Wickenburg, AZ (in the rain)

Last Saturday the kids and I did a day trip to Wickenburg, AZ. I had only ever been there one time before and that was maybe 15 years ago. It is a rather small town with a western feel about an hour north east of Phoenix. They have an excellent Western museum in their down town shopping area. I enjoyed it very much. There were quilts on display (always a favorite),  lots of western art including paintings, pencil drawings, sculptures, the history of the saddle and many examples of the progression through time and in the lower floor a diorama of an old western town. I liked the almost 4 foot cowboy boot. It was a nice way to celebrate my birthday with my kids.

 

 

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Re Blog: 9 Perspectives on Trump, Clinton, and the Evangelical Christian Voter

by R P Ministries

Most evangelical Christians in America see involvement in the electoral process as a moral/spiritual obligation. So, what is an American Christian to do when presented with a choice between two prominent presidential candidates where choosing either is morally problematic?

Many of us have been prayerfully asking ourselves that question. And we’ve been seeking wise counsel. In today’s post, I’ve collated online counsel that can be helpful to us as we seek to address the issue of Trump, Clinton, and the Evangelical Christian Voter.

1. Should Christians Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils? 

In a widely-read Christianity Today article, Russell Moore asks and answers the question, Should Christians Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils? Moore begins with these prophetic words:

For years, I have urged Christians to take seriously their obligations as citizens, starting with exercising the right to vote. In the public square and at the ballot box, we must be more engaged, not less. But what happens in a race where Christians are faced with two morally problematic choices? Should voters cast a ballot for the lesser of two evils?

After a well-reasoned presentation, Moore concludes:

Given these moral convictions, there have been times when I’ve faced two candidates, both of whom were morally disqualified. In one case, one candidate was pro-life but a race-baiter, running against a candidate who was pro-choice. I could not in good conscience put my name on either candidate. I wrote in the name of another leader. Other times, I’ve voted for a minor party candidate. In the cases when I’ve voted for an independent or written in a candidate, I didn’t necessarily expect that candidate to win—my main objective was to participate in the process without endorsing moral evil. As Christians, we are not responsible for the reality of our two-party system or for the way others exercise their citizenship, but we will give an account for how we delegate our authority.

Our primary concern is not the election night victory party, but the Judgment Seat of Christ.

When Christians face two clearly immoral options, we cannot rationalize a vote for immorality or injustice just because we deem the alternative to be worse. The Bible tells us we will be held accountable not only for the evil deeds we do but also when we “give approval to those who practice them” (Rom. 1:32). This side of the New Jerusalem, we will never have a perfect candidate. But we cannot vote for evil, even if it’s our only option.

2. Trump, Clinton, or Neither: How Evangelicals Are Expected to Vote 

Christianity Today highlights the issue: with the two major parties likely running candidates that many Evangelicals could not endorse, what does the Evangelical Christian do? According to CT:

Half of the 81 “evangelical insiders” surveyed by World magazine in March said that if faced with a Clinton/Trump ballot in November, they would vote for a third-party candidate even if that candidate had no chance to win (51%). More than a quarter more said they’d vote for a viable third-party candidate (29%). 

Read the entire CT article here: Trump, Clinton, or Neither: How Evangelicals Are Expected to Vote.

3. Crisis in American Democracy 

After a broad-based reflection on the state of democracy in the US, Al Mohler refuses to mince words:

To put the matter bluntly, we are now confronted with the reality that, in November, Hillary Clinton will likely be the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump the Republican nominee. This poses a significant problem for many Christians who believe they cannot, in good conscience, vote for either candidate. As a result, Christians are going to need a lot of careful political reflection in order to steward their vote and their political responsibility in this election cycle.

Read Dr. Mohler’s entire post here: Crisis in American Democracy. 

Read the other points here.

Reblog: Online Resources for Biblical Exegesis

by David Murray of HeadHeartHand

Here’s a selection of articles on biblical exegesis that I’ve gathered over the years from various blogs and websites. Please feel free to suggest more and I’ll add them. For more resource lists on various subjects click here.

