This and That – 10-22-16

Should Christians Feel Guilty All the Time? – Christians tend to motivate each other by guilt rather than grace. Instead of urging our fellow believers to be who they are in Christ, we command them to do more for Christ (see Rom. 6:5-14). So we see Christlikeness as something we are royally screwing up, when we really should see it as something we already possess but need to grow into. – Kevin DeYoung

20 Hungry Mongrels – We have gotten down to this atrocious choice because we have been following the “lesser of two evils” strategy for more than a generation. But when we see how the road we are on is taking us very bad places, our response ought to be to turn around. If we are under judgment, then the need of the hour is repentance. That means doing something different. Repentance is inconsistent with doing the same thing over again, only this time at the lowest levels ever. – Douglas Wilson

Gospel Points – The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates, Part 1


This week on Gospel Points we will be talking about civil disobedience.  When is it ok to disobey the civil authority God has placed in your life?  Our guest is Pastor Matt Trewella of Mercy Seat Christian Church in Milwaukee.  He is also the founder of Missionaries to the Pre-Born and the author of the book, the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates, the book at the center of our discussion.

Listen to the streaming audio on podomatic or download the mp3.

Other listening options:

Sound Cloud
RSS Feed

Related Links:

The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates website

The Winner of the Third Presidential Debate

Clearly, this was the most substantive of the three presidential debate.  Chris Wallace was clearly in control and made for a much better discussion of policy.  The very first question (which Hillary never answered) asked about Supreme Court justices and how constitutional interpretative philosophy.  That was the best first question of any debate I’ve ever seen.  Kudos, Mr. Wallace – you’ve been the best moderator of a presidential debate this season.

Who was the winner?  As a #neverTrump guy, it pains me to say it but I think Trump won.  He did what he had to do, which was sure up his base.  Did he change any minds?  I think he gave conservatives who have been abandoning him a reason to come back.  He was throwing red meat to evangelical voters who have serious doubts about the guy.

Overall, we saw a different Donald Trump last night.  He seemed much more informed and prepared.  The first 20 minutes were almost flawless.  He was even patient, at times.  But, of course, he was still slinging mud and hurling insults like a little child.  But, I will give him credit for much needed and appreciated improvement.

My number one issue has always been abortion.  I appreciated Trump’s stance.  Was he sincere?  I have no idea.  But, he stuck to his guns when it would have been easy to waiver.  He threw the horrors of partial-birth abortion in her face and made her own this disgusting, vile butchering of human lives already born!  Was it the best defense of pro-life values?  No.  But, it was the strongest stance I’ve seen the Donald take.  I’m going to give him credit for that.

For many people, Trump disqualified himself for not vowing to accept the results of the election if he losses.  Now, these charges of a rigged election are simply ridiculous.    The media is behind this, really?  The guy is delusional (thus my #neverTrump stance).  But, why should the guy vow to accept an election result no matter what?  There could be legitimate issues that night (think 2000 election).  My problem is not him refusing to take a vow but the reason he would not.

Ok, here are my live tweets starting from bottom to top (@kevinjthompson):

Hillary is hitting this rigged election question out of the park.  #debatenight

Donald was actually doing well until he puts on the tinfoil hat and starts talking rigged election.  #debatenight

Trump pivots to Hillary’s e-mail and thus no one will push Hillary to answer about her husband’s philandering.They’ve moved on #debatenight

Ok,  the wheels are now coming off for  Trump.  He was incoherent trying to defend himself against groping allegations #debatenight

kevinjthompson ‏@kevinjthompson  9h9 hours ago

If he can’t mention wiki-leaks, she can’t mention Trump’s illegally leaked tax returns. #debatenight

“Because he wants a puppet.” – Hillary’s best line so far, and she’s rattling Donald.  #debatenight

I’m actuality rooting for Trump, this is a different candidate tonight.   #debatenight

Would love to hear Trump take a firm pro-life stance here.  #debatenight

Trump wants justices that will interpret the Constitution by original intent.  He knocked that out of the park.   #debatenight

That is the best first question of any debate I’ve ever watched.  Hillary isn’t answering it.  #debatenight

This may be the only time Chris Wallace appears on MSNBC. #debatenight

So Trump has his own fake news coverage of the debate on Facebook live.  Maybe the only way he’ll get positive coverage. Sounds like rigging

Book Review – The New Believer’s Guide to the Christian Life

lifeTitle: The New Believer’s Guide to the Christian Life
Author: Alex Early
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publishing Year: 2016
Pages: 172
My Rating: 5 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)

For quite some time I have been searching for a good resource to use with young or new believers.  In my position as a Christian school teacher, I do a lot mentoring and discipleship with young people.  There have been several booklets and materials I’ve used, but nothing I was completely happy with.  Well, the search is over.

The New Believer’s Guide to the Christian Life is an easy-to-read walk through the basics of Christianity.  This is far more than a nuts-and-bolts approach to basic aspects of the faith such as prayer, church and baptism.  Instead this book gives a wholistic view of the faith grounded in sound theology.  The very first chapter explains what it means to now have your identity wrapped up in Christ and how that new identity changes everything.  This is followed by a great look at what it means to be a true child of the King and loved by God.  Right away I was captivated with this work.

