As the satanists in Detroit go to celebrate the unveiling of a 9 ft. tall 1 ton idol of their god, we have to see this against the backdrop of everything else that is happening in our once great nation. The picture below is of a statue of baphomet or satan. You can see the little children there looking up at him, the goat head, horns, and pentagram on his forehead.
At least half of us Americans want gay marriage to be legal and moral, are fine with abortions as long as they are safe for the mother, want drugs to be legal and moral, are fine with divorce and bluntly don’t see the need for such an antiquated notion like marriage. After all, most of us, myself and perhaps a few of you, were raised by a single mother. We also want to not work and have everything free to us. I wonder, if this is what people want when they exercise their free will, if there isn’t a better way? I say, “Let’s all be slaves of Christ and give up our sinful wills!” This illusion that we are somehow basically good is nonsense! Without God restraining us from being as evil as we could be, it would be like the days of Noah, but worse. Just look around and see how it is now!
So my solution, the only one I see, is that we as Christians start praying for God to violate everyone’s will in this country. I want Him to discipline us as sons. I want Him to crush the proud and humble them. I want Him to bring all the sinners to repentance and faith in Him. After all, He is the only one, true, and living God. So let’s pray for God to discipline America as a nation. Let’s pray for Him to make us repent. Don’t let us have a choice, because we know what we would choose, just like the Israelites chose the gold calf and orgies when God used Moses to bring them forth from Egypt. We would choose the same. So, we don’t want a choice for America! No, we want God’s will for America! We want all of us, as a nation to repent and believe upon Jesus Christ as our Lord, Master, Creator, and Savior!
The success of your labours materially depends on your taking heed to yourselves. pg 80
(3) Do you think it is a likely thing, that he will fight against Satan with all his might, who is himself a servant to Satan? Will he do any great harm to the kingdom of the devil, who is himself a member and a subject of that kingdom? Will he be true to Christ who is in covenant with his enemy? Now, this is the case of all unsanctified men, of whatever rank or profession they be. They are the servants of Satan, and the subjects of his kingdom; it is he that rules in their hearts; and are they like to be true to Christ that are ruled by the devil? What prince will choose the friends and servants of his enemy to lead his armies in war against him?
This is it that has made so many preachers of the gospel to be enemies to the work of the gospel which they preach. No wonder if such deride the holy obedience of the faithful; and if while they take on them to preach a holy life, they cast reproaches, on them that practice it! O how many such traitors have been in the Church of Christ in all ages, who have done more against him, under his colors, than they could have done in the open field! They speak well of Christ and of godliness in the general, and yet slyly do what they can to bring them into disgrace, and make men believe that those who set themselves to seek God with all their hearts are a company of enthusiasts or hypocrites. And when they cannot for shame speak that way in the pulpit, they will do it in private among their acquaintance. Alas! how many such wolves have been set over the sheep! If there was a traitor among the twelve in Christ’s family, no wonder if there be many now. It cannot be expected that a slave of Satan, “whose god is his belly, and who minds earthly things,” should be any better than “an enemy to the cross of Christ (Php_3:18).” What though he live civilly, and preach plausibly, and maintain outwardly a profession of religion? He may be as fast in the devil’s snares, by worldliness, pride, a secret distaste of diligent godliness, or by an unsound heart that is not rooted in the faith, nor unreservedly devoted to Christ, as others are by drunkenness, uncleanness, and similar disgraceful sins. Publicans and harlots do sooner enter heaven than Pharisees, because they are sooner convinced of their sin and misery (Mat_21:31).
