Spurgeon on False Converts

Spurgeon relates a story that should give us pause for too quickly comforting ourselves with someones deathbed conversion.  This isn’t to say they don’t happen, but…well, I leave the story to Spurgeon.

“I have heard of a city missionary who kept a record of 2000 persons who were supposed to be on their deathbed, but recovered and whom he should have put down as converted persons had they died; and how many do you think lived a Christian life afterwards out of the 2000? Not two. Positively he could only find one who was found to live afterwards in the fear of God. Is it not horrible that when men and women come to die, they should cry, ‘Comfort, comfort?’ And that hence their friends should conclude that they are children of God, while, after all, they have no right to consolation, but are intruders upon the enclosed grounds of the blessed God. O God, may these these people ever be kept from having comfort when they have no right to it! Have you the other blessings? Have you had the conviction of sin? Have you ever felt your guilt before God? Have your souls been humbled at Jesus’ feet? And have you been made to look to Calvary alone for your refuge? If not, you have no right to consolation. Do not take an atom of it. The Spirit is a convincer before he is a Comforter: and you must have the other operations of the Holy Spirit, before you can derive anything from this.”

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4 Ways to Become a Better Writer

Justin Taylor at the Gospel Coalition wrote a wonderful little article on 4 Ways to Become a Better Writer.  Number 3 of his words of advice, ” You probably don’t know what you think until you write it out.”  Then he supports that with some wonderful quotes:

Calvin, citing Augustine: “I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write.”

Ed Welch: “I find that there are three levels of clarity. When I only think about something, my thoughts are embryonic and muddled. When I speak about it, my thoughts become clearer, though not always. When I write about it, I jump to a new level of clarity.”

John Piper: “Writing became the lever of my thinking and the outlet of my feelings. If I didn’t pull the lever, the wheel of thinking did not turn. It jerked and squeaked and halted. But once a pen was in hand, or a keyboard, the fog began to clear and the wheel of thought began to spin with clarity and insight.”

We Need To Talk About Submission

Submission is one of those topics that’s become a taboo subject among believers, almost to the degree it is taboo, or even scandalous, among unbelievers. And rather than face the subject head on, we can be guilty to turning askew or walking away from it.  At the Desiring God blog Kim Cash Tate has written one of the strongest and clearest articles about submission that I’ve seen in a long time. It’s titled, “We Need To Talk About Submission.”  Kim outlines three points about why we should talk about submission without apology: 1. Submission points to the supremacy of Christ, 2. Submission esteems the truth, and 3. Submission affirms God’s created order.

As believers, we don’t want to resemble in the slightest way those who suppress the truth (Romans 1:18). To the contrary, our obligation is to uphold the truth of the word of God, no matter the times we live in, no matter how uncomfortable we may be. And granted, we will feel uncomfortable talking about submission in many circles. The discomfort is by design. The god of this world has waged assault on submission in order to suppress this truth.

Thank you, Kim, for this reminder.

 

Some Thoughts on Reading Books: Al Mohler

Al Mohler reads a lot of books, and I am envious of his reading habits. So when he writes about reading I am all ears. In his article ‘Some Thoughts on Reading Books’ Mohler outlines some very helpful ideas about reading.

  1. Maintain regular reading projects by reading in pre-selected categories.
  2. Work through major sections of Scripture
  3. Read all titles written by the same author
  4. Read through large sets of works.
  5. Allow some fun in reading
  6. Write in your books and make them yours.

The full article can be found here.

An Interview with Vern Poythress on Biblical Theology and Christ in the Old Testament

Justin Taylor gave a remarkable interview with Vern Poythress for the TGC website. Poythress answers questions relating to the big picture of biblical theology and how Christ fits within the context of the Old Testament.

Since Christ is fully man, God as God had a relationship to Christ the man, and this relationship between God and the man was, in the general sense, “covenantal.” God on his part made commitments to Christ in his OT promises. Christ, in his earthly life, committed himself to following the Father’s way. This covenant between God and Christ was both “conditional”—involving the necessity of Christ’s obedience—and “unconditional”—guaranteed by God. So the words “conditional” and “unconditional” must be used with care. We have to ask ourselves not only which covenantal relation we are discussing, but what aspect of that relation.

Iain Murray’s Reflections on T4G 2014

Iain Murray attended this years T4G Conference and reflects on it’s participation in the “New Calvinism” that is emerging today.

But what is now occurring in many parts of the United States can patently be seen to have sprung out of what is far from new. It is no more ‘new’ than the doctrine that was heard under Whitefield and Edwards in the 1740s, or later, under Spurgeon or Lloyd-Jones. What was supposed to be ‘as dead as Queen Anne’ is very much alive in what is happening today. Old authors are being read more eagerly than for a long time, yet it is not the literature, significant as it is, which can account for what is happening.

This movement is characterized closely by what Archibald Alexander observed over a century ago.

Archibald Brown once told the declining congregation at the Metropolitan Tabernacle that, when God revives his work, popular solutions for a recovery would disappear: ‘There will be nothing said from the pulpit or platform about “up-to-date” . . . it will be Bible! Bible! Bible! And the people clamouring, “Let us have the Word of God!”’3 The phenomenon I am discussing does not profess to be a revival, but it is appealing to the Bible in a new way and challenging the perceived wisdom of much contemporary evangelicalism.

He writes that T4G is unique in it’s rejection of evangelical pragmatism.

What it stands for is unambiguous. It has 18 Articles of Faith printed in the conference programme, and the addresses given at the earlier conferences are available.6 They will make surprising reading for anyone who supposes that this is just another of the recurring cycles of evangelical enterprises intent on drawing a crowd. Instead of following a well-trodden evangelical pragmatism, T4G departs from much that has been near axiomatic in contemporary thinking.

In fact, the organizers of T4G hold no affection for what is common thinking in evangelical church growth efforts.

The idea that the presentation of the gospel must be adjusted to contemporary culture, for long a ‘sacred cow’ in much evangelicalism, has received no reverence at T4G. Instead, the concern over what ‘appeals’ to people, or ‘turns them off’, is traced to a lost confidence in the power of the gospel itself.

Thabiti Anyabwile makes a great observation about the church.

Thabiti Anyabwile argued how the church has ‘an alternative culture’ which ‘undermines the prevailing cultural norms . . . If we imagine that something called “secular” is the same as “safe and neutral”, already we’re deceived by fine-sounding arguments. The word “secular” is not safe neutral ground.’

You can read the rest of the article here.