Sunday, August 21, 2011

This Blog Has Moved

Due to this blog's (apparently) irreversible connection to an e-mail address I no longer use, any new posts will be located at

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hymn of the Day

Abide With Me

Henry Lyte, 1847

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Music can be found here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Power and Sovereignty of God

2 Chronicles 32:7-8

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Forthcoming Book That Everyone Needs to Read

Christian Apologetics by Douglas Groothuis, due out September 4, 2011

This is a large, comprehensive apologetics textbook that includes extensive research, solid arguments, and supremely clear, well-organized writing (I know because I have seen it). This is a book well worth pre-ordering.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"

This is one of my favorite Christmas hymns. It is musically arranged a few different ways, and the lyrics reflect a man's (Henry Longfellow) realistic response to Christmas. After Longfellow observes the Christmas-time desire for peace and good will as reflected in "old familiar carols" and the songs of the belfries (belltowers), the third verse depicts his sorrowful response to the actual state of the world. However, the fourth verse triumphantly responds to that sorrow with hope for the future.

Here we live, between the Incarnation of Christ and his return, in a time filled with great sadness for the state of the fallen world alongside hope for future restoration.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Henry W. Longfellow, 1864

Friday, October 15, 2010

Doug Groothuis on Social Media

This is an excellent segment on the "Issues, Etc." radio program that is well worth your time. I urge you to put away e-mail, Twitter and Facebook for a little while, cease multitasking, and listen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yoga and Christianity

Please take the time to listen to this podcast: After Al Mohler interviews Stephanie Syman, a yoga historian and practitioner, Doug Groothuis presents a very solid case for why yoga is not compatible with Christianity.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Why Study History?

We ought study history because "history reminds us that actions and ideas have consequences not only in our own generation but also for generations to come. What we believe, teach and practice affects future generations of believers. Therefore history helps us to not act or teach impulsively. We must employ caution. We must enter into self-criticism and self-evaluation. History helps keep us from taking ourselves too seriously, as if we had all the best answers. At the same time history helps us take ourselves very seriously, because we affect others." -- D. Jeffrey Bingham, Pocket History of the Church, p. 11.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thinking vs. Scholarship

Here is a passage worth deeply pondering from Harry Blamires: "Obviously there is no scholar who does not think; and there is no thinker who is quite devoid of scholarship. Nevertheless the distinction between Scholarship and Thinking is a fruitful one to ponder: and at least it will serve to indicate that just as there is a dearth of Christian thinking in the Church, so in our secular culture there a dearth of pure thinking as opposed to that recording, commenting, and elucidating which constitute scholarship" ("The Christian Mind," pp. 51-51, 1963).

Too few people engage in good or any scholarship, and even fewer are truly thinkers. Let us strive to do both well.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Refiner's Fire

"But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down, but not destroyed..." 4:15-18 "For all these things are for your sake, so that the grace that is including more and more people may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal."
--I Corinthians 4:4-7; 4:15-18 (NET)

Why does God allow his children to experience hardships, or allow some who are already experiencing pain to plummet still further? It is for these reasons: (1) so that we might fall before the sovereign Lord in a state of broken surrender, in order to to be reminded that we have no choice but to radically, deeply depend on him, recognizing our own efforts as ultimately futile, and (2) so that we might be forced to trust that in his infinite love, wisdom, and power, he works for the ultimate good in all situations-- whether or not we perceive it. Out of the sadness, weeping, wailing and chaos of his beloved children, God can bring comfort, peace, order, and healing, and thus displays his perfect love, grace and glory.

And yet, all too often this hope is not felt: "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God," the Psalmist says to his own aching soul. - Psalm 42:11 (NIV)

By all means, lament at the brokenness of the world, but turn your face to the only one who is able to save, able to restore. He is our source of hope for glorious redemption to come.

"When the fig tree does not bud,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
when the olive trees do not produce,
and the fields yield no crops;
when the sheep disappear from the pen,
and there are no cattle in the stalls,
3:18 I will rejoice because of the Lord;
I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!
3:19 The sovereign Lord is my source of strength.
He gives me the agility of a deer;
he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain."
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NET)

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Rethinking the Meaning of Servant-Leadership

Please read this excellent article by my 8th grade Bible teacher and one of my greatest influences, Steve Williamson.