And, though many of these men may seem excellent preachers, and may cry down sin as loudly as others, yet it is all but an affected fervency, and too commonly but a mere useless bawling; for he who cherishes sin in his own heart does never fall upon it in good earnest in others. I know, indeed, that a wicked man may be more willing of the reformation of others than of his own, and hence may show a kind of earnestness in dissuading them from their evil ways; because he can preach against sin at an easier rate than he can forsake it, and another man’s reformation may consist with his own enjoyment of his lusts. And, therefore, many a wicked minister or parent may be earnest with their people or children to amend, because they lose not their own sinful profits or pleasures by another’s reformation, nor does it call them to that self–denial which their own does. But yet for all this, there is none of that zeal, resolution, and diligence, which are found in all that are true to Christ. They set not against sin as the enemy of Christ, and as that which endangers their people’s souls. A traitorous commander, that shoots nothing against the enemy but powder, may cause his guns to make as great a sound or report as those that are loaded with bullets; but he does no hurt to the enemy. So one of these men may speak as loudly, and mouth it with an affected fervency, but he seldom does any great execution against sin and Satan.
No man can fight well, but where he hates, or is very angry; much less against them whom he loves, and loves above all. Every unrenewed man is so far from hating sin to purpose, that it is his dearest treasure. Hence you may see, that an unsanctified man, who loves the enemy, is very unfit to be a leader in Christ’s army; and to draw others to renounce the world and the flesh, seeing he cleaves to them himself as his chief good.
A. The kind that we had before God so mercifully saved us.
Ouch! I know it stings, but what do we expect? Do we actually expect the unregenerate to think, feel, act, as regenerate? I mean… come on. We need to remember how darkened and depraved our reasoning was before we were saved, so we can relate to the unsaved. We need to see them as people in need. Paul said he was the Chief of Sinner. He hunted Christians to jail them and kill them. Before our conversion each and every one of us was just as depraved as many of the people we are surprised by. I was disgusting in my sins, yet God saved me according to His sovereign will by His grace. God actively restrains humans from being as evil as they potentially could be. This is called common grace. It might not seem like it, but He does. Without His restraint, we would, each one of us, be worse than Hitler. So when lost people do ghoulish things it shouldn’t surprise us. We should be aghast. We should be overcome with grief. We should be so moved that we do something. Not just moved to talk about it for a couple of weeks and then move on to the next scandal, but rather moved to God glorifying action.
So, what should we do? What should Christians do in the face of abortion? First, we pray. We pray to God for strength, wisdom, and compassion. We pray for Him to bless our efforts in witnessing to the lost who are working at the clinics or there to get an abortion. We pray for God to save them, for their hearts to be changed in the second birth. Second, we ask our Pastors and Elders for permission and instruction before we go. Third, we go as an organized group to preach the gospel, listen to their heartfelt cries, share the truth in love, offer them any assistance we have available, and we serve them in humility.
What we don’t do is another thing we should address. We don’t get into screaming matches. We don’t go to argue with, “those people.” We don’t go to argue with the police. We don’t go to get arrested. (If we are doing what we should be and we get arrested that is fine.) We don’t go to win a debate. If we act in a way that is disgraceful we are effectively ruining our witness and defiling the worth of the cross with our actions.
What’ at stake? Think about it. Human lives are at stake. People made in the image of God for His glory are being ruthlessly murdered and mutilated. We know what we can do. Are we going to do it? I hope so. I hope I will be faithful. It is one thing for me to sit at a keyboard and write about it. It is another to actually get out and do something about it. That is my prayer, that we will get out and do the work that is our good work prepared for us before time.
One big concern with the MEV is the translation method. I didn’t address it when I wrote my review of the thinline. The translators were grouped and assigned sections to translate. The entire Bible was translated by several different groups of extremely varied theologians. Some of them I would never have trusted to do translation. The bad ecumenism is actually touted as a good thing by some and a selling point as well. I look at it as an attempt to pleas a broader range of people and increase potential sales and adoption. This leads to some inconsistency between books. The inconsistencies don’t amount to error, but bad doctrine starts with small things. I like the way the MEV reads most of the time, but on occasion it slips back into early Modern English sentence structure. I don’t know if that is an effort to maintain the, “majesty” of the KJV or just an oversight. As time goes on, many of the inconsistencies presumably will be addressed. I’d also love to see thousands more cross-references. Our modern NASB has of 90,000. TBS’s KJV reference Bible has around 200,000 references and notes. Another thing I’d like to see them do is to kick off the translation team the Roman Catholic, Church of Christ, and other unorthodox sects. I’m a bit tired of all of the Textus Receptus fans calling all other versions, “per-versions.” As far as I’m concerned they need to get a grip and realize the critical texts are just as valid if not more so.
