Tim Challies is the editor of Discerning Reader (, a site dedicated to discerning reviews of books that are of interest to Christians.
Download the review:

Challies also did a follow up piece called, Open Mind, Closed Bible

Chuck Colson in his Breakpoint Commentary weighed in by calling his article, Diminishing Glory, with a subtitle: “Stay Out of The Shack”

Breakpoint also posted an article by Travis K. McSherley that critiques The Shack, called, “ Bringing Heaven Down To Earth” (The Small God of ‘The Shack’)

Norman L. Geisler and Bill Roach ask the question--The Shack: Helpful or Heretical? A Critical Review

Alan Dunn wrote a three part series on The Shack that can be found at Reformed Baptist Fellowship’s website.

The Faulty Foundations of The Shack (Part 1)

The Faulty Foundations of The Shack (Part 2)

The Faulty Foundations of The Shack (Part 3)

Doug Wilson’s review can be found at his Blog and Mablog

The Green Baggins blog: Job and John Bunyan Versus The Shack

Larry DeBruyn has written three articles on The Shack and Universal Reconciliation

The Shack and Universal Reconciliation (part 1)

The Shack and Universal Reconciliation (part 2)

The Shack and Universal Reconciliation (part 3)

Matt Slick from CARM Ministry interviewed Paul Young

Insight For Living (Chuck Swindoll) has posted a review written by Dr. Glenn R. Kreider. Dr. Glenn R. Kreider serves as a professor of theological studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he received his Ph.D. in 2001.
“But I cannot recommend this book. The reason is simple: the author’s portrayal of God is confusing at best and untrue at worst.” Kreider has two sections about, Confusion about Trinity and Confusion about Christ. He closes his article with, “This is a dangerous book. Its view of the Trinity is inadequate and its view of Christ is unorthodox. That is not good.”
for more details

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Seminary has his own radion show (Albert Mohler Show). On 4-11-08 he addressed The Shack starting around 11.20 into the program. He states that, “This book includes undiluted heresy.” He also says, "It is intended, undoubtedly, as a way of trying to bring about some kind of redefinition or new understanding of the Christian faith…The main character says at one point that he now understands that everything he learned at seminary was basically all wrong."

Mark Driscoll's take on The Shack