Have you ever had a friend claim to be Christian, and also liberal? What’s that all about?

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I don’t know how people can give their liberal political ideologies more authority than their self-professed faith.  It would seem that their political ideologies are more important to them than what God has said.  Let me explain.  There are many worldviews.  If you don’t like the one your parents gave you, you can always develop you own, or adopt one.  Colleges seem to be one of those places where young people adopt a different worldview.

I happen to have what I, and many others, would call a, “Christian worldview.”  What that means, is that my beliefs about everything, yes everything, are determined by what God says in His word, the Bible.  I order my beliefs from the ordinances of scripture.  So, my political ideologies are determined by my Christian worldview.

So if someone asks, “Bob, why do you hate abortion?  It is a woman’s choice.”  I reply with, “Murder is wrong, and murdering a child in the womb because of your sexual immorality is reprehensible.”  I can say this and assert it. Because, I can build that opinion on systematic and Biblical theology.  When you read your Bible in context, and apply the proper hermeneutical method of exegesis to the text, you get doctrines.  Those doctrines provide the basis for our morality.  So, my morality is built on the doctrines of God, from His word.  So, my stance on abortion is that it is the murder of an infant in the womb, due to the sinfulness of the murdering mother.

Then we throw other beliefs about other moral issues in there like, theft, welfare, work, love, sexuality, and so on.  Guess what?  The Bible determines what I believe about all of those things as well.  Since that is the case, cumulatively they make up the ideologies of my Christian worldview, which is what I use in determining what is acceptable politically.

This seems foundationally simple to me.  I don’t understand those who sit across the aisle and defend something like abortion, or gay marriage, while still claiming Christ as their Savior.  “Doesn’t His word mean anything to them?  Don’t they want to be obedient to Him, because of the great love, and work He did to save them on the cross?  How can they afflict Him more while He hangs from the cross?”  To advocate horribly sinful, and abominable things, while claiming Christ as your Savior, is tantamount to throwing refuse on Him, while He hangs suffering on the cross.

I’ve tried to ask people like this to justify their positions Biblically for me.  I’ve never encountered one person who could do this.  There have been a few who have tried, but their usually open theist heretics, or some other very liberal theological bent that doesn’t hold the Bible as authoritative.  This gives them the wiggle room they need to pervert the word.  This is another sickening thing.  To see someone pervert and abuse the word of God.

I suppose a person could be very new in the faith, and not have the maturity to understand what they are doing.  This is why I can’t make the blanket statement that they are all unsaved heretics.  I can definitively say, that if a person persists in their sin, and loves the worldly life, and sinful cultures opinions, more than God’s, they are not saved.  I can’t do that with people I only know in passing.  It worries me drastically more when I’ve known someone for a very long time, and they are like that.

So you claim that you are pro-choice(abortion), for social programs, for big Federal government, for gay marriage, for no fault divorce, for euthanasia, for socialism, communism, pro-gun grabbers, pro-illegal immigration, and you think that God is O.K. with that?  We don’t know the same God.  The God I know is loving, but He is also just, holy, righteous, true, and He has communicated His will for us, to us, in His word.

