Sunday, January 31, 2016

The number three

In the Predestinarian forum awhile back Ralph Dale made some interesting points about the number three as found in the Scriptures, including pointing out the following examples: 

  • Peter denied the Lord three times (Matt. 26:34). 
  • The Lord asked Peter three times "Lovest thou me" (John 21:15-17). 
  • Jesus in Gethsemane prayed to the Father three times (Matt. 26:44). 
  • There was darkness over all the land from the sixth hour until the ninth hour (three hours) when Jesus was crucified (Matt.27:45). 
  • It was after three days that Jesus was found by His parents in the temple (Luke 2:46). 
  • The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid three measures of meal (Matt. 13: 33). 
  • Jesus was raised up on the third day (Acts 10:40). 
  • It was on the third day that Abraham offered up Isaac and received him from the dead in a figure (Gen 22:4, Heb. 11: 19). 
  • Paul besought the Lord thrice that his thorn in the flesh might depart from him (2 Cor. 12:3). 
  • Cornelius sent three men to Joppa to find Peter (Acts 10:7). 
  • The vessel from heaven was lowered to Peter three times, three times the Lord said to him "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common" (Acts 10:15). 
  • Elijah stretched himself upon the widow's dead child three times (1 Kings 17:21). 
  • Moses was hid three months by his mother (Exodus 2:2). 
  • There was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days (Exodus 10 22). 
  • God told Moses to say unto the king of Egypt to let the children of Israel go three days' journey into the wilderness to sacrifice unto the Lord their God (Exodus 3:18). 
  • "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John 5:7). 
  • "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one" (1 John 5:8). 
  • "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" ( 1 Cor. 13 :13). 

This is a very useful and helpful list that I wanted to share with you. 

After brother Ralph posted his list, Hoyt Sparks also made a great observation about the "trinity" of the old man: "These three are: 1. ME 2. MYSELF and 3 I." !

Saturday, January 30, 2016

FBI Probes, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Philpot Pearl

"The Lord Jesus Christ, who lives at God's right hand, has to send down supplies of his grace continually to keep your soul alive unto himself. Without this life being kept up and maintained by these continual supplies of his grace, you cannot pray, or read, or hear the word, or meditate with any feeling or profit. You cannot love the Lord and his blessed ways; you cannot submit to his righteous dealings; or hear the rod and him who appointed it. You may approach his throne, but your heart is cold, clouded, and unfeeling; your spirit sinks under the weight and burden of the trials and difficulties that are spread in your path; nor are you able to do anything that satisfies yourself, or that you think can satisfy God. By these painful but profitable lessons, you are experimentally taught that you want the life of Christ as well as the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ as much as the crucifixion of Christ; Christ as an ever-living, ever-gracious, ever-glorious Mediator, to send down supplies of his love and power into your soul, as much as you needed him to die upon the cross for your redemption." -- J. C. Philpot

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Is Music Worship, and other music links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

"Singing in a choir is cheaper than therapy, healthier than drinking, and more fun than working out." -- copied

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pardon mine iniquity

“Pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.” Ps. 25. 11 C.M.

1. From pois’nous errors, pleasing cheats, 
And gilded baits of sin, 
Which, swallow’d as delicious meats, 
Infect and rot within. 

2. Lord, pardon a backslider base, 
Returning from the dead; 
Asham’d to shew his shameful face, 
Or lift his guilty head. 

3. Ah! what a fool have I been made! 
Or rather made myself! 
That mariner’s mad part I play’d, 
That sees, yet strikes the shelf. 

4. How weak must be this wicked heart; 
Which, boasting much to know, 
Made light of all thy bitter smart 
And wanton’d with thy woe! 

5. Monstrous ingratitude, I own, 
Well worthy wrath divine! 
Can blood such horrid crimes atone? 
Yes, blood so rich as thine. 

6. Then, since thy mercy makes me melt, 
My baseness I deplore. 
Regard the grief and shame I’ve felt,– 
And daily make them more. 

Hymn by Joseph Hart

Monday, January 25, 2016

Book reviews and such

The posting of book reviews does not constitute endorsement of the books or book reviews that are linked.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The choir of saints forevermore

Since I am coming to that holy room, 
Where, with thy quire of Saints for evermore, 
I shall be made thy Music; as I come
I tune the instrument here at the door, 
And what I must do then, think here before. 

