Two Additions To The Free D.A. Carson Ebook Archive At The Gospel Coalition

An earlier version of this post has proven quite popular and two books have since been added. As always, with every author’s works – including the present writer’s – please be discerning. Thanks to The Gospel Coalition for hosting these documents.

The new books are:
The Inclusive-Language Debate: A Plea for Realism (Zondervan, 1998)

From the Resurrection to His Return: Living Faithfully in the Last Days (Christian Focus, 2010)

The following books are have been available for free download and it would be prudent to do so while they are available.  My personal recommendations would be The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God and Love in Hard PlacesThe Difficult Doctrine…. would have a place on my personal Top Ten list.

Letters Along the Way: A Novel of the Christian Life (Crossway, 1993)

Holy Sonnets of the Twentieth Century (Baker, 1994)

For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word, Vol. 1. (Crossway, 1998)

For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word, Vol. 2. (Crossway, 1999)

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God (Crossway, 2000)

Love in Hard Places (Crossway, 2002)

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson (Crossway, 2008)


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Christians Get Depressed, Too (Part 2): Onica’s Story

David Murray from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and the HeadHeartHand blog has produced a series on Christians and depression. It is common to hear people be told that “if you’re a Christian, you won’t get depressed.” This is perhaps not the wisest counsel one can give and is in fact not true, given the fact we all still have remaining sin we need to deal with as we are undergoing the purifying process of sanctification – and this may manifest as depression.

David has produced a five-part series on this topic and we will post all five videos here, one day at a time. The series also has a study guide for each vide and we will like to those as well.

Here is the description of today’s video from HeadHeartHand:

Though only 15 years old, Onica has already suffered many losses in her life, including numerous painful bereavements and her parents’ broken marriage. Her relationship with family counselor Dr. Emilie DeYoung, who also appears in this episode, has helped her on the road to recovery and equipped her to face the future with hope. Onica also relates how God has used Alpacas in her healing.

Study guide questions for Onica’s story: Word & PDF


Christians Get Depressed, Too (Part 1): Jeni’s Story

David Murray from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and the HeadHeartHand blog has produced a series on Christians and depression. It is common to hear people be told that “if you’re a Christian, you won’t get depressed.” This is perhaps not the wisest counsel one can give and is in fact not true, given the fact we all still have remaining sin we need to deal with as we are undergoing the purifying process of sanctification – and this may manifest as depression.

David has produced a five-part series on this topic and we will post all five videos here, one day at a time. The series also has a study guide for each vide and we will like to those as well.

Here is the description of today’s video from HeadHeartHand:

A young mother and pastor’s wife, Jeni had always believed that depression was a figment of people’s imagination. Certainly a Christian would never get depressed. Jeni and her husband, Greg, tell how depression unexpectedly shattered their world but also how God used the experience for their benefit and to make them a blessing to many others.

Study guide questions for Jeni’s story: Word & PDF


Mirthful Monday: Biblical Satire


mirthful monday

From a wonderful resource, The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery.© InterVarsity Press, 1999

Satire is the exposure of human vice or folly through rebuke or ridicule. It can appear in any form or genre, including expository prose, narrative, poetry or visionary writing. It can be either a minor part of a work or the main point. It might consist of an entire book (e. g., Amos), or it can be as small as an individual proverb. One of the conventions of satire is the freedom to exaggerate, overstate or oversimplify to make a satiric point. Overall, satire is a subversive form that questions the status quo, unsettles people’s thinking, assaults the deep structure of conventional thought patterns and aims to make people uncomfortable.
Satire is made up of four identifiable elements, the chief of which is one or more objects of attack. An object of attack might be as specific as a single moral vice, like greed or pride, or as general as an entire wicked society. It might be a universal quality or behavior, but it is more likely to be a historical particular, as when the OT prophets expose specific situations in specific nations or when Jesus attacks the behavior of a specific religious group of his day- the Pharisees. The result is that satire is often topical, requiring a knowledge of the original context for its complete understanding.
The second ingredient of satire is the satiric vehicle– the specific form by which the satirist embodies the attack. The most common satiric vehicle is story or narrative, with characters and their actions embodying the bad behavior or attitudes that the satirist wishes to rebuke. Also common is the portrait, in which the satirist paints a word picture of a character who embodies the folly or vice that the author aims to denigrate. A single metaphor can be the vehicle of satiric attack, as when Amos calls the wealthy women of his society “cows of Bashan” (Amos 4:1 RSV) or Jesus addresses the Pharisees as “blind guides” (Mt 23:16). Direct vituperation or denunciation is also common, with the “woe formula” heading the list:”Woe to those who are at ease in Zion” (Amos 6:1 RSV).
The third element in satire is the satiric tone– the author’s attitude toward the subject. Two possibilities exist, known among literary Dict-of-Bib-Imagery.jpgscholars by two Roman satirists who became associated with the two forms. Horatian satire (named after Horace) is light, urbane and subtle. It uses a low- pressure approach in attempting to influence an audience toward a negative assessment of the thing being attacked. The book of Jonah and some of Jesus ‘parables illustrate the approach. Juvenalian satire (named after Juvenal) is biting, bitter and angry, as epitomized by the book of Amos and Jesus’ oratory against the Pharisees in Matthew 23. We might say that one approach attempts to laugh vice or folly out of existence, and the other to lash it out of existence.
Finally, satire needs a norm– a stated or implied standard by which the criticism is being conducted. This standard of virtue or right behavior usually appears explicitly within a satiric work, though in terms of space it receives minor treatment compared to the object(s) of attack. The goal is simply to suggest, however briefly, an alternative to the scenes of foolish or wicked behavior that make up the bulk of a satiric work. Amos, for example, includes interspersed calls to right behavior and reminders that God’s justice is the standard by which his nation should reform itself, and Jesus customarily accompanies his satiric parables with a proverb that names the principle that the bad behavior embodied by characters in the parable have violated. Sometimes the satiric norm is not stated explicitly but is left to the audience to infer.
It is obvious that the Bible is a thoroughly satiric book. The largest repository of satire is prophetic writing, where we encounter continuous attacks on the evils of society and individuals. The second largest category is the parables and discourses of Jesus. Satire is prominent in biblical narrative, where wholly idealized characters are a rarity and deficient or immoral human behavior is the staple. Poems can be satiric (for example, the lament psalms, with their satiric portraits of the poet’s enemies), as can proverbs.