To all my Family and Friends, who Think I am a Religious Fanatic,

To all of my family and friends, who think that I have become too religious, fanatical, or that I am one of those Christians who push their religion down everyone’s throat’s, please consider this; If I truly believe what the Bible says about Hell, if I believe all people who have not repented of sin and put their faith in Christ are going to spend eternity in Hell, having the wrath of God poured out on them forever, and I just live my happy little life without warning you of the Hell to come for you, how is that loving? I would be actively hating you and not obedient to God. My love for Him and you compels me to warn you! Wake up! A faith in God is fine. Everyone believes in God. Even the devil and the demons believe in God so you are in the company of demons, congratulations. The Faith that saves is more than just an intellectual affirmation that God exists and you believe in Him. You might even affirm that Jesus is God and that He died for your sins, that won’t save you either. Many people sit in Church on Sunday and say they believe, but they have not been crucified with Christ. They have not been born again as a new person. They don’t even understand what that means, because it hasn’t happened to them. They think they are, but they can’t know until God has regenerated them, and justified them, granting them true faith and repentance that leads to life. You can believe in God and live the same life you were before, because you don’t truly believe what He says, or what He has done. Truly believing in God means you will believe what He says and live life according to His truth. So what you do will seem strange to everyone who does not trust what He says in His word. If I explain to you how a parachute works and how you are to use it, but if you act as if you don’t truly believe me or trust me, or the parachute, when the airplane is in trouble, you will sit in your seat and hope for the best as you plummet to your death. If what I had told you changed your thinking towards the parachute, you will put it on and use it. Faith applied in action is true faith. It must change you. You must behave as it is true. If I were the only one who could truly see that there was a pit of fire in front of millions of people and they were all about to fall in, even if I warned them, they would insist I was crazy, but what if I wasn’t? What if they were just blind to it? Christians truly see what is actual, because God has opened their eyes. If you are not truly saved you are blind to the hell to come. We simply love you too much to not warn you. Repent, turn away from your sins, let them go, don’t hold on to any remnant of your old life, let the old man be killed and buried, be born anew as a servant of God. Believe Him and His work on the cross. Jesus is God and He has shed His precious blood to pay for your sins. Believe in and on Him for your salvation and live out the new life He has brought you into.

Why do You Hate Me?

Is it because I give to the needy? Is it because I am compassionate to the undeserving? Is it because I help the sick at my own peril? Is it because I endure your ridicule? No, it is because of Jesus.
As a Christian who shares the gospel, I have experienced the hate of some. Don’t misunderstand me. There are some who will earnestly listen to the gospel. Out of those most don’t repent and believe, but at least they were genuinely interested in listening to what I had to say. There are others who feign interest. Some just walk away while they shake their heads and mumble. I’m not talking about any of these types. I am talking about the type who get outraged that you would even dare to mention the, “J” word to them! The people who get so angry that you are afraid they might punch you in the face. It is as if you burned their house down or something. These are the types I am talking about.

We all know that the Bible tells us we will be hated and mistreated, but until it happens to you it is difficult to grasp why. You might see yourself doing all kinds of benevolent things and loving on people like no bodies business, so it is a shock to you when someone hates you. Jesus said, “…32Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”…” in John 10:32-33 (NASB) This often sticks in my head. Jesus’ biggest offense was to claim to be God. Some of the Pharisees hated Him for this. It was a good reason to stone Him to death according to them. We can see this same attitude today towards our brothers and sisters in Christ. Think about it for a moment. All of the kind loving things you have done in Christ’s name, poof! Vanish in a moment out of the memory of the hateful person who recoils at the mention of Jesus. It is all fine and dandy as long as you are being benevolent, but mention the reason why you are being loving and merciful and watch out. The next thing you might see could be a rock headed for your noggin. It just doesn’t compute to us right off why someone would respond like that, but we have to look at some truths to understand. If a person is not saved they are a friend of the world. James 4:4 says, “…You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. …” So if you are God’s child how do you suppose the enemy will desire to treat you? In John 15:18-20 Jesus says, “…18“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.…” It makes me wonder if we aren’t too concerned with having easy or being well liked. I mean, nobody likes to get hurt or suffer right, but Jesus was pretty clear about capitulating and being a friend of the world. Cheer up though, if you are sharing the gospel in the face of this suffering Jesus also said this to His disciples, “… 21“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

23“But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes. …” If we learn from their example, we can see that all, but John was martyred for their testimony of Christ crucified. They persevered all the way to the end. We can to with God’s grace.

A Side by Side Comparison of the Oxford NRSV with the Apocrypha and Book of Common Prayer in Black Genuine Leather, to the Cambridge KJV with the Book of Common Prayer in Purple Calfsplit Leather.

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You can look at all of the pictures on my Flickr page. Here is the link for the Cambridge album.  Here is the link for the Oxford album.  I received both Bibles undamaged. They were packed in their own cardboard boxes and were inside retail boxes that were both sturdy enough to be used for storing the Bible in when on the shelf.

