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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Friday
May212010

Tonight's Academy Lecture

When:  Join us tonight at 7:30 p.m. when Professor Kenneth Samples will continue the Academy series entitled "Historic Christianity’s Seven Dangerous Ideas”.  The lecture for this evening will be Humankind’s Value & Dignity: The Image of God.

What:  “Dangerous Ideas” in such disciplines as philosophy and science are ideas that challenge the standard paradigm (accepted model) of the day. These ideas go against what most people naturally think to be true and real. Such revolutionary ideas tend to threaten accepted beliefs and often contain explosive world-and-life view implications for all humanity. Historic Christianity contains numerous beliefs that are theologically and philosophically volatile in the best sense of the term. The Christian faith contains powerful truth-claims that have succeeded in transforming the church and turning the world upside down. This series of lectures will explore seven such provocative beliefs proclaimed by historic Christianity.

Textbook: This is the topic and content of a new book that Kenneth Samples is presently working on to be published by Baker Books (2012).

General Info:  The Academy meets at Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim.  The lectures begin at 7:30 p.m., are free of charge, and are followed by a time for questions and answers, as well as a time for fellowship and refreshments.

Who:  Kenneth Samples is a senior research scholar at Reasons To Believe (RTB) and teaches at the Academy and Adult bible study classes at Christ Reformed Church.  Kenneth encourages believers to develop a logically defensible faith and challenges skeptics to engage Christianity at a philosophical level. He is the author of Without a Doubt and A World of Difference.  He has also written articles for Christianity Today and The Christian Research Journal.

Wednesday
May192010

The Evil Empire in Space

I saw this on the Lo-Hud NY Yankees' blog (Click here) this morning and couldn't resist . . .

Look closely at the sleeve of astronaut Garrett Reisman's space suit.  That's not a "rally monkey" on his arm.

Lets go Yankees!

 

Wednesday
May192010

"The Discipline and Instruction of the Lord" -- Ephesians 6:1-9

The Fourteenth in a Series of Sermons on Ephesians

According to the Apostle Paul, God has built a certain order of things into creation so as to illustrate the way in which Jesus saves us from our sins.  Because of this, Christians are to submit to Jesus Christ who is both our creator and redeemer.  This is why Christian wives are to submit to their husbands, because in doing so, they imitate the sacrificial humility of Christ, as well as model the church’s submission to its bridegroom.  Husbands are to love their wives as they love their own bodies, so as to to imitate Christ’s sacrificial love for his church, which is his body.  Children are to submit to their parents as they would to the Lord, while slaves are to submit to their earthly masters just as they would to Jesus himself.  Not only does this divinely-mandated submission to proper authority arise from the way in which God has ordered creation, but the submission of wives to husbands and the requirement that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church is intended to continually keep before our eyes the relationship that Jesus Christ has to his church, his bride.  In all of this, we are reminded of Christ’s sacrificial love for his people.

As we continue our series on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we are making our way through the so-called “household code,” which runs from Ephesians 5:21 through Ephesians 6:9.  Last time we took up Paul’s discussion of the duties of Christian husbands and wives, now we take up the two remaining aspects of a Christian’s submission to divinely-ordained authority in the household; children’s submission to their parents, and slaves’ submission to their earthly masters.  While much attention is directed to Paul’s discussion about husbands and wives, we need to remember that this entire section is a one running discussion about the nature of proper submission.  What Paul says in the second half of this section about children and parents and slaves and masters flows out of the groundwork laid down in the earlier verses of this section.  Therefore, we’ll need to do a brief bit of review of Paul’s discussion of husbands and wives, before we take up our discussion of children and parents and slaves and masters.

As we saw last time, before Paul gets into any specifics about the order of authority and submission within the Christian household, he begins in Ephesians 5:21 by reminding us that all Christians must submit to Jesus, imitating his example of self-sacrifice in the Christian home.  Just as Jesus humbled himself and became obedient unto death, so too Christians are to keep Jesus Christ’s self-sacrifice and humble obedience to his heavenly Father as the example of all conduct within the Christian home.

I also spent a fair bit of time on what I consider to the primary error when handling a passage such as Ephesians 5:22-33–confusion between the indicative mood (which is a statement of fact) and the imperative mood (a command) which mirrors the distinction between the law (what God commands of us) and the gospel (what God freely gives us in the gospel).  Failure to consider this distinction between indicative and imperative too often leads to this text being presented as some sort of a general ethical discourse on Christian marriage, without any regard for the fact that no one can truly obey Paul’s command to submit to Christ.  Not one wife here has ever submitted to their husbands as Paul commands.  Not one husband here ever loved his wife as Christ loved the church.  Children do not submit to their parents as they should, nor do slaves truly submit to their earthly masters.  So, on the one hand, the imperatives in this passage end up condemning all of us because not one of us has ever done that which God demands of us.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click here

Sunday
May162010

"The Rock Was Christ" -- 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon on 1 Corinthians.

Click here



Sunday
May162010

Academy Audio Posted

Here's the audio from Ken's latest Academy lecture, (05/14/2010) "Not by Human Works: The Gift of Salvation."

Click here


Sunday
May162010

This Week's White Horse Inn

The Spirituality of Emerging Adults


What is an emerging adult, and how have the beliefs and religious practices of this group changed in recent decades? What effect does our contemporary culture have on the religious lives of young people in our day? Joining the panel to discuss this topic is University of Notre Dame professor Christian Smith, author of Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults

http://www.whitehorseinn.org/



Saturday
May152010

Who Said That?

