Month: July 2014
A Brief Confession Of Faith By John Calvin
A Brief Confession Of Faith By John Calvin:
–I confess that there is one God, in whom we ought to rest, worshipping and serving him, and placing all our hope in him alone. And although he is of one essence, he is nevertheless distinguished into three persons. Wherefore, I detest all heresies condemned by the first Council of Nice, and likewise those of Ephesus and Chalcedon, along with all the errors revived by Servetus and his followers. For I acquiesce in the simple view, that in the one essence of God is the Father, who from eternity begat his own Word, and ever had in himself his own Spirit, and that each of these persons has his own peculiar properties, yet so that the Godhead always remains entire.
–I likewise confess, that God created not only this visible world, (that is, heaven and earth, and whatever is contained in them,)…
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What is the difference between the Mormon gospel and the gospel of the true Jesus?
According to the documentation on the Mormons own website; “https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/gospels”
“…The word gospel means “good news.” The good news is that Jesus Christ has made a perfect atonement for mankind that will redeem all mankind from the grave and reward each individual according to his or her works. This atonement was begun by His appointment in the premortal world but was worked out by Jesus during His mortal sojourn. Therefore, the records of His mortal life and the events pertaining to His ministry are called the Gospels; the four that are contained in our Bible are presented under the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John…”
They only had one thing right, and that was the meaning of the word, “gospel.” Too bad they got everything else wrong. The Greek word, “εὐαγγέλιον” transliterated is evangelion. It is where we get our English word, “evangelist” in English we use the word, “gospel” which was an English rendering of a Latin expression meaning, “God’s spell” or “God’s story.” εὐαγγέλιον means, “good news.” So what is the good news of Jesus Christ? Well according to the Mormons it is that everyone lives on after death while some go to one of the three forms of Mormon afterlife determined by their own works. So basically you go where your works have earned you. So if you were an uber goody-two-shoes Mormon and followed all the rules you might become an exalted man and one day even a god. You would get to go to the celestial kingdom until you became a god and had your own solar-system to rule. If you only were a marginal Mormon you get to go to the terrestial kingdom with all the slackers who were basically good. Of course if you weren’t a Mormon at all you would have to go to the telestial kingdom and work your way up.
I’m sorry but none of that sounds like very good news to me. I don’t think that anyone who has ever read the Bible and knows what sin is and what righteousness is would think that is good news. It looks like insanely BAD news to me. They are saying that you have to earn your way by works. Not a lifetime of good works could void even one of my sins. If you are a thief and you go before the judge and tell him, “Your honor, listen I know I shouldn’t have stolen that ladies purse. I know it is against the law, but since then I have worked hard and given to charity, and I even washed your car on the way in.” The judge if he is a just and good judge will say, “None of those things change the fact that you are guilty of the crime of theft. The fact that you would come in here a guilty thief and try to bribe me with your charity work and washing my car is offensive to me. You are guilty and here is your sentence.”
If a human judge would be offended how much more would a perfectly and infinitely holy and righteous God be offended? There is no way to work your way in to Heaven according to the Bible. Anyone that has honestly read it would tell you that, but the Bible isn’t good enough for the Mormons… oh no! They have to add the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants. You see if you are going to try to deceive the world you really have to convolute the truth and by muddying the waters they can do that.
So what is the difference between real Christianity and Mormonism’s gospel? What is the difference between their Jesus and ours? Well it is quite simple you see Jesus is God. Not a god, but the God. Jesus paid the penalty for the sins of all who He would save. They couldn’t pay their penalty. Just one deceitful or lustful thought is enough to warrant an eternity in Hell experiencing the wrath of God being poured out on you for ever. God would be just and right to do so as He is the perfection of goodness, justice, and righteousness. A person who doesn’t see how insidious and sinful their sin is in contrast to the holiness of God will never understand their inability. Of course they think they can earn it because they have brought God down to being at one time a man who lived on a planet orbiting a star named Kolob and who was a sinner and they have elevated man to a being that could earn of his own works godhood! What complete and utter nonsense and heresy! Jesus saves us by His grace (unmerited favor) He paid our penalty and imputed His righteousness to those He would save. They are seen as perfectly righteous and holy upon judgment because they are in Christ Jesus through God granted faith.