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Upon opening the boxes I was impressed with the purple color of the Cambridge Bible. The Cambridge cover was also more supple out of the box. This is due to the Cambridge being covered in calfsplit leather which is split cowhide leather as opposed to the Oxford’s cover which was your typical pigskin leather. The Oxford was ornamented with a gold stamped cross on the front cover as well as a gilt line around the inside perimeter of the cover. Both covers have a perimeter groove pressed into them.

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The Cambridge and the Oxford alike have gold gilt page edges. I thought the two purple ribbon markers were attractive. The Oxford has three yellow/gold ribbon markers that were pretty nice even if they were a bit more narrow. I would have liked to see three ribbon markers in the Cambridge because of the added BCP.

Here is the Cambridge

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Here is the Oxford

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The Oxford was surprisingly smaller than the Cambridge even though it had the Apocrypha and the Cambridge did not. Due to all of the added text there had to be a compromise. I don’t think it was a very wise one. The Biblical text in the NRSV is very small. At 6 pt. it is still legibly printed, but does present a strain for longer reading. I think it would be fine for carrying to Church as long as you bring your reading glasses. If you do have poor vision I would not recommend this Bible for the Bible portion.

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The BCP is perfectly legible being printed in 8 pt. font.

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The Cambridge suffers from the same problem albeit not of necessity in my opinion. Of course I am not privy to all design constraints and I am certain there are reasons for making the Biblical text 6 pt. and the BCP text a very generous 11 pt. I would have liked to see the BCP down to 8 pt. and the KJV up to 8 pt. I think that could have been achieved.

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Both Bibles have sewn bindings and are case bound. The Cambridge is printed and bound in Italy by L.E.G.O. SpA. Vicenza. It is the KJV Pitt Minion, Reference Second Edition setting.

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That would be a double column, paragraph format layout with references in the center column. The small 6.75 pt. font is clearly and uniformly printed on very good and opaque Bible paper.
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The Book of Common Prayer is mostly single column format. It is printed in large 11 pt. font making it easy to read. It is also printed to the same standards as the rest of the text.

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Both Bibles were designed and had their layouts done by Blue Heron Bookcraft in Battleground Washington.

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When we compare the two Bibles there are some big differences in quality. The Korean printed and bound Oxford uses a less opaque paper that tends to wrinkle, while the Cambridge is very smooth.

Here is the Oxford

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Here is the Cambridge

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The print in the Oxford is not as well inked as the Cambridge. The Oxford is a double column paragraph format with very limited footnotes. It is the NRSV translation. Both Bibles are black letter editions.

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The Oxford does have some gold colored and heavily textured papers utilized for the presentation and family records pages. They look nice, but can be a chore to write on contrasted to the typical Cambridge presentation pages.

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The Book of Common Prayer is mostly single column and printed with large 8 pt. font.

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The Apocrypha is printed the same as the Biblical text.

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Neither have maps or helps in the back. The Cambridge has, “Common Prayer” at the top, “Holy Bible” in the middle and, the Cambridge logo at the foot of the spine stamped in gold. The Oxford has, “The Book of Common Prayer” at the top and, “The Holy Bible” underlined and, “Apocrypha” immediately under it in the middle, and, “Oxford” at the bottom of the spine.

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The Cambridge is a bit larger in length and width, but they are about the same thickness.

The Oxford might be a hair thicker. Both are aesthetically pleasing and pleasant to hold, however the Cambridge is the winner in the tactilely pleasing category. The calfsplit leather just is so much better than the shiny pigskin leather of the Oxford. I honestly thought the Oxford was bonded leather when I opened it. The head and foot bands on the Oxford were not properly glued down either. For quality of assembly I would have to give the Cambridge the win. Here is a look at the inside covers of both. You can see that they are both case bound.

Here is the Cambridge.

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Here is the Oxford. It has a gilt line around the inside cover.

