Wednesday, August 31, 2005

How to Help

If you want information on how to donate for disaster relief to help those who have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina, this is from Dr. Mohler's web site, and I agree with his recommendation.

HOW TO HELP: I recommend the disaster relief program of the North American Mission Board [SBC]. NAMB is the nation's third-largest disaster relief agency, and their disaster relief ministries are both effective and trustworthy. NAMB and its teams have been asked to provide 300,000 meals a day by mid-week, and up to 500,000 per day by the end of the week. Here is a link for information and donations.

Please pass this information along to as many as possible.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

POE and Natural Disasters

How does God exercise His rule? Does He order all events by decree, or does He allow some evil acts by His mere permission? This much we know--we cannot speak of God's decree in a way that would imply Him to be the author of evil, and we cannot fall back to speak of His mere permission, as if this allows a denial of His sovereignty and active will.

A venerable confession of faith states it rightly: "God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any way to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures."

God is God, and God is good. As Paul affirms for the church, God's sovereignty is the ground of our hope, the assurance of God's justice as the last word, and God's loving rule in the very events of our lives: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, who are the called according to His purpose." [Romans 8:28]

Consistent with my blog's statement of purpose I accept the title of clearinghouse for Dr. Mohler's blog/commentary. Today's commentary was particulary good. Let us not shirk from declaring God's sovereignty over all of creation.

Another good post on this is Dr. Moore's. Count on Dr. Moore to give us the "already/not yet" view of things. I like it.

Not Yet there,

Recap of the Weekend

Well, consensus is that the weekend went well. On the homefront the lectures delivered by Dr. Duncan on Friday night and Saturday night were very informative and encouraging. God has really moved and used some great men in the past. Particulary moving was when Dr.Duncan spoke on Dr. Benjamin Morgan Palmer and informed us that this esteemed Presbyterian Theologian and Pastor was no stranger to earthly grief as he buried 5 children and his wife before he died. It was a very emotional account to tell and was particularly moving to yours truly. His lecture on Dabney was also excellent and made my evening by mentioning that most pious and Christian General Thomas Johnathan "Stonewall" Jackson. Also Dr. Duncan apparently had to rush home as his hometown was affected considerably by hurricane Katrina. You can read his brief report here.

Also it seems the debate between Dr. White and Dr. Crossan went well also. You can read Mark's recap here and Alan's, here.

Lets continue to pray for those who have been devastated by hurricane Katrina and for the results of the debate to be God glorifying and Kingdom expanding.

Finally, I got the thrill of making my first trip to the Maternity clothing store with my expectant wife! What more could I ask for in a weekend?

Expectantly yours,

Friday, August 26, 2005

Happenings this weekend

Here's the lowdown on a few happenings this weekend. I will be attending a couple of lectures at Independent Presbyterian Church this weekend by Dr. Ligon Duncan. IPC has been having a series of lectures each month this year celebrating their 250th anniversary. I greatly look forward to fellowshiping with the IPC faithful and hearing Dr. Duncan speak.

I never mentioned how blessed my church was a few weeks ago to have Dr. James White preach during our Sunday morning services and teach on the Davinci Code that afternoon. I wanted to remind everyone to be praying for him and those involved with his ministries as he will be debating prominent scholar and Jesus Seminar co-founder Dr. John Dominic Crossan, tomorrow night in Seattle. The debate will be on the Truthfulness of the Biblcal account of Jesus, but I am sure it will cover much more than that. Dr. White has been preparing for months and has stated this will be a very challenging debate opponent. Please lift Dr. White up in your prayers as he seeks to give the reason for the hope that we all have in Christ Jesus and defends the accuracy and reliability of God's Holy Word.


Marriage & Divorce

Well, it has been a whole week since I blogged. It has been a very busy week at work, but I have to conclude that is a very good thing, dominion of the earth, providing for my family, and all of that good stuff.