So our deceived Mormon friends and family are destined for Hell. What can we do about it? How can we help them? Over many years I have tried several different methods of reaching them. It seems impossible at times, but we know in regards to salvation anything is possible with God. I would recommend praying for them. I would also recommend being their friends while gently sharing the differences you have. I would also recommend that you get offended when they say they are Christians. Let them see the joy you have in Christ. Let them see your liberty to love and your light heart. Let them see that you are at peace with God and assured of your salvation. They are burdened with upholding so many rules and rituals that they are always about to crack. They never can know if they have done enough. Always tell them the truth about Jesus. Don’t get into a shouting match with them. Don’t go into a discussion without first arming yourself with knowledge of the word. If they throw the, “You’re anti-Mormon” card just tell them you are not and ask them about the, “First Vision.” It is the one where Joseph Smith supposedly sees God the Father and Jesus both in bodily form and they tell him that all of the churches are false and their teachings are abominations and to join none of them.
Then explain how offensive that is to you. Explain that they are just as much anti-Christian as they claim we are anti-mormon.
The next time a Mormon tells you that you are anti-mormon
The next time a Mormon tells you that you are anti-mormon you tell them that you are not and that they are anti-Christian. Then point them to the account of, “The First Vision” and Doctrine and Covenants 130. Then they will see just how anti-everyone else they are. Here is what the First Vision says about us;
17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time.
So according to the, “First Vision” we are all wrong and our beliefs are abominable. Oh and Joseph Smith says there that the Father and Jesus appeared both bodily. This is also backed up by D&C 130 which I will now quote;
“ 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.” https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/130?lang=eng
So you can see here how they claim that the Father also has a body of flesh and blood even though the Bible teaches that the Father is Spirit. We worship a different God then they do. Don’t let Mormons get away with calling you anti-mormon when you disagree with them. If they do, show them how they were anti-Christian first. We have 2000 years of orthodoxy, tons of artifacts, over 4500 pieces of textual evidence supporting the continuity of the Bible, and geographic sites all over the middle east that support what the Bible says. They have the wild imaginings of a fallen sinner hungry for power, wealth, and sexual immorality.
Review of the Holman New King James Study Bible in Genuine Leather.
I was curious about this Bible because most of the ones I have purchased or received for review purposes have had smyth-sewn bindings. It had been a while since I looked at a Bible with a glued binding as I prefer the durability of the sewn bindings to the glued ones.
After looking at this Bible for just a little while now I can honestly say that I love all of the notes, papers, pictures, and resources in it.
I also love the layout and text. It is a great size font and very clear.
This would be a much better Bible if it were a sewn-binding. I am still not a fan of the glued bindings. The genuine leather cover is pretty typical for a Bible in this price range.
I was surprised at how badly the pages stuck together. It would be a pity if any of them tore because of the cheap silver colored gilding.
The pages are printed and laid out so beautifully. The Bible also has two ribbon markers.
This Bible is made in America which is a rare thing these days, when most of the low to mid-range ones are made in China or Korea.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was made here in the USA. There are so many features and things this Bible has got right, but the couple of draw backs are big ones for me. For $79.99 I expect much more in the quality department. So my two biggest gripes would be the glued binding, which is pretty standard these days, and the silver colored edge gilding that made the pages stick together. If they would put this in a sewn binding with real art gild page edges and a goatskin cover for $150.00 I think they would have a winner here. As it is I think this Bible falls prey to the quantity over quality error. Don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderfully useful and informative study Bible. It would be very helpful to someone doing daily studies and it comes in a decent price on Christianbook.com. Here is a list of some of it’s features;
- 15,000 study notes
- 141 photos
- 62 timelines
- 59 maps
- 40-page concordance
- 20 articles and essays on practical and theological issues
- 16 illustrations and reconstructions
- 15 charts.