- John Donne, from An Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness

Saturday, January 23, 2016

God gets an A

Professor William Lyon Phelps asked his students to discuss the "sprung rhythm" technique of the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins'. One student handed in his exam thusly, "Only God knows the answer to your question. Merry Christmas." The professor returned the paper after Christmas with the note, "Happy New Year. God gets an A. You get an F."

Friday, January 22, 2016

A plea, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Debating and preaching

"We are fully persuaded that a week’s debating is worth a year’s preaching." -- Alexander Campbell

"Men through debating God will not know God in salvation, for that knowledge comes through preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ." -- Daniel Parks 

"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." -- God, quoted by Paul, an apostle (1 Corinthians 1:21)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Approaching Anniversary

The 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision approaches on January 22, 2016 (not a lot of original material below; a big tip of the hat for ideas expressed by others).

“Thou shalt not kill”
The question is not “Does the Bible expressly forbid abortion?” but rather “Does the Bible treat the unborn as human persons?”

The Bible condemns murder (the taking of human life without justification).

  • God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)
  • [Genesis 9:6; Exodus 23:7; Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17; Proverbs 6:16-17; Matthew 5:21]
The Bible affirms the humanity of the unborn child.

  • Use of the same word to describe unborn and born.
  • Cf. Luke 1:41,44 with Luke 2:12,16. Gr. brephos is commonly used to describe infants and older children: Luke 18:15, Acts 7:19, 1 Peter 2:2.
  • Esau and Jacob called children in the womb, “the children struggled together within her” [Rebekah’s womb] (Genesis 25:21-22; Romans 9:10-11)
  • Cf. Job 3:3, at conception called a child: Francis Beckwith says, “This passage connects the individual born with the individual conceived.”
  • Cf. also Job 31:15; Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 22:10; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 49:1,5
  • Purpose before birth: Judges 13:7; Galatians 1:15
  • Children are a gift from God: Psalm 127:3-5, 113:9, Gen. 17:6, 33:5; See also Gen. 48:16
If the Bible establishes the humanity of the unborn child, then abortion cannot be morally permissible.

We have lost the awe of the belief in children as God’s precious gift. Rampant sexual immorality conspires against marriage and the family, where children are more likely to be wanted. “When life is disregarded in its beginning, it is also attacked at its end.” May we spend time on this anniversary in prayer.

* Last year I read a blog post that addressed ten myths about abortion. The first “myth” was “Abortion is dangerous.” That would be laughable were it not so serious a topic. Successful abortions result in the death of 100% of the children aborted. I’d say that is pretty dangerous.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff

The Bible: 

This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. 

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's character. Here is paradise restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth. It is a paradise of glory.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

God's trains, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources.

"God's trains never keep each other waiting." -- J. D. Douglas

"My heart told me there is but one love." -- Lacordaire

"God is more present to all things He made, than anything unto itself can be." -- copied

"Recovery of the truth that what we do reflects who we are is vital, if Christian witness is to have any integrity today." -- Michael B. Thompson

"Be careful what you do with the best you have." -- Oswald Chambers

"Sweet is the harp of prophecy..." -- William Cowper

"Life is like riding a bicycle. You don't fall off unless you stop pedaling." -- copied

"When you turn on a light in the barn at night, the birds start to sing and the rats run for cover." -- said by J. Vernon McGee, Lester Roloff and other preachers (original source unknown)

"We once considered the center of evil as the gangsters of Chicago, Al Capone and his bunch. These have mostly moved to Washington, DC, and we now call them politicians." -- Roland Muckleroy

"As we taste that he is gracious, and feed upon him as the bread of life, there is a growth into him." -- J. C. Philpot

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Quick quote

"In the New Testament there is no contradiction between faith and obedience. Between faith and law-works, yes; between law and grace, yes; but between faith and obedience, not at all. The Bible recognizes no faith that does not lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from faith." -- A. W. Tozer in Paths to Power, p. 24

Friday, January 15, 2016

An Apologia, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Return Home.

Hallelujah Meter (

1 Safe Home, safe Home in port!
--Rent cordage, shattered deck,
Torn sails, provisions short,
And only not a wreck:
But oh! the joy upon the shore
To tell our voyage perils o’er!

2 The prize, the prize secure!
The athlete nearly fell;
Bare all he could endure,
And bare not always well:
But he may smile at troubles gone
Who sets the victor-garland on!