In my absence in the blogosphere others have been picking up the slack. First I direct your attention to an excellent post by Dax here. His subject of divorce became uncanningly timely as just after I read his post I found out one of my family members is getting a divorce from his wife, leaving behind a shattered family with 3 children. I do not talk to this family member much, but I can only pray for a reconciliation before it is too late, and for God's mercy and grace to be shown to this family. This really breaks my heart, for each member of the family, and I think about how many times this same scenario is played out daily, even among professing Christians. Like the recent news story regarding Christian/Pop singer Jaci Velasquez's pending divorce. I have to believe that the failure among Christians is a severe misunderstanding of what Love is, that love is primarily a commitment, and not a feeling. Also problematic is the lack of understanding of marriage as a lifelong covenant between not only our spouse, but the triune God. Where else but the Trinitarian love of God can we see this type of love modeled for us?

Well, these are just random thoughts, but I hope and pray that the church will continue to emphasize the family as the backbone of civilization, and continue to teach the biblical truths of unconditional love. My marriage has been an incredible teacher of this for me, and I need far more sanctification is this area. Please bow the knee and ask our sovereign Lord for continued strength in this area for all the churches and families that you know personally.

Speaking of families here is an excellent article on worshipping with your small children, please give is a read and be encouraged that the family that worships together, Lord willing, stays together!

For His Glory,

Friday, August 19, 2005


1 Corinthians 15:13-14
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

Tonight in the Bible Study I attend we reached the above passage. Up to this point Paul has been rebuking and correcting the Corinthians for some pretty egregious shenanigans. At this point he turns positive and tells them to stay alert, stand firm in what they believe, be mature and strong. But he gives us a very brief reminder of chapter 13. Do all of this with and in love, otherwise your actions are in vain and useless. That's a good reminder. I like what John MacArthur says in his commentary, that if we don't do these things in love we become "crusty". Well, I don't want to become crusty, and I don't think Pastor Robert does either. Check out what he has to say here in the post entitled "polytics". I'm going to bed. Got lots to do tomorrow.

Craving non-crustiness,

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Busyness and Worship

Well, I have returned from a quick weekend retreat to the North Carolina mountains. The cool mountain air has me yearning for fall and football, but the 110 degree heat index back here at home is a suffocating reminder that I have several more weeks to wait.

My days have been marked by busyness since coming back from NC, and it seems busyness also tends to so often describe my Sundays. Over at reformation21 blog there have been a couple of posts on worship, here and here. Controversial topics include not staying up late on Saturday night before Sunday morning worship (gasp!) and "be still as you enter the room and focus your mind's attention and heart's affection on God". As you read these articles I have a question or two for you to think about. Is corporate worship primarily concerned with how you feel, or how God feels? Is worship about what you want, or what God wants?... or have I created false dichotomies?

Unworthy of His Love,

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Gospel and the human mind

Scott Klusendorf has a very interesting post over at his blog today. Please give it a thoughtful read. I particulary thought this quote from J. Gresham Machen was interesting.

It is true that the decisive thing is the regenerative power of God. That can overcome all lack of preparation, and the absence of that makes even the best preparation useless. But as a matter of fact God usually exerts that power in connection with certain prior conditions of the human mind, and it should be ours to create, so far as we can, with the help of God, those favorable conditions for the reception of the gospel. False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion. Under such circumstances, what God desires us to do is to destroy the obstacle at its root.

So is Machen denying Romans 1:16? By his own pen he asserts the truth of this scripture, but at the same time he seeems to be saying even the very power of salvation works through man's mind and heart in a degree that does not exclude the mind and heart from the equation. This seems very similar to the line of thought in the Way of The Master series we have been studying in my church. Even though the Gospel is the power of salvation, does that mean we shouldn't give unbelievers God's Law to "prepare" them to understand the gospel because the sole power lies within The Gospel alone?

It seems as with apologetics, cultural engagement can be a "road block removal" of sorts, if done correctly with a biblical view of engagement in mind. The question arises in my mind again, is anything that has seemingly only temporal and non-eternal aspects worthy of the Christians time? If we seek to be consistent I think the answer has to be yes. I will continue to ponder this, but in the meantime, what does everyone else think?

For Jesus the King,

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Things that make you go hmmmm...

Instead of regurgitating the same info, I'll refer you over to Denny Burke's blog where he has two very interesting posts. The first is in relation to a Time Magazine article on evolution and the second is a pleasant and surprisingly accurate description of the Gospel by U2 frontman Bono. I went through that stage (I would say brought upon by a misunderstanding of free will and God's saving grace) where I thought how cool it would be for entertainment stars like Bono or Michael Jordon to be saved, then all these people who love them will love Christ. Needless to say as much as I would love for these men to have a saving knowledge of Christ,and perhaps they do, I don't know, it is not because of their celebrity status that people will be saved, but because of the power of the Gospel. Anyway, I was big on Bono as a Christian for a while, but that excitement faded over time. So this was refreshing to hear what he had to say. We'll see what the future holds.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Of the Civil Magistrate

From the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.

Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate
1. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, for his own glory and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers.
(Romans 13:1-6; Ps 82:1; Luke 12:48; 1 Peter 2:13-14;Gen 6:11-13 with 9:5-6; Ps 58:1-2; 72:14; 82:1-4; Prov. 21:15; 24:11-12; 29:14,26;31:5; Ezek. 7:23;45:9;Dan.4:27;Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Tim. 2:2; 1 Peter 2:14. Gen 9:6; Prov. 16:14; 19:12; 20:2; 21:15; 28:17; Acts 25:11; Rom 13:4: 1 Peter 2:14)

2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate when called there unto; in the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain justice and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each kingdom and commonwealth, so for that end they may lawfully now, under the New Testament wage war upon just and necessary occasions.
(2 Samuel 23:3; Psalms 82:3,4; Luke 3:14; Exod 22:8-9, 28-29; Daniel; Nehemiah; Prov. 14:35;16:10,12; 20:26, 28; 25:2; 28:15-16; 29:4,14; 31:4-5; Rom 13:2,4,6; Rom 13:4)

3. Civil magistrates being set up by God for the ends aforesaid; subjection, in all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake; and we ought to make supplications and prayers for kings and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.
( Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14,17; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Prov. 16:14-15; 19:12; 20:2; 24:21-22; 25:15; 28:2; Titus 3:1; Dan. 1:8; 3:4-6, 16-18; 6:5-10,22; Matt 22:21; Acts 4:19-20;5:29; Jer. 29:7; 1 Tim. 2:1-4)

Sam Waldron's comments on this section begins wonderfully.

Does it surprise you that the Confession contains a chapter on the subject 'Of the Civil Magistrate'? Are you inclined to ask, 'What does politics have to do with Christ?' If that is something of your response, may I suggest that you are a victim of a religious background which has retreated from its social responsibilities under a wrong view of separation of church and state? Such an attitude has virtually denied the sovereignty of God over all areas of life. To restrict Christianity to the 'spiritual' realm is, ultimately, to destroy it. - A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, p. 284.

More to come...

Striving for the Kingdom,

Expository Preaching

Dr. Mohler has started a two part commentary on expository preaching. He asked the central question of what is central to Christian worship? The answer is the preached Word of God. I'm afraid some would have never guessed it. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Quote of the Day

Concerning Evangelical/Cultural Co-belligerence, the guys over at Triablogue, Steve Hays and Johnathan Felt(aka Jus Divinum), are offering a clear headed,logically, and Biblically consistent argument in favor of said practice. Here is the quote of the day from the pen of Mr. Felt.

Johnson says: "No one is arguing that Christians ought to 'ignore the great moral issues of our day.' What we're saying is that there are no effective political remedies for sin." But again, Johnson trades on equivocation to give his argument plausibility. In this case, it all comes down to what you mean by "effective". Sure, political reforms will never provide a spiritual and everlasting solution to the sinful heart of fallen man. And if Johnson thinks that Colson really thinks this, he's free to offer up citations to that effect. In the meantime, the Bible makes it clear that the state is, in many cases, an effective remedy for sin, not by converting the human heart, but by punishing and deterring the evildoer. But perhaps Johnson thinks that the state is not an institution ordained by God and accountable to God, the "minister of God" which is just as much a part of our culture as anything else. Perhaps Johnson thinks that the persistent example of OT prophets in rebuking not just the general populace for their sin, but the kings in particular for their dereliction in enforcing God's laws of compassion and justice, has absolutely no teaching/rebuking/correcting/training relevance for us today. But if he really thinks this (contra 2Ti 3:16-17), he should say so.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

New LOD (Link(s) of the Day)

Do you have questions about embryonic stem cell research? What about human cloning? Well, you can check out my newest link to the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. Here's a rundown on the CBHD,

The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity exists to help individuals and organizations address the pressing bioethical challenges of our day, including managed care, end-of-life treatment, genetic intervention, euthanasia and suicide, and reproductive technologies. The Center has tax-exempt, not-for-profit status and is supported by gifts and grants from individuals, corporations, and foundations. It is a national and international leader in producing a wide range of live, recorded, and written resources examining bioethical issues. Recognizing that biblical values have exercised a profound influence on Western Culture, the Center explores the potential contribution of such values as part of its work.

