Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

____________________________

Wednesday
Jul152009

The "Issues, Etc.," Interviews on Eschatology

Here are the links to the four programs I did on eschatology with Todd Wilken from "Issues, Etc."

Tuesday's program dealing with Christ-centered eschatology: (http://www.issuesetc.org/podcast/267070709H2S2.mp3)

Friday's program dealing with the great tribulation: (http://www.issuesetc.org/podcast/270071009H2S2.mp3)

Monday's program dealing with the millennium: (http://www.issuesetc.org/podcast/271071309H2S2.mp3)

Tuesday's program dealing with Israel: http://www.issuesetc.org/podcast/272071409H2S2.mp3

Monday
Jul062009

Discussing the End-Times on "Issues, Etc" (Updated)

 

I'm going to be on Issues, Etc., this entire week (Tuesday through Friday) discussing eschatology.  I'm on from 2:15 p.m-3:00 p.m PT.

You can listen live here:  (Click here: Issues, Etc. Radio Program), or wait for the daily programs to be archived.

Todd Wilken (the host) is one of the best interviewers in the radio business, and I always enjoy being a guest on Issues.

Here are links to my books, which we'll be talking about throughout the week.

Click here: Riddleblog - Man of Sin - Uncovering the Truth About Antichrist

Click here: Riddleblog - A Case for Amillennialism - Understanding the End

Monday
Jul062009

What Can I Do? Two Options for Non-Partisan Political Activism

People ask me questions--most often about eschatology--because I solicit such questions.

But since the 2008 presidential election, things have changed. While President Obama remains personally popular, polls show his policies (as well as those of the democrat congress) are not.  The economy has not turned around and shows no signs of doing so.  In fact, one more unforeseen crisis--like an oil shortage caused by some interruption in supply--would surely push us into deep recession (if we are not already there).

In my circle, layoffs have hit hard and many people are struggling to make ends meet.  And since most Christians (even Reformed Christians) tend to be social and economic conservatives, more and more people believe that America is now well along the path to socialism.  People are worried.  Rightly so.  And they come to me with questions.  And I'm not much help.

As a pastor committed to a two-kingdom theology, I make every effort to keep my political opinions to myself.  My close friends, who know and understand how I view the two kingdoms, have heard my political rants.  But many who don't know me as well assume that my reticence to speak about partisan politics in public means I don't have strong political views--or that my views tend left.  Whatever.  I will tell you that I've come to despise partisan politics and am saddened that far too many people whom I love and respect vote to elect people to office about on the same basis that they vote for their favorite on "American Idol."  "I really like them."  "They gave such a good speech."  "They care about me."  "They'll bring about change"   In other words, people naively believe all those political sound-bites designed to create precisely this reaction.

My calling as a pastor demands that I not confuse my personal politics with preaching the law and gospel to all political partisans. I take that calling very seriously. Yet I do feel some sense of obligation to answer honest questions, even if those questions go to the political . . .

So, here are two things I urge all my readers to consider. These are non-partisan, but get to the heart of what is wrong with the American political process as it currently functions.

First, support Ron Paul's HRES 216 IH. OK, I realize that the mere mention of Ron Paul's name will send some of you over the edge--but read this first, and then react.  This procedural resolution simply calls for any bill coming up for a vote to be published (on-line) for ten days before the vote can take place in the Congress.  This gives both the public and the members of Congress time to actually read and debate all proposed legislation before Congress votes on said legisltation.  Paul's resolution is but one paragraph long.  Read it!  Click here: Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

The House of Representatives just passed one of the most far-reaching bills in American history (the so-called "Cap and Trade"), and that bill had not yet even been finalized when it was voted upon!  Not to mention a 300 page amendment was submitted at 3:00 AM on the day of the vote.  In other words, this monumental bill was passed by members of our Congress who had not even read it!  This is irresponsible in the extreme.

What can you do?  Ask your congress person to support this resolution.  Don't vote for them again if they don't.  Call, or email their office and ask where they stand on this.  In my mind, members of Congress who vote for legislation they have not read disqualify themselves from holding future office.

Second, repealing the seventeenth amendment would knock the legs out from under the pompous partisan hacks we know as a "US Senator."  The US Constitution, as written, assumed that the states would each send two state legislators to Washington to represent the interests of their state before the US Senate.  The senators represented the states which sent them (primarily), not their respective political parties which now control them.