3 No more the foe can harm
No more of leaguered camp,
And cry of night-alarm,
And need of ready lamp:
And yet how nearly he had failed,—
How nearly had that foe prevailed!

4 The lamb is in the fold
In perfect safety penned:
The lion once had hold,
And thought to make an end:
But One came by with Wounded Side,
And for the sheep the Shepherd died.

5 The exile is at Home!
--O nights and days of tears,
O longings not to roam,
O sins and doubts and fears,--
What matter now (when so men say)?
The King has wiped those tears away!

6 O happy, happy Bride!
Thy widowed hours are past,
The Bridegroom at thy side,
Thou all His own at last!
The sorrows of thy former cup
In full fruition swallowed up!

--Original Latin by Joseph of the Studium; Translated by J. M. Neale (1862)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Constitutional Cruz control *

Laurence H. Tribe, constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School, writes an interesting piece about his former student and presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. In it, his surmises that under Ted Cruz’s own logic, he’s ineligible for the White House. I think he makes a valid point, but while cruising around looking for trouble he might perhaps drink a little of his own tonic. The rich irony extends to not only Cruz's position, but Tribe's as well. Tribe "believes that the Constitution’s meaning evolves with the perceived needs of the time and longstanding practice." Surely he should not object to a little evolution in Cruz's constitutional interpretations. Ultimately, this is just one more political hack piece taking to task of someone whose politics one doesn't like. 

Take the following link to read what Thomas Sowell says about Messing With the Constitution.

* Titled "Constitutional Cruz control" when I first read it Tuesday morning

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

18 key events and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Friday, January 08, 2016

10 discoveries, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Author of the Letter of Hebrews

Compiled thoughts of others:

"The general consensus among Christians, until about the 1800’s, was that Paul wrote Hebrews." -- Fred Butler

"The Apostle Peter said Paul wrote Hebrews, 2 Pet. 3:15. The 'you' of whom this verse speaks is to the Hebrew believers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia (1 Pet. 1:1). James and John also wrote their epistles to these Hebrew believers (James 1:1; Gal. 2:7-9). Since Peter said Paul had written to these same people, his epistle to them would have had to have been Hebrews, since all his other epistles were written to Gentile churches or individual preachers." -- Royce Smith

"Grace be with you all. Amen." (Hebrews 13:25) The concluding words of this epistle are similar to the concluding words of all fo Paul's epistles. Compare with Romans 15:33, 16:27; 1 Corinthians 16:24; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 6:18; Ephesians 6:24; Philippians 4:23; Colossians 4:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:18; 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 4:22; Titus 3:15 and Philemon 25. If one says this is a typical way of ending a first century religious epistle, compare the non-Pauline epistles and see that overall they are not as similar to Hebrews in concluding as are the Pauline epistles. Paul wrote that he always gives this salutation [aspasmos]. This or something similar is found at the end of every one of the other of Paul's thirteen epistles.

Paul is the only apostle to mention Timothy in any letter (Cf. Hebrews 13:23). As for the alleged differences in style, a different audience accounts for the difference in the manner of teaching and the style of writing. There is a great difference is style of writing in some books whose authors are not disputed -- such as Leviticus and Deuteronomy, or the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation.

"Other indicators of Pauline authorship include his usage of Habakkuk 2:4. It is quoted three times in the New Testament: Romans 1:17, Galatinas 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38. This quotation fits with Paul’s great emphasis on faith (Romans 3:26-30, 4:3-5, 5:1; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9, et. al. cf. Hebrews 4:2, 6:1, 12, 10:22, 38-39, 11:1-9, 11, 13, 17, 20-24, 27-31, 33, 39, 12:2, 13:7). Paul exalted Christ over all created beings (Ephesians 1:10, 20, 4:10; Philippians 2:9-10; Colossians 1:14-21; 2 Thessalonians 1:7 cf. Hebrews 1:1-14, 4:14, 7:26, 8:1). Other themes expounded in Hebrews are our heavenly calling (1 Corinthians 15:49; 2 Corinthians 5:1-2; Ephesians 1:3, 2:6; Philippians 3:20; 2 Timothy 4:18 cf. Hebrews 3:1, 11:16, 12:22), and the temporary nature of the Mosaic Law (2 Corinthians 3:16-18; Galatians 3:19-26 cf. Hebrews 7:18-19, 8:3-10, 13). Lastly, we find such expressions as “but now” (νυν[ὶ] δὲ) throughout Paul’s writings and in Hebrews (Hebrews 2:8, 8:6, 9:26, 11:16, 12:26)." -- Don Samdahl