This Is What Happens When You Tell Your Grandson That Some People Don’t Believe In Predestination

Good thing I had a tight grip on little Cade when I broke the news last summer…..




81 Weeks Of Art (Azurdia, That Is) Preaching Through The Book Of Revelation: The Portrait Of The Lord Of The Church, Part Two (1:7-20)

Arturo Azurdia III is one of the pastors of Trinity Church, Portland, Oregon. Almost fifteen years ago, while pastoring another church in California, he preached through the book of Revelation over a course of 81 sermons.  In the interest of full disclosure, Dr. Azurdia’s approach to this book may be a little different than what you may be accustomed to.  If you will be patient with him, I think you will find that he brings much light to what can be a confusing book and makes it rather easy to understand.  If you do not attend a Sunday evening service, this would be well worth your while as a substitute. You will need your bible open in front of you while listening to this series.

This week: Chapter one, verses seventeen through twenty.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.


Is Ravi Zacharias A Calvinist? Is David Platt A Calvinist? Is Francis Chan A Calvinist? You’ve Come To The Right Place!!

Early on in the history of our little corner of Blogdom, we learned that people were asking questions such as the above and were coming here because of the title of this blog. Therefore we began compiling information to address these inquiries on our FAQ page. Our efforts are decidedly fallible, but we do our best to be

Still the Best Snack Food Ever

Still the Best Snack Food Ever

honest and accurate, using sources created by the person in question whenever possible.

This page of Frequently Asked Questions has become our most popular page by far and we thank all who have visited it. If you visit the page you will also see that some rather intense fellowship has occurred in the  Comments section. Please feel free to comment or to ask, but please be civil in doing so. One need not agree with the stands we take here but one must comment or inquire in a spirit of charity – or at least a spirit approaching charity. We have only banned one commenter over the years but we have decided to not publish comments from others – those comments being on both sides of the theological fence. All comments are moderated.

It is not easy to find out the theological persuasion of many prominent people. We can give a pretty good guess as to many on the list for whom we show no semi-definitive response, but until we can find source material of some sort, we have – and will – leave the positions of those people unknown for the time being.

So, feel free to ask and feel free to chime in.

P.S. Our answers to the questions in the post title are: No, Yes and Yes.

This Week’s Bible Verse(s) Which Will Never Appear In Your “Verse Of The Day” Email: Lamentations 2:20

The last two weeks we have posted passages from the book of Deuteronomy (28:53 and 28:63) which lay out covenant curses which God will impose upon His people Israel if they rebel against His statutes. This week and next, we have the aftermath of the fulfillment of these passages from the book of Lamentations.

For our purposes here, we assume Jeremiah is the human author of Lamentations. For scholarly dispute on this, please exercise your Google privileges. Jeremiah has spent time proclaiming that God’s people need to repent and return to true worship of the God of Israel (see the book of Jeremiah). Israel has not listened and Judah has been invaded and Jerusalem has been practically destroyed. Lamentations is, then, Jeremiah’s lament over the destruction of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah writes in a very raw, open, honest style and in doing so he fully acknowledges the sins of the people that caused this – and that the true agent behind the destruction was the God of Israel:

How the Lord in his anger
has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!
He has cast down from heaven to earth
the splendor of Israel;
he has not remembered his footstool
in the day of his anger.