"You may make some mistakes-but that doesn't make you a sinner.  You've got the very nature of God on the inside of you." 

This is an easy one!  Please leave your guess in the comments section below.  No google searches or cheating.  Answer to follow next week.

Friday
May142010

Tonight's Academy Lecture -- "Christianity's Dangerous Ideas," Part Five

When:  Join us tonight at 7:30 p.m. when Professor Kenneth Samples will continue the Academy series entitled "Historic Christianity’s Seven Dangerous Ideas”.  The lecture for this evening will be Not by Human Works: The Gift of Salvation.

What:  “Dangerous Ideas” in such disciplines as philosophy and science are ideas that challenge the standard paradigm (accepted model) of the day. These ideas go against what most people naturally think to be true and real. Such revolutionary ideas tend to threaten accepted beliefs and often contain explosive world-and-life view implications for all humanity. Historic Christianity contains numerous beliefs that are theologically and philosophically volatile in the best sense of the term. The Christian faith contains powerful truth-claims that have succeeded in transforming the church and turning the world upside down. This series of lectures will explore seven such provocative beliefs proclaimed by historic Christianity.

Textbook: This is the topic and content of a new book that Kenneth Samples is presently working on to be published by Baker Books (2012).

General Info:  The Academy meets at Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim.  The lectures begin at 7:30 p.m., are free of charge, and are followed by a time for questions and answers, as well as a time for fellowship and refreshments.

Who:  Kenneth Samples is a senior research scholar at Reasons To Believe (RTB) and teaches at the Academy and Adult bible study classes at Christ Reformed Church.  Kenneth encourages believers to develop a logically defensible faith and challenges skeptics to engage Christianity at a philosophical level. He is the author of Without a Doubt and A World of Difference.  He has also written articles for Christianity Today and The Christian Research Journal.



Thursday
May132010

Open and Shut

From the July 1, 2009 edition of Tabletalk

Q. What is the Office of the Keys? 

A. The preaching of the Holy Gospel and Christian discipline; by these two the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and shut against unbelievers. 
(Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 83)

Church discipline is one of those topics no one really wants to talk about. Not only do people fear that such discipline entails church officers snooping around in their private business and then outing their private sins to others in the church, church members also don’t want to be perceived as being judgmental toward others. If snooping is what biblical church discipline entails, then people would be right to be worried. Fortunately, this is not the case.

One example where church discipline is applied in the New Testament is in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Paul describes a situation in which a member of the church (presumably a prominent member) has taken “his father’s wife.” Paul seems completely perplexed that someone could do such a thing. “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans” (1 Cor. 5:1). Not only was this man’s behavior a violation of biblical commandments, but such an act was considered scandalous among pagans outside the church. Paul’s remedy for this was to excommunicate this man: “You are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (v. 5).

To read the rest of this article, Click here

Wednesday
May122010

"Christ and the Church" -- Ephesians 5:22-33

The Thirteenth in a Series of Sermons on Ephesians

Martin Luther once quipped that anyone who was able to master the distinction between law and gospel should be immediately awarded the doctor’s cap (the symbol of the doctor’s degree in theology).  In Ephesians 5:22-33 we come to one of those passages which requires us to make a very important determination, “is this passage law, or is this passage gospel?”  Or, is it something else?  “Wives, submit to your husbands,” sounds like law to me.  And “husbands, love your wives” is certainly a command (and therefore “law”).  But it is Paul’s assertion “I am saying that this refers to Christ and his church,” which provides the key to understanding this entire passage.

As we continue our series on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, we come to the apostle’s discussion of a Christian’s submission to divinely-established authority.  This discussion runs from verse 21 of Ephesians 5, all the way through to verse 9 of chapter 6.  Paul touches upon many aspects of the Christian household and daily life.  In verse 21, Paul lays out the general principle that all believers are to submit to Christ, before taking up the subject of duties of wives to husbands (in verses 22-24), husbands to wives (vv. 25-32), children to parents (6:1-4) and slaves to masters in the balance of this section (vv. 6-9 of chapter 6).  This passage is known as the “household code,” and in many ways it serves to establish a distinctly Christian understanding of marriage and the family.

Throughout our series on Ephesians, we have been making the point that in Ephesians 1-3 Paul sets out his understanding of the gospel–a gospel grounded in God’s gracious election of sinners in Christ, who are then saved by grace through faith, through the proclamation of the saving work of Jesus (preaching).  In chapters 4-6, Paul discusses the Christian life–the application of that doctrine which he set out in the first three chapters to specific situations facing Christians in western Asia Minor.  In talking about the contrast between Christian and pagan ways of thinking and doing, Paul has discussed Christian unity, the need to strive for maturity, as well as the importance of stripping off the old self and putting on the new.  Paul has exhorted us to imitate Christ, to walk in love, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so that Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs pour out of our hearts during Christian worship, as opposed to the partying and drinking songs which resound in the pagan temples and guild halls. 

As we work our way through Paul’s discussion of a Christian’s submission to proper authority, we need to be especially mindful of the fact that Paul’s directives found in this section are often applied without any regard for the gospel from which they flow.  How many times have we heard verses from this passage cited as though we were perfectly capable of fulfilling them?  While these verses do indeed instruct us to submit to Christ, wives to submit to husbands, husbands to love our wives, children to submit to our parents and slaves to submit to earthly masters, the fact of the matter is that no husband in this room ever loved his wife as Christ loves the church.  Not one of us has ever fully submitted to Christ as we should.  And how many of us perfectly submitted to our parents while growing up?

To read the rest of this sermon, Click here