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"The Most Believed Lie" By Pastor Greg Elmquist of Grace Gospel Church (www.gracegospelchurch.net/writings/articles/most_believed_lie.htm)

The Most Believed Lie

There are many lies being told about our Lord that are, to the
damnation of men's soul, believed by most. There is, however, one big lie
that is more unanimously believed then all the others.

It is a universally accepted fact that man has a free will. Men
pride themselves in believing that they are able to override the power of God
with this all powerful "free will". This lie claims that in the final analysis
man decides the destiny of his own soul, and that God has made himself subject
to this irresistible force.

If by "free will" man believes that he is free, when given two or more options,
to choose the one he wants, that is without dispute. As a matter of fact, that
is always the case. We could even go so far as to say that it is impossible to
select an option that is not your preference. When given an opportunity to
select from among two or more possibilities we always choose the one for which
we have the greatest inclination or desire. ALWAYS! Ma…

Interesting Thought-Provoking Article About Satanic Influence and Watching Harry Potter & Narnia By James Spurgeon (http://howlingcoyote.blogspot.com)

Are We This Shallow?

This may be a bit of a rambling post. I'm thinking out loud here. . . .

I scratch my head and wonder, sometimes, at what evangelicals do. I wonder what the world thinks of us. We are, by and large, a very shallow people, in my opinion.

That's why we fall for poor theology in the guise of great, new teaching ministries. That's why we chase every new fad thinking this is what God is doing today or this is what will usher in the great revival we've always dreamed of. That's also why we are such a superstitious lot.

Let me start with that last part. We are a very superstitious people. When I was growing up, for example, I was taught that Satan was everywhere and in everything and he was just waiting to exert supernatural demonic influence over my life if I just messed up by giving him a point of access. Thanks to great men of the faith like Jack Chick and Bill Gothard, I found out these points of access could be anything from a statue of Buddha, to a r…

"Glory, Peace, Goodwill" By Charles Spurgeon From Phil Johnson's Pyromaniac Blog (www.phillipjohnson.blogspot.com)

Glory, Peace, Goodwill
Your weekly dose of Spurgeon


PyroManiac devotes Monday space to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from a sermon titled "The First Christmas Carol," originally preached Sunday Morning, December 20, 1857, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

A Thought to Last the Whole Week

The angels sang something which men could understand—something which men ought to understand—something which will make men much better if they will understand it. The angels were singing about Jesus who was born in the manger. We must look upon their song as being built upon this foundation. They sang of Christ, and the salvation which he came into this world to work out. And what they said of this salvation was this: they said, first, that it gave glory to God; secondly, that it gave peace to man; and, thirdly, that it was a token of God's good will towards the human race.

1. First, they said that this salvation gave glory to God. They had been present…

A New Christmas Hymn By Steve Camp (www.stevenjcamp.blogspot.com)

"Immanuel, God With Us"
...a new Christmas hymn


by steve camp

Immanuel
Immanuel, Immanuel
God is with us, God is with us
Immanuel, Immanuel
God is with us

V1 Shepherds rejoice lift up your eyes,
And send your fears away salvation’s born to day
Jesus, the God whom angels fear,
Comes down to dwell with you but not as monarchs do

No gold nor purple swaddling bands nor royal shining things
A manger for His cradle stands and hold the King of kings

Immanuel
Immanuel, Immanuel
God is with us, God is with us
Immanuel, Immanuel
God is with us

V2 Go shepherds where the infant lies,
And see His humble throne, go shepherds kiss the Son
Thus Gabriel sang, and straight around,
The heavenly armies throng and thus conclude the song

And shall angels have their songs and men no tunes to raise
O may we loose our useless tongues and give You glorious praise

Immanuel
Immanuel, Immanuel
God is with us, God is with us
Immanuel, Immanuel
God is with us

PRINCE OF PEACE, WONDERFUL COUNSELOR
THE MIGHTY GOD, AND EVERLASTING FATHER
HE…

"Slappy Holiday" By Gene Veith of World magazine

Slappy holiday
Why not take the Santa Claus tradition a little further? by Gene Edward Veith

Santa Claus had his origins in St. Nicholas, the fourth-century bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. Known for his generosity and his love of children, Nicholas is said to have saved a poor family's daughters from slavery by tossing into their window enough gold for a rich dowry, a present that landed in some shoes or, in some accounts, stockings that were hung up to dry. Thus arose the custom of hanging up stockings for St. Nicholas to fill. And somehow he transmogrified into Santa Claus, who has become for many people the secular Christmas alternative to Jesus Christ.