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The Cambridge is geared more towards Anglicans and the Oxford is geared more for Episcopalians in my opinion. At least after reading much out of the BCP in each one that is my impression. The Cambridge utilizes the 1662 Book of Common Prayer while the Oxford uses 1979 Book of Common Prayer. If you are looking for an in depth list of what both BCP’s include I’m not going to do that, however I do have pictures of the table on contents pages that have those lists. You can see them on my Flickr page. Click here for the first page of the Cambridge Table of contents. Click here for the second page.  Click here for the first page of the Oxford Table of Contents. Click here for the second page.  The Cambridge is almost twice the price of the Oxford, but in my opinion it is worth it. I also like the KJV more than the NRSV. I am neither Anglican nor Episcopalian so I am not biased one way or another towards one of these Bibles. If you must have an Apocrypha in your volume then you would have to go with the Oxford. Both are sturdy and well made. They should provide years of service… as long as your eyes can take the small text. Make sure to visit the links to the Flickr photo album pages for both Bibles so you can get a good close look at all of the features.

If you are interested in purchasing either one here are some links for you,

Cambridge or Amazon or Christianbook

Oxford or Amazon or Christianbook

You Can’t Sell What’s Not Yours!

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I’m sure you have all read a story, seen a movie, or television show, where the plot revolves around the main character selling his soul to the devil by signing some contract. Usually it is for fame, fortune, power over enemies, or to get the girl. Come to think of it, usually it is a combination of those things. Growing up in America during the 80’s, freedom was the centerpiece of what it meant to be an American. I never felt more free than when I was about 12 years old. I was old enough to go anywhere I wanted, as far as my bike could take me, and young enough to not have the responsibilities of taking care of myself or others. I would ride my bike to, “Black’s Bridge” and play by the river. I would take my BB gun and shoot dragon flies, or whatever else would sit still long enough. My cousin and I would catch snakes and keep them in a 5 gallon bucket, only to dump them in my mom’s bed while she slept. If I had to come up with a time in my life where I felt free, that would be it. If you wanted to be a patriotic little man, you needed freedom.

As I grew I started to feel the bands of oppression tighten around me. I needed a job. I had to pay my bills. I married a woman who had two small sons. I needed a better job. I had to be a good role model. I needed to teach the boys how to be good men. My wife and I had two daughters, so I had to be more tender and help my wife help them. I had to keep my marriage strong. No time for difficulties at work. Appliances wear out and break. Everything costs money. Unexpected surgeries send us into debt. Life starts choking the feeling of freedom away pretty quick.

I found out that the laws were overly restrictive as well.  I still don’t understand how property taxes can be legal.  I also don’t understand the legal requirement to have a concealed permit to carry a firearm.  Apparently we now aren’t free to practice our religion either.  Bake a cake or get shut down.  While babies are being denied their freedom by being aborted.  We really aren’t free in America.

Only when I started thinking spiritually about it did it start to make more sense. As a young man I was Arminian and slightly Pentecostal in my theology. I had no problem with thinking a person could sell their soul to the devil. It was theirs after all. Of course I thought it was wrong to do so, but theoretically, it could happen. I also had the sense that it was impossible, niggling at the recesses of my mind. Later in life, as God worked in my sanctification, He brought me into a fuller understanding of my sinfulness and His holiness. This in conjunction with learning more about soteriology lead me to understand that I am not my own. In fact, no human being owns themselves. We are all created by God for His glory.

Now the premise of selling your soul to the devil just seems ludicrous. You simply can’t sell what you have no rights to. God has the authority.  The problem here is that my pre-conversion soul is already a slave to sin nature, because of the fall. The devil doesn’t have to buy it. It is fallen from the start.  That doesn’t mean the devil owns it.  He is a fallen creature too.

Not to mention, the devil doesn’t have the means to purchase a single soul, nor does he have the authority to purchase one. He is a creature himself. He is under the same authority we are. Theoretically, his only purpose for purchasing a soul would be to rend it from the saving hands of Christ. Since it isn’t possible for God to lose even one of the elect, this is not a concern.