I know it seems I’m being awfully critical of this translation, but don’t be mistaken, I do actually like the way it reads for the most part. I don’t think I would recommend it over my NASB or NKJV for serious study just yet. I would like to get a hold of the KJV parallel they are selling to do a comparison of the entire Bible while making notes in the margins. It is a very promising translation based on the Textus Receptus.
With that out of the way, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts. This Bible arrived packaged in a padded envelope from the publisher. Not my preferred packaging, but it worked. The Bible arrived undamaged.
Inside the envelope was a lightweight two piece retail box containing the Personal Size, Large Print, Reference Bible.
I really like the size of this Bible. It is just right for me personally. I wish it were available in calfskin leather or goatskin leather.
The cover that is on it is not real leather. It doesn’t smell like leather, it doesn’t feel like leather, and it costs much less than leather. It is decorated and attractive looking.
I find the coppery tone of the gilt on the page edges complimentary to the color of the cover and ribbon marker. It is positively a good looking value Bible.
The binding on this one is Smyth-sewn.
It is a case bound Bible with paper interior lining pasted down to the cover.
The publisher’s information and copyright page show that this Bible was made in China.
There is a presentation page in the front and a weird dedicatory page to the Queen?
What!? I mean, come on Patrick? Get with the program Patrick! Don’t be anachronistic Patrick! (Fans of “TheLutheranSattire” channel on Youtube will get the joke. Look up, “bad analogies” on their channel. It will make you lol)
The Books have an introduction page that many find helpful.
The paper is pretty white and could be a bit thicker or more opaque. On the upside, it does appear that line matching was employed effectively. That is when the text on the opposite side of the paper is printed directly behind the text opposing it. This makes the text more legible. The text is pretty big at 11 pt in size. It is also printed pretty consistently given it was done in China. The text is bold and black against the paper contrasting well.
The text is arranged in a double column format with limited notes and references at the bottom of the page.
After scripture headings you’ll also notice parallel reading references that will take you to another place in the scripture where the same thing can be read. Off to the right side of this picture you can see it references Luke 12:22-34
This is a red letter edition so the words of Christ are printed in red. The red print is bright and easy to read.
There is a small concordance in the back.
Overall, lots of potential and room for development. For now, it is pleasant to read and I recommend it for the price and sewn binding if you are a Textus Receptus kind of person.
According to the Trinitarian Bible Society’s website the Pocket Reference Bible is, “The complete practical choice of Bible for carrying in pocket or handbag. Wide selection including camouflage for armed forces, vinyl, and quality leather. With button snap and zip options.” If you aren’t aware, “T.B.S.” stands for, “Trinitarian Bible Society” not at all related to the horrible cable television station with the same initials. TBS is located in London, England. They are a ministry that produces good quality and value AV KJV Bibles for circulation for the glory of God. Since they are a ministry, they have very good prices. They have kindly sent me a copy of the Pocket Reference Bible with Metrical Psalms in calfskin leather for review on my blog. This TBS Bible is approaching the smallest, usable size a Bible can be. It is 5.2″ x 3.6″ with 6 point font. Let’s just say that, you would have to have very good eyes, or a very good optometrist. That being said, if you are a fan of the Pitt Minion typesetting and are looking for the smallest, compact Bible you can read, covered with genuine calf split or in TBS’s words, “calfskin leather”, with zipper and metrical Psalms, then your search is over. Not a fan of the Pitt Minion? Love the Royal Ruby text typesetting? TBS has you covered with their Royal Ruby Text Bible with Metrical Psalms covered with the same calfskin and in addition, thumb indexes and zipper enclosure. It is a hair larger and the font is 6.5 pt. in size. You can read my review of the older edition here. The Pocket Reference Bible arrived undamaged and carefully packed in a good size cardboard box with packing material.
