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This and That 07-13-13

Spurgeon Quotes on Smoking – I wish to say that I’m not ashamed of anything whatever that I do, and I don’t feel that smoking makes me ashamed, and therefore I mean to smoke to the glory of God. – Charles Spurgeon

When Pastors Experience Depression – Ministers often feel shame and failure when they go through bouts of depression. And their reticence to tell anyone about their plights has exacerbated the problem. – Thom Rainer

Five Reasons to Embrace Unconditional Election – When you offer Christ freely to all unbelievers, suppose one says, “I have sinned too terribly. God could never choose to save me.” The most ultimate despair-destroying thing you can say is this: Do you realize that God chose before the foundation of the world whom he will save? And he did it based on absolutely nothing in you. Before you were born or had done anything good or bad, God chose whether to save you or not… Therefore, you dare not get in God’s face and tell him what qualifications you lack in order to be chosen. There were no qualifications for being chosen. “What then should I do?” he asks. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). That’s how you begin to “confirm your calling and election” (2 Peter 1:10). If you will embrace the Savior, you will confirm that you are elect, and you will be saved. – John Piper

Study:  Republicans are Tired of Two Evils’ Argument – The Frontier Lab study includes both conservative and moderate Republicans, and identified four key events that prompted individuals to “disaffiliate” from the party. One was the rejection of the “lesser of two evils” argument–the argument that voters had to support a bad Republican because the Democratic candidate would invariably be worse. Both conservatives and moderates are tired of the “two evils” argument, Sorock said. – Joel B. Pollak

Why (Some) Reformed People Are Such Jerks – Let’s admit, however, that sometimes, upon first becoming Reformed, some folk become jerks. Sometimes this phase is temporary. Mike Horton calls this the “cage phase,” when a new convert to Reformed Christianity needs to be put in a cage until he matures. Some, when they first discover “the doctrines of grace” (code for unconditional predestination and justification by grace alone, through faith alone) can actually become angry that they’ve been denied these truths for so long. It’s as if one grew up in England (pay attention Carl) and suddenly discovers that food can be pleasant, that just a few miles to the southeast there is a people of strange tongues and marvelous food beyond one’s wildest dreams! Gaining this knowledge can produce genuine frustration. Having tasted French food, our Englishman is beside himself. It’s all he can talk about. It’s all he wants to read about. It’s all he cooks. The first time his Mum brings out the usual Thursday night dinner, he rages at her, but she doesn’t know any better. She’s never been to France and wouldn’t know pain au chocolate if it hit her on the head. – R. Scott Clark

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