If souls could be bought and sold, we as fallen creatures would make a market out of it for sordid profit, to be sure. Ignoble and greedy, we would make slaves of souls. God in His sovereignty and providence has ensured that won’t happen. We do however; need to be rescued from the slavery that we are in before conversion, the bondage of the soul to sin. God in His sovereignty made man. He made him in full knowledge that he would fall when tempted. He made man, knowing who He would save from sin and who He would not. He made man, knowing that He would curse his progeny for the original sin, with death. All people born after the fall are born as slaves to sin because of the fall. We are all sinners and dead spiritually.

The Holy Spirit makes the elect alive according to the will of the Father, so that we can sense our sin and need. It becomes real to us. In this conviction, the elect seek reconciliation with God. In the newness of life they are driven, compelled, and ravenous, for relief of the condition of condemnation. The knowledge of our own personal sin is the impetus that drives us to the foot of the cross.

The same God who made us, who knew that we would be sinners, also made a way for us to glorify Him according to His sovereign decree. God in the second personage of the Trinity put on flesh at the incarnation, being born of a virgin, by the work of the Holy Spirit, according to the will of the Father, Christ Jesus, our Passover lamb became the vessel for the wrath of God that our sins warrant. He in obedience to the Father suffered the very wrath of God, that we deserve upon the cross, to justify us. The penalty being paid by the one who was innocent, paying the penalty for the guilty who justly deserve it. All of this was planned out from the very beginning.

I hope we can see that it is ludicrous to think for a moment that our souls are our own, and free to sell. The devil is just another creature and your soul is already a slave to sin. Our only hope is to recognize our need for a redeemer. Only God can fathom the depths of our debt. We cannot rightly perceive how sinful we are. He alone can justly account the measure of wrath we deserve and He alone can atone. So don’t delay. If God has convicted you of your sin, repent of it and believe upon Jesus’ work on the cross for your justification. Pray that God will redeem your soul from sin and you will be His for eternity.  Better to belong to God than be able to sell your soul for any worldly gain.

If the LDS are right about who God is, then God and His word are wrong.

If the LDS are right about who God is, then God and His word are wrong.

In the Bible we have doctrines that are expressed by Jesus Himself, The one and only God incarnate, none ever before Him and none after Him anywhere or anytime.  These doctrines are repeated and expounded upon by the Apostles in the Epistles of the New Covenant recorded in the New Testament.  These doctrines are exclusive claims to actual truths.  When someone else confesses a doctrine that asserts something other than what has already been established by the one true, immutable, and infallible God, then our only option is to reject their  assertion as heresy.

Let’s look at some of their doctrines that conflict with Biblical doctrines, and are mutually exclusive in their claims.  Christians claim there is only one true God.  There has never been any other god besides Him. He has always existed in trinity. He has never not existed.  We also claim that if you don’t believe in Him as explained here, as one being in three personages, that you can not be called part of the Church.  Because, you have put your faith in a different god.  Obviously, worshipping a different god makes you not a Christian.

Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormons) do not have one triune God.  They actually have a number of gods approaching infinity.  They choose to worship just one of the gods Joseph Smith imagined for them.  The god they choose to worship, was once a man named Elohim.  He lived on a planet orbiting a star called Kolab.  So their god is an E.T. extra terrestrial, alien from outer space.  Allegedly he was such a good follower of the mormon doctrines that he was promoted to being an exalted man.  He eventually became the god of this solar system and the Earth that we live on.  So the one god that they worship out of the billions of gods they have, was once a created man.  He was born of his father god and goddess mother.  They now call him Heavenly Father and believe he has a body of flesh and bone.  They believe that he had sex with Mary the virgin and that Jesus the spirit child was then embodied in his biological son with Mary.  Here is a quote from the Brigham Young University site,

As the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret” (TPJS, p. 345). Thus, the Father became the Father at some time before “the beginning” as humans know it, by experiencing a mortality similar to that experienced on earth. There has been speculation among some Latter-day Saints on the implications of this doctrine, but nothing has been revealed to the Church about conditions before the “beginning” as mortals know it. The important points of the doctrine for Latter-day Saints are that Gods and humans are the same species of being, but at different stages of development in a divine continuum, and that the heavenly Father and Mother are the heavenly pattern, model, and example of what mortals can become through obedience to the gospel (see Mother in Heaven). Knowing that they are the literal offspring of Heavenly Parents and that they can become like those parents through the gospel of Jesus Christ is a wellspring of religious motivation. With God as the literal Father and with humans having the capacity to become like him, the basic religious questions “Where did I come from?,” “Why am I here?,” and What is my destiny?” are fundamentally answered.