Inside the box, the Bible was in its retail packaging which is a heavy cardboard slipcase wrapped in clear plastic.
Upon removing it from the packaging I observed that the zipper is a smooth operating nylon zipper. It is flexible and quieter than a brass zipper.
I unzipped the cover and looked at the inside cover first. It is a case bound Bible so the inner liner is a vinyl that is paper backed and glued to the calfskin and end papers of the text block. The corners of the cover are not easily seen as they are covered by the zipper material that is sewn to the perimeter of the cover, making the cover perimeter stitched. There are read and gold head and tail bands decorating the Pocket Reference.
The first page is a presentation page.
You can fill this out and gift this Bible. The person receiving it from you will be sure to remember the occasion. After the presentation page is a few blank card paper pages made of the same paper the presentation page is made from. You can also see some of the thread from the binding.
You’ll notice on the bottom of the copyright page with the publisher information that this Bible is printed in Belarus.
I don’t know much about Belarus except it is a small former soviet country near Poland, Lithuania, and Russia. I know TBS in the past has used a printer there. It would be interesting to know more about this. I think I will ask them next time we correspond. As you keep turning pages you notice, The Epistle Dedicatory and the List of pronunciation of words and proper names. The text of this Bible is a double column verse format with references in the center column in black text edition. (Pitt Minion Reduced)
It utilizes Bible paper and has all edge gilt. There are two black ribbon markers for your daily readings from Old and New Testaments. In the back of the Bible you have A Bible Word List and Reading Plan. Then you’ll find the Psalms in metre.
The Pocket Reference is the winner in portability. Not just because it is very small and thin, or that you could zip its semi-yap cover closed, put it in your pocket and charge off to wherever you need to be, without damaging the pages. Nor is it the winner because it is a complete Bible or even that it includes references. Not even the fact that it is sturdily constructed out of good quality materials or the smyth-sewn binding, or that it should stand up to a mobile life quite well. It is that fact that all of these features are all together in this tiny package that make it the winner. Since it uses the familiar Pitt Minion typeset all of the elements are where you would expect them to be like, page numbers, book names, and chapter numbers, so on.
Be sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible on my flickr page.
Randy Alcorn’s treatment of the doctrine of theodicy is the, “go to” book on the topic. It is suitable for the neophyte and mature Christian both. If you have ever asked yourself the question, “If God is Good why does He allow bad things to happen to good people?” Or if anyone has ever asked you that question, this book will aid you greatly in giving an answer. I was briefly exposed to this area of Christian theology shortly before providentially finding out about this book. I was blessed by it and I believe you will be to.
Randy writes this book with a Pastor’s heart. He understands that people reading this book are going to be from a wide and varied background with all kinds of questions and hurts. If you have lost a child, been struck with a terminal illness, seen horrific violence, or ever wondered how an omnipotent, benevolent being could allow these things, you can read the explanation that has been carefully crafted and laid out so as to heal and not hurt. I’ve never read such a thorough and gentile explanation that was also so blatantly honest. I’ve read very dry white papers that are accurate, but lack the heart of a Pastor. These works often enrage critics or those who doubt. I’ve also read other books that fail to answer the hard questions about God in light of suffering. The, “cotton candy theology” of men who only want to sell you a book or preach some false life enhancement Christianity only leaves us vulnerable when tribulations occur.
Randy includes real situations, with real people who have been through terrible things. He methodically and caringly explains theodicy so that it will be a comfort and easy to understand as well as explain. If you are an apologist, get this book and study it. They next time you run up against a flaming atheist making the accusation of, “I’d never believe in a god that would allow a baby to be murdered!” You’ll be able to give an answer. If you have a loved one who is going through difficult times, perhaps they have read books from those smiling self-help, guru, false preachers and have not been helped, but instead left doubting, GIVE THEM THIS BOOK! I can’t say enough good things about this book and how useful it is. I give it 5 starts, two thumbs up, and an emphatic Amen.
