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


Living in Light of Two Ages



Who Said That?

question%20mark.jpgWho Said That?

“Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, corporate jets, $23,000 commodes in a multimillion-dollar home. You know, just think of a $23,000 marble commode. A lot of money going down the toilet, you can say.”

Leave your guess in the comments section.  Please no google searched or cheating.


For All You Heidelbergers Out There

Belgic%20Confession%20--%20Gootjes.jpgFor those of you who are interested in the Three Forms of Unity, there's a very helpful new book out dealing the history and sources of the Belgic Confession.

Nicolaas Gootjes' The Belgic Confession:  Its History and Sources covers a number of important topics, including whether or not Guido (Guy) de Bres is the primary author of the confession -- Gootjes argues that he was.  There are important chapters dealing with the sources of the Belgic Confession (primarily the French Confession) as well as a previously overlooked source, Beza's Catechism.

There is a helpful discussion of the confession's authority in the Dutch Reformed Church.  As the Remonstrants gathered steam in Holland, they began to challenge the authority of the confession, especially because it was used by the orthodox to challenge Arminian doctrine.  Gootjes convincingly shows that the confession was accepted by the churches (and was therefore binding) shortly after it was written, well before the Synod of Dort.

The appendix is also helpful and contains the texts of critical correspondence establishing the confession's authorship and authority.

This is an important book, and Dr. Gootjes (a professor at the Canadian Reformed Seminary in Hamilton, Ontario) has given us non-Dutch speakers an important window into the origins of our confession which is a wonderful summary of the biblical faith. 

For more information, Click here: The Belgic Confession: Its History and Sources (Texts and Studies in Reformation and Post-Reformation



Some Interesting Links . . .

Links.jpgI'm sure looking forward to reading this one -- Click here: The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright :: John Piper :: Contemporary Authors :: Modern Authors ::

A great discussion of Gary Johnson's new book on Warfield can be found here -- Click here: Warfield, Part 3 « Green Baggins.

Here's a list of the ten worst album covers of all-time.  Thankfully, I never owned any of them (hilarious and creepy) -- Click here: mental_floss magazine - Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix

Baby-boomers might remember these tacky Halloween costumes -- Click here: retroCRUSH: The World's Greatest Pop Culture Site.

And then for all you WWII buffs, here's an essay about a very flatulent Fuhrer.  How come I didn't read about this in Ian Kershaw's excellent biography of Hitler?  Click here: The Smart Set: Scent of a Führer - October 24, 2007


This One Cracked Me Up

laughter.jpgTextual criticism is a hot topic these days.  This little bit of humor illustrates the tremendous importance of a good manuscript tradition (h.t. Tommie Sloan).


A young monk (brother Joseph) arrives at the monastery.  Excited about his new call, he is soon assigned a painstaking but important task--helping a group of monks copy volumes of canon law.

However, brother Joseph soon notices that the monks are copying from copies of canon law, they are not consulting the original manuscript. 

So, brother Joseph sheepishly summons up the courage to go to the head abbot to question this method.  If someone made even the smallest error in an earlier copy, it would never be caught and corrected by those making copies of a copy!  In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The abbot replied to Joseph's query, "We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son." 

So the abbot hurried off down into the dark archives underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts of canon law were held in a locked vault that hadn't been opened for hundreds of years.

Hours go by and nobody sees the abbot . . .  So, brother Joseph gets quite worried about the old man and goes down to look for him.

In the dim light, Joseph sees the abbot banging his head against the wall and wailing in a broken and cracking voice, "We missed the R! We missed the R! We missed the R!”  The abbot's forehead was bloody and bruised and he was crying uncontrollably. 

Brother Joseph rushes to his side and asks him, "What's wrong, father?"

Barely able to speak, the old abbot replied, "The word was . . . "CELEBRATE!!!”


Mike Horton Reviews Joel Osteen's "Become A Better You"

Osteens.jpgFor those of you who haven't seen this yet, Mike Horton has a new review of Joel Osteen's new book, Becoming a Better You. (h.t. Mark Vanderpol)

You can find the review here:  Click here: Joel Osteen and the Glory Story by Michael Horton


On Subscription Sermon Series -- A Follow Up














A while back I posted excerpts from a sample sermon sent to me by a company that sells sermon subscriptions to pastors (Click here: Riddleblog - The Latest Post - On Subscription Sermon Series (Part 1)

This is a follow-up to my prior posts.  Apparently, I'm still on their mailing list, even after asking to be removed.  Here's their latest appeal: 


(1) First, how can I find good, sound Bible source materials to help me in my sermon preparation?

(2) Second, how can I find good humor and illustrations for my sermons?"

Funny, I've never once asked these two questions!  Like many other pastors, I try and find "Bible Source" materials through my own study of the biblical text!  That includes studying the passage I am preaching on in the original language, consulting the commentaries and reference tools and then prayerfully and painstakingly crafting my own exposition of the text.  However good or bad it is, and however God decides to use it, it is my work, my sweat, my labor.

The last thing I want in a sermon is "good humor" and/or illustrations.  My job is to preach God's word, not entertain the congregation or tell stories about my family.  The idea of using someone else's materials and then passing it off as my own is repulsive to me.  It is both dishonest and lazy.  I don't see how any minister of the gospel would be comfortable doing this.

The email continues (the blank is the company's name):

"Since Bible preachers are constantly preaching and looking for fresh materials each week these are two questions they need answers to.  __________________ has the answer to both of these questions. Literally thousands of pastors will confirm that _____________________ is providing good, sound sermon materials, good humor and illustrations to use in their sermons. __________________ has been working with thousands of pastors for over thirty years!" 