The seveneenth amendment called for the direct election of senators, and this created a year-round resident of the Washington beltway, who now does the business of his or her political party, not their respective states.

Here's blog devoted to the repeal of the seventeenth amendment (it is a mixed bag--Click here: Repeal the 17th Amendment).  Here's a great FAQ explaining why the seventeenth amendment was passed and what the ramifications would be if it was repealed.  Click here: Why Repeal 17th Amendment?

What can you do?  Talk this up.  Whenever the subject of the behavior of our Senate comes up in a discussion, raise repealing the seventeenth amendment as an option.  If repealing this amendment ever catches on in the popular imagination, the sheer terror of what this might do to the pompous political hacks living in the Beltway, might bring about more responsible behavior.

In any case, the seventeenth amendment has brought about distarous consequences and needs to be repealed.  Start the ball rolling by talking about this whenever you can!

Wednesday
Jul012009

"Risking the Truth" Now Available!

Martin Downes has put together a very interesting book which includes interviews on various topics with a number of church leaders, pastors, and theologians. I am a contributor (I deal with end times), as are Michael Horton and Scott Clark.

Here's the list of the chapters and contributors (along with links to Sinclair Ferguson's "Forward" and Carl Trueman's chapter):

Foreword (Sinclair Ferguson)
Introduction
1. Heresy 101
2. Sin in High Places (Carl Trueman)
3. In My Place Condemned He Stood (Tom Schreiner)
4. The Agony of Deceit (Michael Horton)
5. The Faithful Pastor and the Faithful Church (Mark Dever)
6. Truth, Error and the Minister’s Task (Derek Thomas)
7. The Defense Against the Dark Arts (R. Scott Clark)
8. Heroes and Heretics (Iain D. Campbell)
9. The Good Shepherds (Tom Ascol)
10. A Debtor to Mercy Alone (Guy Waters)
11. Truth, Error and the End Times (Kim Riddlebarger)
12. Fulfill Your Ministry (Ron Gleason)
13. The Fight of Faith (Sean Michael Lucas)
14. Raising the Foundations (Gary L.W. Johnson)
15. Teaching the Whole Counsel of God (Conrad Mbewe)
16. Present Issues from a Long Term Perspective (Geoffrey Thomas)
17. Ministry Among Sheep and Wolves (Joel Beeke)
18. Error and the Church (Michael Ovey)
19. Will the Church Stand or Fall? (Ligon Duncan)
20. The Annihilation of Hell (Robert A. Peterson)
21. The Word of Truth (Greg Beale)
22. Being Against Heresies Is Not Enough
23. Clear and Present Danger

Here's the link to Risking the Truth on Amazon, Click here: http://www.amazon.com/Risking-truth-Handling-error-church/dp/1845502841/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239125023&

Tuesday
Jun302009

We Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Post

Nothing like a before and after photo to fully explain my recent blogging break.  I have been on vacation, but used the time to paint and rehab my study. 

The above is a photo from 1979 of my wife and I in what was then our living room.  We even had a Maranatha dove on our wall!

Below is a picture of us in the same spot 30 years later!

My dear wife ditched the Farrah hair-do, I ditched hair altogether, and together we ditched the Maranatha dove.  Our former living room has been my study these last twenty years and had grown tired and worn--you can only vacuum and dust so many times.  Its now freshly painted, completely rehabed, and ready to go.

Yes, we still have the same lamp!  And no, I still don't have enough bookshelves.  Please don't give me that "you're getting older and better" rot.  I'm so sore from being on a ladder and from painting ceilings and woodwork for the last week, I can hardly move . . .  I'm just getting older.

By the way, I'm still on vacation and my writing sabbatical through mid-August.  I've got a number of deadlines to meet.  So, posting will still be a bit sporadic.

Monday
Jun222009

Michael Horton Interviewed by CBN News

Sunday
Jun212009

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Blog Post . . .

I'm on vacation!  

But I'm not going anywhere.   I'm doing something that needs to be done, but which I've been putting off for years--I'm rehabing my study.  It is a mess since a pipe burst in a wall behind my bookcases back in March.

So, activity here at the Riddleblog will be irregular for a couple of weeks while I paint, clean, and re-organize my library.

When that's done, I will begin my summer sabbatical (from my church duties).  I have much to do.   I'm writing a series of articles for Tabletalk (like last year), an article for Modern Reformation, and a chapter for a book (the subject of which is hush-hush for now).