The book also escapes a works-based sanctification that merely gives the reader a list of tasks that Christians are expected to accomplish.  This book points you to Christ and His cross as the basis for obedience and practice.  It is thoroughly God-centered.  Topics such as prayer, baptism, church membership, Christian fellowship and maturity are all covered from this perspective.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this book as a tool to use in discipline young believers.  As I mentioned before, the book is easy-to-read and the questions at the end of each chapter are good conversation starters.  Also helpful is the glossary of common Christian terms in the back, terms that could be confusing to those who have not grown up in a Christian culture.

Purchase the book for yourself here.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

Gospel Points – The Struggles of Depression, Part 2


On this week’s episode of Gospel Points we finish up our look at Christians and depression with our final segment with Pastor Jim Oakley. Last week Jim walked through his personal journey and in this segment he takes us through the Scriptures for encouragement and strength.

Listen to the streaming audio on podomatic or download the mp3.

Other listening options:

Sound Cloud
RSS Feed

Related Links:

Pastor Jim’s Blog

Who Won the Second Presidential Debate?

Who one tonight’s debate – It’s hard to say.  Really, the answer is no one.  This is the worst presidential debate I’ve seen in my lifetime.  Accusation after accusation, pettiness upon pettiness.  One insult right after another.  Questions ignored, everyone interrupted and moderators all over the place.  No one came out of this looking good.

I will make this concession, Trump did much better than I thought he would.  This could have been the nail in his political coffin, but his performance tonight does allow him to live and fight another day.  He played straight to his base, offering them red meat which should serve to energize them once again.  It is clear, Trump is not going anywhere.

But, let me again repeat, his comments caught on tape and referenced in the the first few questions in the debate are reprehensible.  This is not locker room banter – these are the words of a predator forcing himself upon non-consenting women.  This is criminal, wicked and inexcusable.  The very fact that he continues to call it simple locker room banter shows his insensitivity and lack of remorse.  A truly remorseful person would take responsibility and call it what it is.  Instead Trump tries to justify his actions by redirecting attention to someone else.  Wicked, purely wicked.  This “man” should never be president and should drop out of the race.

Here are my live-tweets from the night, starting from the bottom and going right on up…

Hillary turns the question into a chance to talk about herself. Trump compliments her the entire time. Classiest thing he said all night.

Best question all night – name something you respect about the other candidate. What can Trump say about the Devil? #debate

That man in the red who asked about energy, looks like an snl character just waiting to happen. #debate

Pro-lifers, Trump didn’t say anything about abortion in term sof the Supreme Court. #debate

So there goes Mike Pence under the bus #Debates2016

Here’s my proposal for a debate rule – no candidate can mention another candidate unless that candidate was mentioned in the q #Debates2016

Someone ask Hillary, define “fair share.” Who decides this and what calculation is used to come to this decision? #Debates2016

How is being rude to the moderators going to help you? #Debates2016

So the answer is no, Donald. You are not for a ban. You were wrong, just say it. #Debates2016

I will say that’s the best policy response I’ve ever heard Trump give #Obamacare #Debates2016

“He clarified what he meant and its totally clear.” Hillary on Bill’s Obamacare remarks. What? #debate

In a presidential debate, Trump refers to his opponent as the devil. #debate

Blaming the ref is a sign of your team’s weakness, just like Trump blaming the moderator #debate

What’s going on right now is the worst presidential debate you will see in your lifetime. #debate

He’s not sorry at all! Locker room talk? This man deserves to lose. #debate

The yuggest debate of Trump’s life. #debate

Free E-Book Alert – Where Only God Could Lead: The Life Story of Don Sisk

The life story of Dr. Don Sisk reads something like a novel with surprises at every turn. In truth, it is simply the story of walking by faith. It is a record of the faithfulness of God in a surrendered life.

Even in hindsight, it’s difficult to wrap your mind around the magnitude of what God has allowed Don Sisk to accomplish in six decades of ministry. From a tiny, rural town to a worldwide ministry with eternal impact, the Lord has led Don and Virginia Sisk step by step on paths of faith.

These pages speak to the divine work of God—in a life and through a life. They speak to the providence of God to lead a man from the mountains of Kentucky, to the orient, to travel the globe, and to the backside of the desert—and to bless him and make him a blessing every step of the way. They speak to the ways of God in blessing a husband and a wife who are faithful to each other through over sixty years of marriage, faithful to their family, and faithful to their God.

In short, these pages tell a record of God’s grace developed in and channeled through a man yielded to follow wherever God leads.

Download the book here.

Let me give a quick, embarrassing story about Dr. Sisk.  I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Sisk preach several times while in college.  He is a man I respected.  I believe somewhere at some time he signed my Bible.  But, I had never really “met” the man, yet.

After college, my friend Joe Marshall has completed his missionary training with Baptist International Mission Inc. (BIMI).  He asked me to attend the ceremony and then help him move his stuff up from Tennessee to Massachusetts.  I was happy to do it, and I was excited about the chance to see Dr. Sisk at the BIMI headquarters.

Well, on the flight down, things got a little bumpy.  I brought very little clothing and was dressed up in shirt and tie for the event as I would be taken there right from the airport and then heading back home that night.  Sure enough, the woman sitting next to me was drinking orange juice and spilled the entire thing all over me.  I had not chance to change and nothing to chance into.

So, I had to show up with orange juice stains all over my pants.  I did get the chance to speak with Dr. Sisk for a few minutes.  I hid behind a folding chair the entire time trying to hide the mess.  Hopefully he never noticed, but I’m pretty sure my face gave away my embarrassment.