Keep in mind that our LDS friends co-opt many of our words.  They mean something completely different to them.  When we talk of God the Father or Jesus we are talking about a very different God than they are.  They might believe we are talking about the same god, but they have better and more true information than we do.  The gospel to them is not the same things we think of.  Their gospel is a bunch of laws, rules, do’s and don’ts, from their book Doctrine and Covenants.  Our understanding comes from the Biblical definition.  The word, “gospel” means, “good message or news.”  When we think of the gospel of Jesus, we understand it to mean the penal substitutionary atonement wrought by Christ God Himself for the salvation of His sovereignly elected saints to bring glory to His name. In Christianity the work has been done by Jesus.  He paid for our sins.  By repenting and believing in Him, his work is imputed to us.  It is done, done, done.  We do good works because of our new affections and desires born from a regenerated spirit as born again believers.

with this article on only of few of the many differences, I hope it is obvious that the LDS are not Christian.  They are a polytheistic Arian cult, created by the false prophet Joseph Smith.

A Review of Todd Friel’s Book, “Jesus Unmasked: The Truth Will Shock You”

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The title of this book is pretty indicative of the subject matter.  The author succeeds at explaining who Jesus was and is.  He teaches that Christ is the focus of the Bible in its entirety.  He demonstrates how Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies, shadows and types.  All of this is done with simple terms when possible.  When it is not possible Mr. Friel explains the nomenclature for the laymen.

I have to make a small disclaimer here.  I am a big fan of, “Wretched Radio.”  It is a radio show and podcast.  Todd Friel is the host/on-air personality.  I have learned a lot, a lot, a lot, from the show over the years.  My review will be from the perspective of a Reformed Baptist and a fan of the show.  So don’t expect much in the way of negativity.  I honestly agree with all of what is said in the book.  I find it to be Biblically sound and interesting to read.  It is a, “must read” for everybody.  If you’ve just been born again or if you’ve been 50 years into the sanctification process this book will edify you.

In the first chapter the author deals with world views, specifically post-modernism.  This was a great place to start as a philosophy class on epistemology would not be beneficial for the target audience.  This is a short chapter that sets the tone for the rest of the book.  You get a look at the serious subject matter and a look at some of Todd’s humor that makes him such an interesting fellow to listen to.  It is obvious that he has a level of mastery of the subject matter without coming off as an aloof overlord.

The following chapters flesh out some basics of Christian theology in simple terms.  Then he gets down to the bulk of the work, which is highlighting Christ from the beginning of the Bible to the end.  Vary rarely in Christian books of around 200 pages do we get such a complete and profound picture of Jesus.  Most of the books I’ve reviewed in the recent past have been theological fluff, Christian cotton candy, hardly worth reading at all.  You know how you feel after eating junk for a month?  Yep! That’s how most “Christian books” leave me feeling after reading them.  They were time killers with not nutritional value.  I probably would have got more out of them if I’d eaten them.  Well, that is not so of this work.  I would rank it up there with, “The Holiness of God” by R. C. Sproul, or maybe, “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan.

The main way that the author highlights Christ throughout the entire Bible is by expounding on the prophecies, shadows, and types, that Jesus fulfills.  This can be a bit tricky.  I’ve seen some pretty bad attempts that only make the Bible look disjunct.  When done correctly, as in this case, the Bible comes alive.  The harmony of scripture sings to the heart and mind of the believer who sees the richness and majesty of the true faith established once and for all by God.  Being able to see the ark Noah built and understand that it is a look forward to Jesus.  Seeing the rock that sprang forth lifesaving water in the desert for the Israelites, and how Jesus is the better fount.  Seeing the Sabbath, from our perspective, looking back to recognize rest in Christ’s work.  These and many more examples fill the pages of this book.  The gospel is fleshed out fully and explicitly.  You won’t find a list of, “do’s” to check off, and you won’t find some silly, formulaic, “pray this prayer.”  You will understand who Jesus is, what you are, what He has done, and how you should respond.  If you have loved ones who aren’t saved, get them this book.  If you have friends or family who are young in their faith, get them this book.  If you have become a crusty old codger, get yourself this book.  It will blow the carbon out of the old exhaust and get you fired up again.