- Two-column text setting
- Center-column cross references
- The words of Jesus in red type
- Extensive book introductions
- One- and three-year Bible reading plans
- Notes section for personal notes
- Ribbon marker
- Presentation page
- Family record section
- 9-point text size
- 9.50″ X 7.00″ X 1.75″
I wouldn’t let my two gripes about this Bible dissuade you from purchasing it because even though it lists at $79.99 it is available for much less on Amazon and Christianbook.com I will include links to both sites at the end of the review. I am kind of a stickler for bindings. Holman did put a lifetime warranty on this Bible so I imagine if the pages do start falling out you can ship it back to them and get a replacement. So in conclusion if you are looking for a deluxe daily driver then this is your Bible, but if you are looking for a premium Bible you are in the wrong price range. Features for miles and miles with just a couple little quibbles. Hope you enjoy all of the pictures below. http://www.amazon.com/Holman-Study-Bible-Edition-Genuine/dp/1433605147 for Amazon and http://www.christianbook.com/nkjv-holman-bible-black-genuine-leather/9781433605123/pd/605123# for Christianbook.com
I received this Bible from Holman free of charge for review purposes and am in no way obligated to give a good review of this product.
Why don’t we have a problem when God chooses people in some scriptures, but when it comes to salvation we say, “God is a gentleman and would never force us to choose Him against our freewill!”
For instance in Acts 40 we don’t have a problem with God choosing who would see Him after the resurrection. “39“We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. 40“God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, 41not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.” (Acts 10:39-41)
But, in Ephesians 1:3-5 when Paul tells us how God chose who would be saved by Jesus before He made the world everybody gets all offended about having their precious sinful, I mean ahem, “freewill” getting violated. Excuse me, but I’d much rather have a divine intervention and go to Heaven than have a, “freewill” any day. That is because I understand that before regeneration and justification my will is a sinful will, a curse from the fall, a will that is enslaved to do nothing but evil continuously. After all aren’t we supposed to pray that the will of the Father be done? Aren’t we supposed to become more like Jesus and less like ourselves? Aren’t we supposed to die to ourselves daily and take up the cross of Christ? It sure seems like our wills should be replaced with God’s will.
I think the problem lies in the sin of pride. People think to highly of themselves and their abilities to please God, they don’t see how sinful their sin is, and they definitely don’t contrast it with the holiness and righteousness of God. They need to see God as completely transcendent, totally other, instead they have to elevate man and lower God to protect their notion of freedom. We should magnify God and humble ourselves.
I’m not saying that we are not responsible for our sin either. People try to say that it is a mutually exclusive statement. They say if you don’t have our brand of freewill then God can’t hold you responsible for your sin. It seems to make sense. Of course you would have to lower God and elevate man. We are still morally culpable for sin because we are born sinners and choose it continuously because of our state of being dead in our sins and being slaves to our sin natures. When God saves someone of His grace and mercy it is exactly that way. He saves them by His grace (unmerited favor). They did nothing to deserve salvation. Matter of fact, everything they have done has come from a corrupted heart. If God planned it this way then we as creatures have no right to judge Him or His plan. He owns us and has all rights to us. He would be just in destroying all of us whenever He wants to. The fact that He saves any of us is wonderful news.
We make choices that are consistent with our natures. God is consistent with His attributes. God cannot be unjust, or evil, or untrue. In the same way a sinner cannot be desirous of God while yet a slave to their sinful nature. (Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” In their sinful nature they make all kinds of choices that are consistent with that nature. These choices are allowed by God in His sovereign will to be used by Him for good in accordance with His will. I would remind you that the problem is pride and how we see God, ourselves, and sin. He ultimately has ownership rights over all of us as Creator and can do with us as He sees fit.
19You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. (Romans 9:19-24)
Review of the Trinitarian Bible Societies (TBS) Royal Ruby Text Bible with Zipper, Thumb Index, and Metrical Psalms in Black Calfskin Leather.