The Holman NKJV Study Bible in Black Genuine Leather, Revisited.
About a year ago I did a review of the Holman NKJV Study Bible. Overall the review was favorable. I thought it might be nice to give it a second look and see what my impressions are now. In my initial review I said that it had a glued binding, but I have found that it is actually sewn.
The spine is not rounded and was kind of difficult to see down in the gutter. After some breaking in and a bit more force, you can see the thread. The signatures are not very big either so it was more difficult to tell.
It is a good thing for a Bible this big to have thinner signatures. It makes it more flexible and less prone to falling apart. You see if it does start to fall apart only a few pages will come loose in a smaller signature instead of many pages in a larger signature.
I also commented on the size of this bad boy. That part has not changed. It is still pretty humongous. I would put it up there with the ESV study Bible for size. It is an attractive looking Bible as far as mass produced Bibles go. It is covered in black genuine leather.
It is not shiny like so many of them are. It is has silver stamped lettering on the spine and silver gilt page edges.
It is still printed and bound in the good ol’ U.S.A.
It is very well printed. The text is clear and bold. It is very black and contrasts against the bright white paper.
The paper could be a bit thicker, but then this Bible would be even bigger… That would be a problem. This is a red letter edition. The font is approximately a 9 pt. font being a good compromise.
There are two ribbon markers one is black and the other is red.
The Bible is case bound and well done.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this Bible for anyone looking for a study Bible. Here is a list of the helps/features;
Holman Bible Publishers is excited to present the Holman Study Bible: NKJV Edition, a new edition modeled after its own 2011 ECPA Christian Book Award-winning HCSB Study Bible, where every well-conceived study help is practically placed on the same page spread as the related biblical text. It also 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, and 15 charts.
Other details of the Holman Study Bible: NKJV Edition include a two-column text setting, center-column cross references, the words of Christ in red type, extensive book introductions, one- and three-year Bible reading plans, a notes section, four-color presentation page and family records section, and two-piece die-cut gift box.
All study features throughout the Holman Study Bible: NKJV Edition are designed to put the emphasis where it must be – on making the Scriptures, God’s written Word, clear and understandable.
It is extremely flexible.
The features are too numerous to expound on all of them. A very well done study Bible at an extremely affordable price from the United States, I hope other publishers are paying attention. You don’t have to make horrible quality Bibles in China to make a profit.
Be sure to check out all of the pictures on my flickr page.
God and Man, How does that work? The Hypostatic Union… Duh!
I remember pondering how Jesus could be man and God without having being changed. I also used to wonder how Jesus could be God and die on the cross. After all, God can’t die. If He could He wouldn’t be God. Well, I’m glad to say that more brilliant men than I have studied long and hard to explain my problems away. So let’s take advantage of what these men, who have come before us had figured out. The doctrine of the hypostatic union is pretty simple to understand, but has some very profound implications.
ὑπόστασις hypostasis, is a Greek word that for our purposes means, substance or subsistence. When we speak of this in regards to Jesus, we are explaining how the God nature and the man nature are joined. I used to have an extremely basic understanding of Jesus. I thought that Jesus was God incarnate, and that’s where it ended. I didn’t understand past that idea. We know that Jesus was not always incarnate. We also know that He is not a demigod. For instance the mythical Hercules was believed to be a demigod. He was said to be the physical product of a carnal relation between Zeus and Alcmene. Zeus was a mythical god of the Greeks. Alcmene was his human mother, whom Zeus had relations with, according to Greek mythology. Thus, Hercules was understood to be the mingled half natures of god and man. That is what a demigod is. Jesus is not a demigod. He is 100% fully God and 100% fully human, perfectly joined, without mingling the two distinct natures. It is very important that we understand this.