In mid-1993, more than a dozen leading Christian bioethicists gathered to assess the noticeable lack of explicit Christian engagement in the crucial bioethics arena. This group sponsored a major conference in May 1994, The Christian Stake in Bioethics, and concurrently launched The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity.

The Center has initiated a variety of projects, and has ongoing collaborative relationships with many U.S. groups, including the Christian Medical and Dental Society, Nurses Christian Fellowship, and the Christian Legal Society, as well as non-U.S. institutions such as the Centre for Bioethics and Public Policy in London, England, the Linacre Center, London, England, the Lindeboom Institute for Medical Ethics in Ede, Holland, and the Ustav Medicinskej Etiky a Bioetiky, in Bratislava, Slovakia.

I hope you can make use of it and become more bioethically informed.

I believe our knowledge of God and His Word is *NOT* just one piece of the huge pie of information and knowledge that we accumulate throughout our lives. Instead of a piece of the pie, our faith and understanding of God's Word constitutes the actual pie tin/pan that holds the pie (our knowledge and information) together and gives it shape, support, and meaning. Does that make sense?

Worldviewingly Yours,

Devotion to Life

Most of you have probably read about the Susan Torres situation. I have provided the link from the Al Mohler website. I hope her baby grows up to value life as much as her parents do. We need to continue to fight for and be devoted to life, no matter what the cost. This reminds me of something I heard yesterday, that our children pay more attention to what we do than what we say. I think this will be the ultimate example of that bit of wisdom.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

New Links

Three new links have been added today. They are:

1. Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
2. Reformed Redneck Blog
3. Wretched Man That I Am Blog

Check them out.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Pray for Sudan

Breaking News

Sudan, a nation of many sorrows, has suffered yet another tragic blow to the cause of freedom early this morning with the death of the newly inaugurated President of Southern Sudan, Dr. John Garang. He was the highest ranking Christian in the world of an officially Islamic state...

Please click on the title of this post and continue reading about this very sad tragedy and pray for Dr. John Garang's family, the nation of Sudan, and the Christians who may be affected by this.


Who is Sosipater?

I just realized that I haven't explained who Sosipater is. Well, a couple of years ago I started participating in some online forums and wanted a unique screen name to use online. I think I had just read through Romans and remembered this verse.

Romans 16:21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.

So that is it, and hence my blog title, Sosipater...Follower of The Way, which comes from Acts 9:1-2 and ties in nicely to our Lords own words in John 14:6,

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

In our day, this is the greatest of propositional truths that needs to be proclaimed. Lets pray for The Church to show the world "The Way".

"Way" out there,

Monday, August 01, 2005

New Link - ESV Blog

Today I added a new link that I believe is informative, helpful, and interesting. It is the ESV Blog. On this blog and in the ESV Home site you can find tons of information about the English Standard Version translation of the Bible. Here is some info from the home page.

The ESV Bible is a new, essentially literal Bible translation that combines word-for-word precision and accuracy with literary excellence, beauty, and readability.

The English Standard Version (ESV) is a “word-for-word,” essentially literal translation because every word of the Bible is inspired by God.

Based on this principle, more than sixty of the world’s leading Bible scholars pored over every word and phrase to achieve the unique accuracy, excellence, and beauty of the ESV Bible.

The result is a new Bible translation (published in October 2001) that has a timeless quality and enduring relevance—a translation to trust for today and for generations to come.

With its distinctive combination of accuracy, excellence, and beauty, the ESV is ideally suited to become one Bible to meet our needs for all of life:

For personal reading and in-depth study
For preaching, teaching, and public worship
For family reading and devotions
For memorizing and understanding the Word of God
The ESV Bible is available in a wide range of editions and has been highly endorsed by Christian leaders.

This is the version I use and find it to be very accurate and readable. For you ESV users and others interested in Bible translation this should be a helpful site.

Grace & Peace,

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