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

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.

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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

This and That 09-24-16

Why I’m Trying to Preach Shorter Sermons – If the people stop listening at 45 minutes each week, what value is there in going another 15 minutes? If the people aren’t receiving the information, I’m not really making disciples. – Josh Buice

Crush Your Exegesis Paper: 3 Secrets Every Student Should Know – Don’t write like an academic computer writing binary theological code to other academic computers. Writing exegesis papers, like preaching sermons, means sending “truth through personality.” Write like you and your teacher both need to be edified by the Bible, because you do. – Mark L. Ward, Jr.

Five Categorical Lies about Pastors – Lie #3: “Megachurch pastors don’t care about the members.” Pastors of large churches and megachurches (over 2,000 in average worship attendance) are getting the brunt of these criticisms. The assumption is that large is bad and unloving. Here is the reality. A church of over 150 in attendance is a large church compared to most of the 350,000 churches in America. And even the pastor of a church of 150 cannot give ongoing personal attention to every member. Most large church and megachurch pastors do really love their flock.