But there is more to the story of Nicholas of Myra. He was also a delegate to the Council of Nicea in a.d. 325, which battled the heretics who denied the deity of Christ. He was thus one of the authors of the Nicene Creed, which affirms that Jesus Christ is both true God and true man. And unlike his later manifestation, Nich…

"Is Christ The Reason For The Season" From Steve Camp of A1M (www.a1m.org)

Is Christ Jesus
the Reason for the Season?


This article was emailed to me and written by James McCutchan, a retired Baptist Pastor/Teacher (Jmccutchan@aol.com).

Though I may not agree entirely with everything that Jim wrote below, I want to personally thank him for his concise, biblically focused, and thought-provoking insights on what is proving to be a very controversial holiday in our nation this year. I have also included a link to Dr. Al Moher's blog on this matter; featuring some quotes from his post by Dr. Gene Edward Veith as well. This will prove to be a most interesting discussion today.

No matter what the world has imagined or defined Christmas to be, may we as genuine believers in the Lord thank God for His "unspeakable gift" to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Immanuel, God with us...
Steve
2 Cor. 3:5


The True History of Christmas
by Jim McCutchan
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the…

"Sermo-mercial In the Land of Narnia" From Steve Camp's Blog (www.stevenjcamp.blogspot.com)

Sermo-mercials… in the Land of Narnia, Anything is Possible

Walt Disney Pictures in marketing to churches with the hopes of turning out sustained comers for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, that it's offering a free trip to London - and $1,000 cash - to the winner of its big promotional sermon contest. I’m not joking—.

The only catch is that the sermons must mention Narnia, based on the hugely popular children's books about four British children who walk through an uncle's magic armoire into an enchanted kingdom. (Don't emphasize God’s Word, but you must mention Narnia. Maybe someone from the "Boars Head Tavern" will enter?).

"Sermo-mercials" is what the promoters hired by Disney and its production partner, Walden Media, are using to peddle LWW . (I saw the movie; I liked it; but please…) Disney knows they have an blockbuster on their hands that works both as religious fairy-tale/analogy and secular fantasy. Can Narnia ap…

"Spiritual Gift Assessments & The Bible" By Tim Challies (www.challies.com/archives/000754.php)

Spiritual Gift Assessments & The Bibles

Quite a while ago I wrote an article about spiritual gift assessments. Today I am hauling that article out of storage and am going to update it. At the time I first wrote about spiritual gift assessments I was responding to a question a friend had asked me. He was interested in knowing my opinion on these assessments. I had taken them a few times through my church and various men's groups and had always found them somewhat helpful, though they never really had a significant impact on my spiritual life. I grew up attending Reformed churches and the term "spiritual gifts" was largely foreign to me since these gifts are not a great emphasis in Reformed circles. Therefore, I decided to begin by researching spiritual gifts.

As I began to research them I found one strange thing: it seems no one can agree about these gifts. It seems everyone has a different list of the gifts and even a different idea of how and when they are dispensed. …

"Family Planning God's Way" Pt. 1 By Pastor Bret Lovitz

Okay, since I've received more than one comment about putting my own material on my Blog, I will go ahead and put what I have so far on "Family Planning God's Way." I may revise it from time to time. For the sake of the Blog, I will do this in "parts." Feel free to ask any questions about this study.

FAMILY PLANNING GOD’S WAY
A STUDY ABOUT GOD’S PERFECT PLAN FOR THE FAMILY
PASTOR BRET LOVITZ OF GRACE FELLOWSHIP



I Introduction
As most of us know, the family is the most important institution created by God. Yet many Christian families struggle through various issues, whether it is husband and wife, or parents and children. Couples that profess to be Christian still end up in divorce court, and many Christian parents give in to culture and won’t lead and rule their children. God’s word talks about family issues much more than most people probably realize. Most of what will be dealt with in this article I’m sure has been brought up before if you are in a bible cente…

"Where Divine Sovereignty Meets Human Responsibility" By Charles Spurgeon From Phil Johnson's Blog (http://phillipjohnson.blogspot.com)

Where divine sovereignty meets human responsibility
Your weekly dose of Spurgeon


PyroManiac devotes Monday space to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The extended quotation (below) is from Charles Haddon Spurgeon and is excerpted from his sermon "Sovereign Grace and Man's Responsibility," originally delivered Sunday morning, August 1, 1858, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens, London.

I like how Spurgeon defends the coherence and consistency of truth. He clearly would have abhorred the kind of thinking existentialist philosophers and neo-orthodox theologians have managed to foist on the public consciousness for almost a century now—namely, the absurd notion that all truth is inherently "paradoxical." Make no mistake: many who talk nonstop about the principle of paradox really do seem to imagine that God's revealed truth is full of contradictions, which is tantamount to calling it nonsense.