2  The Lord has swallowed up without mercy
all the habitations of Jacob;
in his wrath he has broken down
the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
he has brought down to the ground in dishonor
the kingdom and its rulers.

3  He has cut down in fierce anger
all the might of Israel;
he has withdrawn from them his right hand
in the face of the enemy;
he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
consuming all around.

4  He has bent his bow like an enemy,
with his right hand set like a foe;
and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes
in the tent of the daughter of Zion;
he has poured out his fury like fire.

5  The Lord has become like an enemy;
he has swallowed up Israel;
he has swallowed up all its palaces;
he has laid in ruins its strongholds,
and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah
mourning and lamentation.

6  He has laid waste his booth like a garden,
laid in ruins his meeting place;
the LORD has made Zion forget
festival and Sabbath,
and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.

7  The Lord has scorned his altar,
disowned his sanctuary;
he has delivered into the hand of the enemy
the walls of her palaces;
they raised a clamor in the house of the LORD
as on the day of festival.

8  The LORD determined to lay in ruins
the wall of the daughter of Zion;
he stretched out the measuring line;
he did not restrain his hand from destroying;
he caused rampart and wall to lament;
they languished together. (2:1-8)

This, though, is not our verse in question. In Deuteronomy 28:53 the Lord had told His people through Moses one of the covenant curses for rebellion, saying,

53 And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and daughters, whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you.

Lamentations 2:20 is where Jeremiah writes this:

20  Look, O LORD, and see!
With whom have you dealt thus?
Should women eat the fruit of their womb,
the children of their tender care?
Should priest and prophet be killed
in the sanctuary of the Lord?

These are not merely hypothetical rhetorical questions – they reflect the reality of what had happened. As we will see next week, this is not the only mention of this in Lamentations.

One may say that’s all well and good, but there is no application for us because “God isn’t like that now.” Well…

God is like that now. He cannot be different than He was in the Old Testament because He is immutable. He, by definition, cannot change. Perhaps God’s people thought that the warnings of the covenant curses in Deuteronomy were so sever that, “The Lord would never do that to us (or, to me).” What we know is that the people did rebel and God had told them the consequences – and when He meted out the consequences, nobody should have had reason to say, “I didn’t know.” God had told them through His prophet Moses.

The devastation of Jerusalem is a type, pointing forward, to the devastation wicked, fallen men will receive upon the last Day when the wheat will be separated from the chaff (Matt. 25:31-46) and those cast into eternal punishment will experience a far greater devastation and far greater woe and suffering and torment than the people of Jerusalem did.

Today God speaks to people through people myself and other children of God. We speak the same sort of utterances as Moses did. When we do, such as “repent,” or lay out the horrors of eternal damnation for the rebel, it is not uncommon to hear, “Oh, Hell won’t be that bad. I’ll just go there to party with my friends.” Hell will be far worse than even the explicit imagery we in the Bible – and the rebels will have no friends in Hell. All of God’s kindness to the rebels will have been withdrawn and Hell’s dwellers will have nothing but enemies and no friends at all.

This is real – just as real as the warnings of Moses and Jeremiah. That’s the relevance for today. We call on the wicked sinner to acknowledge his sin and change his mind – repent – and follow Christ. Come to Him. Believe in Him. Trust Him to restore the broken relationship you have with the living God – He is the only Way in which this can be done. You can receive eternal life right now. That is the ultimate relevancy.

Sound doctrine

Grace Community Church (San Antonio, Texas) Sunday School, April 13, 2014 – James Jennings: Not To Be Served But To Serve (Mark 10:45)

45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Grace Community Church, San Antonio, Texas

I’ll Be Honest

1689 Federalism: James Renihan On The Covenant Of Works

From the video below, available at 1689 Federalism along with other introductory videos.

At its best, the Old Covenant had some types and shadows that pointed forward to the coming of Christ. If we’re talking just about the Mosaic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant was a covenant that God came and imposed upon the nation of Israel in which He promised to bless them in the land so long as they were devoted only to Him. And as they gave themselves up to idols, followed after paganism, all of the judgments of the Covenant were brought upon the nation of Israel and they went into seventy years of captivity in Babylon.

So it was really a covenant of works in terms of Israel’s place in the land – that’s pre-eminent in what the Old Covenant was – it was a covenant of works, not for salvation. Sometimes people misunderstand – when we talk about the Old Covenant and call it a covenant of works, they say, “Wait a minute. You mean that anybody could be saved keeping the law?” No, not it any sense. No one has ever been saved by their own efforts. But in terms of Israel maintaining its own status in the land as a unique nation that is blessed by God, absolutely it was a covenant of works. They had to keep those things or else they would be liable to the terrible judgments that God would bring upon them, and the fact that they went into seventy years of exile is demonstration that they failed in that earthly covenant of works.


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