You can buy this book from the wretched store.

You can pick up a copy at Christianbook.com

You can purchase it from the publisher Newleaf

or you can get it on Amazon in different formats including audio.

The gospel of Jesus

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The gospel of Jesus. We are a sinners who deserve death and hell. He is God incarnate. He is righteous and holy. He deserves all of the majesty of Heaven and our praise. In His longsuffering He endures our hatred of Him and His law. He condescends to save us from the condemnation of hell. He is raised upon a cross, thereupon crucified. He takes our punishment upon Himself, thus satisfying the justice of God. The wrath of God is assuaged by His atoning work. We hear about what He has done for us and either believe it or not. If not, then the flames of hell are waiting for us, and rightly so, for we are fully culpable for our transgressions. If we believe, then repentance is our faith revealed and testimony to the dying world. We hate our sins and turn to Christ our redeemer, who purchased us with His sacrifice upon the cross. He becomes our Lord and Master. Sin no longer rules us. Our minds are being renewed by the reading of His word. Our hearts are transformed into new living hearts with God honoring desires. He sanctifies us as we grow in faith and knowledge of Him. We are born again. Not to live as slaves to sin and death, but to live as bondservants of Christ and holiness. Love Jesus with all of your heart, for He is the Savior!

Luke 9:23-26

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Luke 9:23-26 (NASB) And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Who has crucified their own flesh daily?  Who truly follows Christ?  What does it mean to follow Christ?  We all want to save our lives.  None of us want to die.  To crucify yourself you must take up your cross and follow Jesus all the way to Golgotha.  When you rise in the morning, see the sinful desires of your selfish flesh.  See how they would entice you to do things to appease them?  Wage a violent war against the natural man who is tied to you.  He is dead already if you are saved, but his corpse is always before you.  We fight what he used to revel in.  Put those desires to death.  Crucify your worldly desires and have them supplanted by the new affections of the regenerated heart.  As this occurs, you’ll praise God for the loss of your old life and the gift of your new one in Jesus.  To do His loving will, to carry it out in the world that is perishing, to show grace where it is not merited, to have mercy on those in need, to give to them the words of life, the gospel message of Christ Jesus, the Lord, Master, and Author of our faith, granted to us along with repentance while we were yet sinners, enemies of God, under the condemnation of sin, freed by His grace and imputed righteousness.  Proclaim salvation from sins in Him to all the world.  What good is earthly pleasure on this temporal plain when such a thing as an ageless age exists, where time is not marked?  Our lives are short compared to such an existence.  What is discomfort or tribulation here, even much of it, compared to eternity with God?  Be bold in preaching His word and the gospel of His redemptive work on the cross.  Be bold in the preaching of His resurrection from the dead.

I’m really rotten

I’m really rotten. When I am weary, people can catch a whiff of the corpse that is with me. I can try to perfume my corpse and cover it with ornate raiment, but that stench permeates and exudes forth in my futile efforts to conceal my corruption. It might not be evident to all, but it is ever before me, haunting my conscience with the knowledge of all I’ve done wrong and failed to do good.  Only the continual washing of grace can cleanse the festering corruption. One day that rotten body of death will no longer be with me. I will be glorified in Heaven with God. I will be finally free from sin in all of its forms.  By the obedient loving work of Jesus on the cross and the Holy Spirit in my regeneration in accordance with the Fathers will, I will know what it is to be free from sins corruption for all eternity, an ageless age!  O how I love Jesus!  Praise His name!  The one who saves the hopeless and gives victory over sin!