"The letter being anonymous, we cannot know with infallible, inerrant certainty who the author is. That does not mean, however, that we cannot reach a well-informed opinion with a goodly degree of certainty." -- W. Gary Crampton

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Letter to dog gets the job done

Evangelical Christians are the world's worst about meeting deadlines. I would occasionally use a Roman Catholic writer for an article that fit his abilities well. I would also use women as writers. But evangelical men were the world's worst at meeting deadlines. But I found the secret. If they were long overdue I would write to their wife. It never failed. No wife ever let me down. It seems they were very happy to enter into any conspiracy against their lawful spouse. The only time I ran into trouble was with one bachelor. He was notorious for not meeting deadlines and not submitting things at all. But I was on name terms with his dog. His dog was my friend, a German Shepherd. So I wrote to his dog. The man's name was Reynolds and his dog's name predictably was Joseph. So I got a huge post card and wrote on it with very large letters "To Joseph Reynolds, Esquire." I said to the dog, "Please remind your master that he is four months overdue." This guy sent the material the next week.
The enlightening story above comes from an interview with J. D. Douglas in the Reformation & Revival Journal (Volume 12, No 4, Fall 2003, pp. 141-168) James Dixon Douglas (1922-2003) was a long time editor, for example, editor of Christianity Today from 1961 to 1983, and chief editor overseeing The New Bible Dictionary. Of him, David F. Wright said at his memorial service that he was "strikingly proud of his lowly origins. These years left him with not only an addiction to fish and chips but also an aversion from high-falutin, from self-important conceit and empty show. He became a master at puncturing pretentiousness, at pricking inflated balloons, often playfully but never cruelly."

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Heavenly Choir

"And they sung as it were a new song before the throne..." Revelation 14:3

1 What blissful harmonies above
In vocal thunders swell: 
The perfecting of joy and love 
What raptured legions tell! 

2 The glorious apostolic band,— 
Do they in triumph sing? 
Do prophets from the Holy Land 
Their inspiration bring? 

3 Or from the noble army breaks 
The deep, adoring strain, 
Who won their way from fiery stakes, 
And were for conscience slain? — 

4 Is it the patriarchal race 
That breathe the sacred song?
Or to the heirs of gospel grace 
Do the full choirs belong? 

5 For each, for all the Word is found 
Almighty to atone, 
All, all in shining hosts surround 
The rainbow-cinctured throne. 

6 Peoples, and languages, and tongues, 
The choral anthem raise; 
To every voice such speech belongs,
The work of heavenly praise.

--Mrs. Josiah Conder (nee Joan Elisabeth Thomas)

Monday, January 04, 2016

A Different Note, and other music links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Post-Christmas reading

A couple of post-Christmas posts...

The first is "A brief history lesson that may surprise you." It tells Why Christmas on is Dec. 25. For example, "In the Julian calendar the twenty-fifth of December was reckoned the winter solstice, and it was regarded as the Nativity of the Sun, because the day begins to lengthen and the power of the sun to increase from that turning-point of the year."

The second is an article purporting to tell Why the Christian Virgin Birth Is Seriously Messed Up. It reveals how "messed-up" some people are in the opposition to the Virgin Birth, claiming that "the birth story of baby Jesus" sends a dark and harmful message to young girls -- that "Girls who have sex are soiled." While this could be the strange idea of some odd few, it is not the message of Christianity and the Bible. The Virgin Birth is a miraculous sign and required not because sex is bad, but because the father of Jesus is not a man but God. This article is a strawman (or perhaps, more appropriately, a strawwoman).

Friday, January 01, 2016

Emancipation Proclamation

152 Years Ago Today

The Emancipation Proclamation -- "President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863..."

"...all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free..."

Some interesting facts about the Emancipation Proclamation

  • Its application was to the states that had seceded from the Union, and did not address slavery within the United States. 
  • It exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Union control. (It specifically named ten states and then excluded certain counties in them -- the counties that were under Union control.)
  • Its promised freedom was based upon military victory.
  • It was designed to make the abolition of slavery the goal of the war between the Union and the Confederacy
  • It announced that black men would be accepted into the army of the United States.