Diagramming

How to Quickly Diagram a Biblical Passage | LogosTalk

Phrasing: My Favorite Way to Trace an Argument ‘ Andy Naselli

Chiasms on the Brain? | For His Renown

Women Weeping Over Diagrammed Sentences – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Greek and Hebrew

Do You Break These Rules for Greek and Hebrew Study? | LogosTalk

Is It a Waste of Time for Seminary Students (and Pastors) to Learn the Biblical Languages? | Canon Fodder

How to Search the Original Languages with Logos | LogosTalk

Why It Is Beneficial to Learn Greek and Hebrew Even if You Lose It | Ad Fontes

Tools for Studying the Hebrew Bible

My Advice to Students — Van Pelt Shares Solid Languages Advice He Got and Wished He Got

Encouraging reason to learn Greek | Scripture Zealot

ESV GreekTools – Justin Taylor

Rethinking the Teaching of Hebrew

Word Studies

You Should Probably Stop Using Lexicons | LogosTalk

7 Ways to Do a BAD Word Study by Nicholas McDonald -SermonCentral.com

Word Studies: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Do You Make These 5 Common Word Study Mistakes? | Pastoralized

Word Studies – Christian Leadership

There is more so click here.

 

Reblog: John Piper’s Saturday Night Special

Theology-That-Bites-Back-e1428814043285

by Douglas Wilson

In my response to John Piper’s post on guns, I alluded to some of the paradigmatic issues underlying the differences we have concerning what we should do with our guns — whether we should have them in the first place, and what direction we get to point them. One of the paradigmatic differences I mentioned was the alternative ways of interpreting the Old Testament now that Christ has come — but this is just part of a larger picture.Celebrate Diversity Guns

Now when you get to the end of all the discussion, you have a very practical situation on your hands. So there is an intruder threatening your family, and you have to decide what you are willing to do in order to defend them.

So in order to make this decision in a coherent way, we do need to go upstream a ways, farther upstream than the relationship of the Old Testament to the New, although that is also included. What we are actually debating is the relationship between the Christian as saint and the Christian as citizen. This cannot be discussed without also discussing the relationship of church and state, which in our day immediately brings up the issue of “the two kingdoms.”

Let’s start with what Wikipedia calls disambiguation. The separation of church and state — a fine and noble endeavor — is a separation of two governments in the world. Civil government is one thing and church government is another.

The separation is actually supposed to be a financial one, meaning that tithe money should not be collected by the civil magistrate in order to be dispensed to established churches with nitwit bishops. It should also mean, if we had our thoughts gathered about us, that ministers of the gospel ought not be allowed to hold civil office unless they first dimitted their office as ministers. Separation of church and state, historically understood, is a separation-of-powers doctrine, and not a let’s-exile-the-church doctrine.

Read the rest here.

 

Reblog: Should Christians Be Encouraged to Arm Themselves?

cross and gun

Article by John Piper

As chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, I want to send a different message to our students, and to the readers of Desiring God, than Jerry Falwell, Jr., sent to the students of Liberty University in a campus chapel service on December 4.

For the sake of the safety of his campus, and in view of terrorist activity, President Falwell encouraged the students to get permits to carry guns. After implying that he had a gun in his back pocket, he said, “I just want to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit. We offer a free course. And let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here.” He clarified on December 9 that the policy at Liberty now includes permission to carry guns in the dormitories.

Falwell and I exchanged several emails, and he was gracious enough to talk to me on the phone so I could get as much clarity as possible. I want it to be clear that our disagreement is between Christian brothers who are able to express appreciation for each other’s ministries person to person.

My main concern in this article is with the appeal to students that stirs them up to have the mindset: Let’s all get guns and teach them a lesson if they come here. The concern is the forging of a disposition in Christians to use lethal force, not as policemen or soldiers, but as ordinary Christians in relation to harmful adversaries.

The issue is not primarily about when and if a Christian may ever use force in self-defense, or the defense of one’s family or friends. There are significant situational ambiguities in the answer to that question. The issue is about the whole tenor and focus and demeanor and heart-attitude of the Christian life. Does it accord with the New Testament to encourage the attitude that says, “I have the power to kill you in my pocket, so don’t mess with me”? My answer is, No.

Read the rest here.

Monergism: Free Books and Resources

From the Monergism site:Monergism pic

We believe the Church should have open access to Scripturally/Theologically sound edifying Christian literature and that one need not be held back from having a significant Christian library because of cost. Our ministry at Monergism involves providing quality Christian literature in accessible formats for free. Most of these eBooks are high quality and available in both ePub and .mobi (kindle) formats with actively linked table of contents.  The links below will take you to the download page. Lord Willing, this list will continue to grow.

Find the link here or click the picture of the books.