I know, I'm kicking a dead horse by posting on this again, but if it is really true that "literally thousands of pastors," use this stuff, then they need to be called on it.

Under these circumstances, it is no wonder so many sermons sound so much alike!  Thousands of pastors?  Thirty years?  Hard to believe.  No wonder evangelicalism in America has fallen on such hard times. There simply is no excuse for this and it must stop. 


The LORD Gives Rest -- Joshua 1:10-18

Joshua%20Conquest.jpgThe Second In A Series of Sermons on Joshua

It is easy to imagine the excitement that raced through the camp, when the order was given to pack up in preparation to cross the Jordan River and enter the land of promise.  The people of Israel waited forty long years for this day to come.  In just three short days, they would be ready to cross the river and they would at last possess that bountiful land which God promised to give to his people as their covenant inheritance.  The armies were to prepare for battle, the people would participate in a ceremony in which they acknowledged God’s choice of Joshua as their covenant leader, and then soon, they would be on the move.  It was truly a great day in the history of Israel.

Last time we began a new series on the Book of Joshua.  When we last took a break from our study of the unfolding drama of redemption “I will be your God and you will be my people,” we had completed the Book of Deuteronomy.  We left off with the people of Israel camped on the plains of Moab, just to the east of Canaan.  All that stood between Israel and the promised land was the Jordan River and the fortified city of Jericho.  While Israel was camped in Moab, God renewed his covenant with Israel–our Book of Deuteronomy.  But then Moses died and was succeeded by Joshua, a man chosen by God to lead the Israelites into the promised land and take possession of it–despite the presence of the Canaanites in the land, a group of tribes known for their great ferocity.  The Book of Joshua is the account of this transitional period in Israel’s history, when the people of God entered the land, conquered the peoples living there, and then became a great nation, just as God had promised to Abraham. 
As we began this series, we considered the geo-political situation on the eve of the conquest.  Living in a land between the three great empires of the day (Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Hittites), the Canaanites were flourishing at this time and there was great prosperity throughout the land.  Then we briefly reviewed the life of Joshua (Moses’ assistant), before we turned to the first nine verses of Joshua chapter one in which God renewed his promise to give Israel the land of Canaan.  This was that promise God made first to Abraham, then Isaac and Jacob, a promise which was renewed to Moses (and Israel) when God made a covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai.  Joshua is now the covenant mediator, but God’s covenant promise remains unchanged.  The critical question is, will the people of Israel remain faithful to the terms of the covenant so as to receive this inheritance and become a light to the nations?

Before we turn to our passage, I’d like to do a bit more introduction to the Book as a whole.  There are a number of important themes which appear multiple times in this book, and it might be useful to identity them at the beginning of this series. 

To read the rest of this sermon, click here


A Fly on the Wall?

Pope%20King%20Abdullah.jpgSince Marc is no longer doing "you supply the caption" over at Purgatorio, (Click here: purgatorio - a panoply of evangelical eccentricities, un-orthodox oddities & christian cultural curiosities) lets try it once here.

If you were a fly on the wall, what did you hear these two saying to each other?  Put your answer in the comments section below.


Which Is Worse? Charlatans or Caesar











OK, we can probably all agree that these folk (pictured above) are charlatans and hucksters, and more importantly, heretical in their theology. 

That said, I get very nervous when Caesar takes it upon himself to "investigate" the collective finances of Paula While, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar (what a great name for a prosperity preacher) and Eddie Long.  I don't trust any of these "ministries" as far as I can see them.  But I'm not sure I have any more confidence in the US Senate.  Unless a specific criminal act has been committed (and therefore prosecuted by the IRS), why should the Finance Committee of the US Senate concern itself with what Kenneth Copeland does with the money raised by his ministry?  Shouldn't his board of directors be held accountable by the IRS?

According to a recent article in CT, the US Senate Finance committee chaired by Charles Grassley, has begun an investigation into the finances of these six ministries (Click here: Senate Committee Investigating Six Major Ministries | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction).  Swell . . .

Frankly, Caesar (in this case, our beloved senate) will no doubt find fiscal abuses and think that the solution is to mandate all kinds of additional rules and regulations, further burdening all churches and non-profit enterprises.  If any of these ministries has committed a crime, let the proper authorities bust them and prosecute them to the full extent of the law!  But why should the US Senate be investigating Copeland, Meyer, Dollar, et al?

I say "buyer beware."  If you are gullible enough to believe these "ministers" and send them money, then too bad for you.  If you want to help Copeland put fuel in his newest Gulfstream, that's on you.  But it makes me very nervous that some US Senator thinks he needs to "investigate." 

That can't be good for any of us . . .


Happy Second Birthday to the Riddleblog!

2nd%20birthday.jpgToday is the Riddleblog's second birthday!

So, I would like to use this occasion to thank all of you who stop here regularly and who enjoy the White Horse Inn, Reformed theology and eschatology and my odd sense of humor.  The number of monthly visitors and subscribers are nearly double what they were even a year ago.  The last two months each exceeded March 2007 when the number of hits I received dramatically spiked during the fall-out from MacArthur's comments about amillennialism @ the Shepherd's Conference.

This is one of the few blogs where the comments section hasn't been shut down at one time or another due to mean-spirited personal attacks or obnoxious comments.  Thanks to all of you for your charity and discretion.  Oh, I will delete an occasional post which goes off topic (to keep the discussion thread on the topic at hand), but by and large you guys are witty, thoughtful, and well-worth hearing from.

So to all of you, I just want to say "thanks," and I hope you continue to enjoy the Riddleblog,  If you feel led to "share," please don't.  But if you have thoughts about how to make this blog better, or other insights, please leave them in the comments section below.