I was looking for a nice compact Bible to carry with me at work. Most of the Bibles I found were not of good enough quality. They would not withstand daily use and carry. I wanted one that had a smyth-sewn binding and was covered in genuine leather. While scouring the usual online retail sites I kept finding the same low priced compact Bibles. Don’t get me wrong, for the price a person could afford to replace them when they fall apart, but there are other problems with inexpensive value Bibles. The paper is usually not Bible paper, the font is not printed sharply and clearly, the Bible is put together in China or Korea where the workmanship isn’t as conscientious, The Bibles are stiff and by the time you brake them in they are falling apart, the bonded leather cracks and swells, the bindings come unglued and pages start falling out, and so on. If you are like I am you’d rather spend a few extra dollars and get a Bible that will become an old friend, or something you’ll be able to hand down to loved ones when you pass. Something that you would have used so often that it takes on your scent and the wear and tear you cause remind your loved ones of your love for God’s word. Maybe it will inspire them to open it up and read it as well.
So with all of that in mind I did a search for, “compact smyth-sewn Bible” and found out about a Bible publisher called, “Trinitarian Bible Society.” We’ll refer to them as, “TBS” for the rest of the review. I tried to visit their web page, but to my surprise it was closed for business due to it being Sunday. This was a pleasant surprise and caused me to become even more curious about them. I did some research and found this little gem.
It is the TBS PS31UTZ/BK Royal Ruby Text Bible
in black genuine calfskin leather
with a zipper,
gold gild page edges,
and Holy Bible on the front cover,
two ribbon markers,
dictionary of King James era words,
Bible paper, set by jongbloed and printed in Belarus,
and in the Authorized King James Version.
I’d like to take a bit of time here to tell you a little about TBS. They are a ministry based in England. They use the money they make off of the sales to provide Bibles to those who can not afford them. They only print the Authorized King James Version, so if you want a different version you might try Cambridge. I sent them an e-mail and asked for a review copy. They sent one gratis with no strings attached.
I really like the size of the Bible.
It’s cover is a bit stiff as it is glued to card paper and then lined with vinyl. The grain of the leather is pretty defined so that makes it easy to hold on to.
The zipper is sewn to the semi-yap cover. It does a good job of protecting the pages.
The Bible feels like it is going to break in nicely. It looks like it is put together well. It fits in my hand easily and it is light weight enough to hold for long stretches of time. The Bible having a zipper makes this Bible able to survive my B.D.U. pants pockets. I don’t have to worry about it opening up and having the pages get wrinkled, bent, or mutilated. The genuine calfskin is pretty tough so it is protected from getting scratched of torn. The font is a bit on the small side at 6.5 point, but it is a compact Bible.
If you have descent vision it shouldn’t be a problem. Mine is about 20/25 and I can read it fine. I didn’t notice any production errors or defects. The Bible came packaged in a cardboard box packed in foam packing shells.
The Bible itself was in a cardboard sleeve, neatly wrapped in clear plastic.
One might save the cardboard slip case for storage purposes. Unlike the card paper sleeves that many value Bibles come in this case can provide a service to the owner rather than being thrown away.
I hope this review has been helpful.
Through a mind made dim by sin and what is to come.
Sometimes when I am groggy from sleep, drifting in or out I find myself behaving like an unthinking animal. I don’t know if this is unique to me or if any of you have experienced this kind of lack of consciousness or not. I don’t have any forethought in this state. It is just beyond sleep and just ahead of being awake. Those moments are fleeting. They leave me with a sense of being less than a human. I wonder if this is how some of the higher functioning mammals think and feel? Like the gorilla that could do sign language. She communicated from a mind with a different type of thinking, understanding, and desires. I don’t like being subject to a lesser state. It is disconcerting.
