Gospel Points – Biblical Authority, Part 1

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This week on the Gospel Points Podcast we are chatting with Pastor Caleb Kolstad of the First Baptist Church of Freeport, IL.  The issue at hand is the importance of Biblical authority.  In an age where every authority is questioned, the authority and priority of God’s Word is especially under attack.  In this first segment, Pastor Caleb defines for us just what Biblical authority is and how even some within the church may be tempted to abandon it in favor of something else.  We also discuss the difference between a Reformed and Catholic understanding of this doctrine.  Read Pastor Kolstad’s blog here – http://preacherboy316pt2.blogspot.com  Post Tenebras Lux

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Free E-Book Alert – What Is Biblical Theology? by James M. Hamilton Jr.

How Do You Read the Bible?

The Bible recounts a single story—one that began at creation, encompasses our lives today, and will continue till Christ’s return and beyond. In What Is Biblical Theology?, Jim Hamilton introduces us to this narrative, helping us understand the worldview of the biblical writers so that we can read the Old and New Testaments as those authors intended. Tracing the key patterns, symbols, and themes that bind the Bible together, this book will help you understand Scripture’s unified message and find your place in the great story of redemption.

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Gospel Points – The Pastor and His Health

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On this episode of Gospel Points we talk about a very unpopular topic – the pastor and his health.  Often times we joke about church potlucks and eating being a crucial aspect of fellowship, but all of this ignores the reality that health is an important issue and gluttony is an actual sin. It also ignores that fact that a pastor’s health does have an impact on his ministry.  It is not something we enjoy talking about, especially overweight people like me! To talk about this Pastor Brian McLaughlin (Pastor of the Fairview Baptist Church in Decatur, AL) joins us once again.  Brian shares his story of his weight loss and gain along with the health struggles that go along with it.  We also chat about how the church can help promote good health.  Learn more of Brian’s passion at www.teamliberate.net.

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Free E-Book Alert – A Peculiar Glory by John Piper

full_a-peculiar-gloryThe glory of God is shining through the Bible.

God has provided a way for all people, not just scholars, to know that the Bible is the word of God. John Piper has devoted his life to showing us that the glory of God is the happiness of the soul. Now, his burden in this book is to demonstrate that this same glory is the certainty of the mind.

God’s peculiar glory shines through his word. The Spirit of God enlightens the eyes of our heart. And in one self-authenticating sight, our mind is sure, and our heart is satisfied. Justified certainty and solid joy meet in the peculiar glory of God.

Download the pdf  free here.

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Who I Would Vote for in the Wisconsin Primary

Even though I discovered this morning I am still an active, registered voter in Wisconsin – being a resident of Illinois, it’s probably better than I not actually vote.  (One a side note, if it were not for voter ID in WI, I would be able to get away with voting in both states)  So, instead I’ll share these endorsements with all my friends to the north.

11796246_10209237653888799_5791454006631748331_nPresident:  Ted Cruz.  Ted is solid on abortion and promises to 1161repeal every word of Obamacare.  That right there is enough to get my vote.  But, the more compelling reason to Cruz to victory is that the senator is our best chance at beating Donald Trump.  I went to go see John Kasich this past Saturday.  I didn’t find him compelling or in any way impressive.  He dodged my comments about abortion altogether and that combined with how he implemented Obamacare in Ohio is enough reason to chose Cruz.  Besides, Kasich has no mathematical chance to win the nomination and there’s doubt whether his name can even be considered in a brokered convention.

Supreme Court:  Rebecca Bradley. In my mind,  Joanne Kloppenburg burnt a lot of bridges in her previous bid for the court.  She came off as smug and petty during the recounts.  Though I must say, she was a guest in my classroom back that previous time.  That came only after me begging and pleading with her campaign manager who clearly didn’t trust me.  Yet, I will give her credit for coming despite all that and was very respectful to my students.  More important than any of this is that Rebecca Bradley is an originalist who identifies with the late Justice Scalia, dedicated to not legislating from the bench.

Beloit School Board – Shelly Cronin and Pam Charles.  I’ve known Shelly Cronin for a number of years now.  She served on the school board where I teach (Rock County Christian) and I can testify she is a loving parent concerned about the education of her children.  She is intelligent, enthusiastic, innovative and easy to work with.  She is exactly the type of person Beloit needs on their board.  Pam Charles is a clear conservative who also is deeply concerned with the well-being of students in Beloit.  She has a passion for her community and wants to see Beloit at its best.  She’s experienced and worthy of your vote.

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Book Review – The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross

Title:  The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross61nvqavaetl-_sx422_bo1204203200_
Author: Carl Laferton and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri
Publisher: The Good Book for Children
Publishing Year: 2016
Pages: 22
My Rating: 5 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)

I have never actually reviewed a children’s book before, but since adopting two children, suddenly the genre has become all the more important to me.  Thus far I have read several Christian books to my kids.  Some of them have been bad, and some very bad.  Watered-down theology and dreadful moralism seem to characterize much of what is out there.  Happily I can report there still several good resources out there for you, Christian parents.  A great example would be The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross by Carl Laferton and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri.

The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross is basic, short Biblical theology geared toward young children but captivating enough for older children as well.  I loved the way my four year was fascinated with the illustrations and even keep pace with the story itself.  My eight year old was engaged with the details of the Temple and the curtain.  It was a great learning tool, especially helpful right before Easter.

As I stated, it is basic, short Biblical theology.  The book perfectly brings down the concept of creation, fall redemption to a level children can understand.  Laferton begins in the Garden with a perfect creation where, “There was nothing bad, ever.  There was no one sad, ever.”  Yet, sin came in and destroyed all of this.  Now things were bad and people were sad.  From that scene we are taken into the Temple where God Himself dwelt, but separated from man by a large curtain.  Yet, God would become a man and die for our sins.  The curtain separating man and God would be torn in two thus beginning God’s redemption of this world leading us to an eternal kingdom where “There was nothing bad, ever.  There was no one sad, ever.”  God’s creation will be restored and our relationship with Him forever settled.

The book is a great read and a great conversation starter with your children.  It is the gospel clear and simple.  My kids loved and so will yours.

Purchase the book here.

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

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