Spurgeon, by contrast, says we should never imagine that God'…

"The Duty of a Pastor" By John Owen

JOHN OWEN, A Brief Biography
1616 - 1683

John Owen was born in Stadham, Oxfordshire, England. He entered Queen's College, Oxford, at 12 years of age and obtained his B.A. degree in 1632 at the age of 16. He received his M.A. degree in 1635. He received his D.D in 1653 from Oxford University. He was formally a Presbyterian, but his views differed and he was more of Independent, founding a church on Congregational principles. He was active in religious and political issues his entire life, at one time being the chaplain to Oliver Cromwell and also preaching before Parliament.

"In younger age a most comely and majestic form; but in the latter stages of life, depressed by constant infirmities, emaciated with frequent diseases, and above all crushed under the weight of intense and unremitting studies, it became an incommodious mansion for the vigorous exertions of the spirit in the service of its God."



The Duty of a Pastor
by John Owen
Preached with unction, September 8, 1682

"…

"From The Front Row" Steve Camp's Review of the Narnia Movie (www.stevenjcamp.blogspot.com)

From the Front Row
...my review of the enchanting, Narnia


Beautiful imagery, some great acting, amazing animation/special effects, vivid characters, and staying true to Lewis’s original tome make Narnia wonderful holiday movie entertainment… safe for the whole family.

The Score
The music of Narnia, written and conducted by Harry Gregson-Williams, was also very well done (though it didn’t rise to his magnificent score for “Kingdom of Heaven”). It isn’t Howard Shore’s stirring music of Lord of the Rings, but for the most part it suits the film with intimacy and tenderness. What is strangely missing for a release of the magnitude of Narnia, was a memorable theme melody and a signature song that really captured the movies essence. In songwriting we call it “the hook.” Most great films have associated with it an unmistakable, powerful song or songs with a theme melody woven throughout that brings the audience to a “familiar and memorable place.” Such songs usually become “classics” or “standar…

"A New Christmas Song: 'I'll Be Home (Not A Church) For Christmas'" By Pastor Ray Rhodes

A New Christmas Song: "I'll be Home (not at church) For Christmas"

Ray Rhodes, Jr.


It looks like church attendees of a number of the nation’s mega-churches will be home for Christmas. Christmas falls on Sunday this year and according to at least one advocate for closing up church shop on Christmas--"Christmas is a family day." And according to Cally Parkinson, a leader at Willow Creek Community Church, "If our target and our mission is to reach the unchurched, basically the people who don't go to church, how likely is it that they'll be going to church on Christmas morning?" (From an AP story on the CNN web-site December 7).

A couple of thoughts race to my mind.

Is going to church on Christmas Day incompatible with the family?

In some churches canceling services will indeed increase opportunity for families to actually be together on a Sunday morning. Many churches have so segregated the family that it’s increasingly rare to find a church that is i…

Article About "The Chronicles of Narnia" By SBTS President Al Mohler (www.albertmohler.com)

Aslan Is On the Move--"The Chronicles of Narnia" on Film


The long awaited release of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, comes today, and the movie is likely to become a blockbuster. Opening on three thousand screens nationwide, the Narnia film is the product of a collaboration between Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. Fans of C. S. Lewis and his most famous literary work, the seven-volume series known as The Chronicles of Narnia, have waited for the film version of this work for a very long time. Indeed, the first volume of Lewis' great fantasy work was released over a half century before the story hit the big screen.

Like many admirers of Lewis' work, I harbored deep suspicions that the movie would not be faithful to the book. After all, the movie world has robbed and pillaged many of history's greatest works of literature. Furthermore, given the unmistakable Christian allusions in Lewis' work, The Chronicles of Narnia would b…

"Missing The Breakpoint About 'Narnia'" By Steve camp (www.stevenjcamp.blogspot.com)

Missing The "BreakPoint"
-FOLLYWOOD doesn't define Christianity even on its best day


I love good books, good TV, good music, and good movies. I like to feel inspired, challenged, entertained, stirred in my emotions and uplifted. But then at some point I must turn off the iPod, put the computer on sleep mode, turn off the Tele, and exit the movie theater. For when the short-lived exciting emotions fade, I return to live in the real world of five kids, public school, neighbors, local church, and ministry.

Chuck Colson in his current BreakPoint speaking of Lewis’s “Narnia…” comes near to praising Hollywood for its focus on faith-based films. This last year, has been a banner year for this kind of movie: "The Passion"; "Lord of the Rings"; and now "Narnia, The Lion, The Witch, and Wardrobe.”

But as brilliant of a mind that Mr. Colson has been blessed with, he completely misses the point here as he has on other occasions (i.e., Mr. Colson supported ECT (E…