I'm also working on a couple of book projects, and hope to make significant headway on them throughout the summer as well.

So, I won't be taking any theology or eschatology questions (sorry), and all the regular features of the Riddleblog ("Who Said That?" Weekly sermons, etc.) will return when I do.

But I'll be around and posting occasionally, so check back for new stuff.  In the meantime, there are lots of resources posted here, so if you are really bored and miss me, you can always check them out.

Sunday
Jun212009

"The Love of Christ" -- Ephesians 3:14-21

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon, the seventh in a series on Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians.

http://links.christreformed.org/realaudio/A20090906-Ephesians.mp3

Friday
Jun192009

"It Boasts of Great Things" -- James 3:1-12

The Sixth in a Series of Sermons on the Book of James

Living in Southern California, we are all far too familiar with frightening scenes of wind-driven brush fires consuming everything in their path. When a brush fire strikes, vital watershed, expensive properties and homes are destroyed in minutes. People and animals are displaced, the skies turn black, and panic is the rule of the day. And yet as James reminds us, a more painful kind of damage can be done almost instantaneously by the human tongue. The words which we speak are capable of great destruction. Just as a small spark can create a horrific fire, our words can inflict great personal pain, or even destroy someone’s reputation which they’ve worked a lifetime to build. And then there is the fact that our words reveal how deeply and thoroughly sin resides in our hearts. The words which we speak reveal to everyone our deepest thoughts, they reveal our true character, and they expose how wise we may or may not be. A brush fire causes great havoc and damage. But the damage done by a fire, often pales in comparison to the damage which can be done by the human tongue.

We resume our series on the Book of James. When we left off last time, we discussed one of the most controversial passages in all the Bible–James 2:14-26. In that passage, James makes his case that a living faith (i.e., a justifying faith) is a faith which inevitably manifests itself in good works. James has carefully set out the cause and effect relationship between regeneration, faith, and good works. In James 1:18, our Lord’s brother told us that God has brought us forth (regeneration) through the word of truth (the gospel). In verse 21, James speaks of how that same word has been implanted in our souls, giving rise to faith (James 2:1). Believers are to receive that word with meekness and humility. And that same word, which is able to save our souls, is also to be obeyed. Says James in verse 22 of chapter one, “be doers of the word and not mere hearers only.”

Then in James 2:10, James has told us that the law of God exposes all us to be sinners, since if we break but a single commandment, we are as guilty as though we had broken every commandment. Sin but a single time and God regards us as a law-breakers. And yet, since Jesus Christ has fulfilled the law through his own perfect obedience to the Lord’s commandments, and because Jesus Christ has died for all of those times we have failed to keep the law, for the Christian, the law is now described as a “law of liberty.” As James puts it, the Christian who gazes upon the law preservers during trials. Such a person is a doer who acts. But the one who only hears, but does not do, is like someone who looks at himself in a mirror and then immediately forgets what he looks like. The law exposes sin, reckons people law-breakers, and smokes out those who are mere hearers of the word only. When such people make a profession of faith in Christ, that profession is not accompanied by good works. They may claim to follow Christ, but give no hint of actually following him. They “hear” but they do not “do.”

To read the rest of this sermon, click here

Thursday
Jun182009

One Reason Why I'd Like to See the Seventeenth Amendment Repealed

Aside from my personal opinions about Senator Barbara Boxer (now known as Ma'am), there is a point behind this post.  The video speaks for itself.  How does this woman get re-elected over and over again?

As for my point . . .  US Senators were supposed to represent the interests of their state in all business regarding the federal government.  The members of the House of Representatives were to represent the interests of the citizens within their various districts before the federal government. 

But once the seventeenth amendment was ratified in 1913, US Senators were effectively removed from their state legislatures, now to reside full-time in DC.  In practice, US Senators no longer represent their states, but their political parties.  This re-structuring of the constitution has helped to create the kind of pomposity we see coming from Ma'am Boxer in this video.  Senators no longer see themselves as public servants, but as an elite governing class, above the rabble . . .  Sadly, this kind of condescending attitude coming from Ma'am Boxer toward a decorated brigadier general, is typical of virtually all senators from either party.  

One way to put an end to this would be to return these people to their state legislatures (for six months of the year) and force them to represent the interest of their states, not their political parties.  If you want a smaller, more responsive federal government, one place to start is with the repeal of the seventeenth amendment!