Before we are saved, we think only as a person can under the noetic effects of original sin and bondage to that sinful state. We operate in a state that is less than. Our unregenerate minds can only conceive of evil and it continually. We see our fellow men lost in the dark and shine a light for them to see. We hope they will orientate themselves to and by that light.
Even those of us who have been saved still perceive and process from a state of being less than what we are to be. The noetic effects of sin corrupt us as well. We wait for glorification one day. We wait for a time when our abilities to perceive and process without the effects of sin will be fulfilled. How would we look back on our previous mortal existence? How would we as creatures know and perceive our Creator in truth? What would it be like? I know that I can’t know everything even after glorification. I also know that I won’t know things the same fallen way that I know them now. To know Jesus now is a miracle wrought by God. I can’t imagine what it will be like to know Him without this sinful flesh and corruption of mind.
Review of the NASB Ultrathin Reference Bible
The Lockman Foundation has been producing some affordable and well made NASB (New American Standard Bible) Bibles for quite some time now. The NASB has become known for its excellence in staying true to the original languages. The NASB Ultrathin Reference Bible is no exception. It is bound in genuine leather and is smyth-sewn. A sewn binding makes the Bible more durable and helps it to lay flat as opposed to a glued binding. Pages are folded into groups of pages and stacked, then sewn together. In a glued binding the pages are just cut and glued in the spine. These types are always loosing pages. Sewn bindings are far less apt to fall apart that way.
The Bible has center column references and is a two column format in approximately an 8 point font.
This Bible is almost 9 inches long, 6 inches wide, by almost and inch thick. It is a light bible to carry.
This Bible is light to carry and the pages are pretty thin because it is an Ultrathin. Here is a shot of one page held up to the light.
The page thickness is sufficient and doesn’t lend itself to as much show-through as is prevalent in similarly priced ultrathins. There is ghosting.
The font is clearly printed and easy to read. There is some room in the margins for limited note taking. This Bible is crammed full of quality and features for the price making it a very good value for the price of around $25.00 depending on where you pick one up.
This Bible is a red-letter edition.
I mentioned that this Bible is a smyth-sewn binding and you can tell from this picture that right out of the box it lies flat on the table.
This is a case bound book. The covers are lined with vinyl paper.
You can see where the corners are glued here.
The pages are edge gilt and the spine is hot stamped with gold colored foil as well.
There are some pages in the front that record family info and the like,
One thing I noticed and liked about the construction is where the first and last pages are glued into the lining to stop the Bible from falling apart as easily.
There are also decorative head and foot bands.
The Bible came in a hard cardboard box. The Bible was wrapped in clear plastic.
This Bible also comes with a quite useful concordance which is a surprise for a Bible this thin.
As well as a concordance there are 8 color maps.
There is also on ribbon marker to keep your place. I hope all of the pictures were helpful. Lockman did a good job of making a “users” Bible. This thing is a good value and can take all the punishment of being dragged along where ever you happen to go… within reason, I mean come on, it isn’t water-proof or fire-proof. If you are in the market for an ultrathin and you don’t want to spend big bucks for a premium Bible this is the way to go. Again it is genuine leather, and has a sewn binding all for about $25.00! Come on people, that is pretty good.
Disclaimer, I received this Bible free from the publisher for review purposes and am in no way obligated to give a good review.
Free on PDF: Chance and the Sovereignty of God by Vern Poythress
Earlier this year Crossway published a 368 page book by Dr. Vern Poythress titled Chance and the Sovereignty of God: A God-Centered Approach to Probabiliy and Random Events. I appreciate how Dr. Poythress has made many of his books available to the public for free as a PDF. This new book is now among them!
You can download the PDF by clicking HERE.
The description of the book on the publisher Crossway’s website is as follows:
What if all events—big and small, good and bad—are governed by more than just blind chance? What if they are governed by God?
In this theologically informed and philosophically nuanced introduction to the study of probability and chance, Vern Poythress argues that all events—including the seemingly random or accidental—fall under God’s watchful gaze as part of his eternal plan. Comprehensive in its scope, this book lays the theistic foundation for our scientific…
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