Jesus was always God and will always be God. At the incarnation, some people make the false, heretical statement that God changed in nature via the incarnation. This error is because they don’t understand the immutable nature of God or they don’t affirm it. They struggle to justify Jesus being man and God. They lack the tools to see how both can be true. We know from God’s word that it is all true and if there is a seeming conflict between what we see as mutually exclusive statements, the problem has to be with our limited understanding and not God’s word. If we start with that as our presupposition we can approach the Bible in faith and accept what has been said. I accepted the trinity on faith for a long time, until it started making more sense to me. Now I affirm it with reason that has been reformed by God in addition to faith.
If Jesus always existed as the eternal Son, who had no human body, then by the power of God, a body was made for Him in the womb of Marry, and at that moment His God nature was forever joined to His human nature, being 100% God and 100% man, perfectly joined, without mixing, having two complete distinct natures, then He could fulfill the work that was ahead of Him. Only a man could represent other men. Only a man could die. It is impossible for God to die or be killed. Only a man could experience life and temptation as a man. Man had inherited death from Adam. Only Jesus broke that chain, by being born of the virgin and power of God via the Holy Spirit. Only God could live a sinless life. Only God could fulfill all righteousness. Only God could survive the punishment on the cross until it was paid for. All of the eternities of torment in Hell, owed by all the sinners who would be saved, was poured out on Jesus during the crucifixion. Think about it. We cannot conceive of eternity, let alone an eternity of punishment. He didn’t just survive for one person, but all that would be saved. A human could not have survived the punishment of his own sins, not to mention anyone else’s. It was necessary for Jesus to be God and man. Not only is it necessary, but it makes absolute sense when we think about it.
A Review of, “A Guide to Christian Living” by the Protestant Reformer John Calvin, as Translated by Robert White for The Banner of Truth Trust.
This book is an excerpt of the beginning of, “Book 3, Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1560 French edition.” It is 140 pages long. It has a short introduction providing some background information about John Calvin and his, “Institutes.” It also explains Calvin’s purpose in writing, “Book 3” His purpose is also made clear in this book’s title. At the end of the book are, the endnotes, and indexes of scripture references, as well as subjects. This book is published by The Banner of Truth Trust. It is printed by Versa Press Inc., of East Peoria Illinois USA. The font is a very legible 10.5/13.5 Adobe Caslon Pro typeset. It is available in print, e-pub, and Kindle.
I found the paper to be very thick and easy to highlight. It is covered in green faux leather. The cover is decorated with a perimeter channel, image of Calvin, and the title stamped in it to resemble tooling.
The spine looks to be sewn and glued.
It has the title stamped parallel to the spine, John Calvin under that, and The Banner of Truth’s logo at the foot. Overall I found the book to be well constructed and easy to read.
If you are familiar with the works of Calvin, you’ll recognize this when you start reading it. Unlike many of his Latin works that were translated into English, this translation seems less formal and verbose. Due to that fact it lends itself to devotional reading. It works well for that purpose, and gives you something to ponder while you go about your day. I found myself nodding my head in agreement several times and wondering what other sections of Calvin’s works could be arranged as devotionals. It was very refreshing to read something scriptural in Modern English. As of late, the choices have been dismal. Most devotionals in Modern English are full of extra-biblical revelations, or pseudo-self-help drivel. People have been feasting on cotton candy theology and as a result are malnutritioned. Reading something that makes you truly consider what is being communicated is stimulating. You have to engage your head and your heart, not just one or the other. People say that Calvin is to dry, but if you read his work, you will see his passion for God come through.
My copy of Spurgeon’s, “Morning and Evening” is a bit too large to carry with me to work. This book is much smaller. I can fit it in my pocket. The paper is very thick and heavy, not like Bible paper at all. Highlighting and underlining works well. I was underlining and highlighting sections to quote on social media later on. This way you don’t have to mark up your nicer complete volume of Calvin’s Institutes. This little book, unlike many devotionals, is more durable it stands up to being carried about.
I recommend this for personal devotions as well as a gift to the newly born again. I think it will aid them in getting their foundational doctrines in order. It can be purchased directly from The Banner of Truth, or you can purchase it from, Christianbook.com as well as Amazon.com.