“I find television very educational. Every time someone turns it on, I go in the other room and read a book.” — Groucho Marx
“The cold water of persecution is often thrown on the church’s face to fetch her to herself when she is in a swoon of indolence or pride.” — C. H. Spurgeon
“Non-Christian investigators of nature are as successful as they are because they work with stolen capital.” — Cornelius Van Til
“True education is not giving in the answer, it’s in showing them how to find it.” — Kelly Crawford
“Thanks, modest girls. Appreciated by a male whose time studying the ground is proportional to each degree of rising temperature.” — Unknown
“Be as careful of the books you read as of the company you keep, for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter.” — Paxton Hood
“Self-righteousness is being more aware of and irritated by the sins of others than you are conscious of and grieved by your own.” — Paul Tripp
“Paul’s life was a prophetic book for Jews to read and see how to be saved, so our lives should be an easy to read book for the lost on how they can easily be saved.” — Ken Ham
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.” — St. Augustine
"When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy." — Corrie ten Boom
“One proud, surly, lordly word, one needless contention, one covetous action, may cut the throat of many a sermon. Take heed to yourselves, lest your example contradict your doctrine.” — Richard Baxter
“We should never do what we cannot pray God to bless.” — James Smith
“My dear friend, when grief presses you to the dust, worship there.” — C. H. Spurgeon
“Luther once said, ‘The devil hates goose quills,’ and, doubtless, he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit’s blessing, have done his kingdom much damage.” — C. H. Spurgeon
“Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.” — Elias Boudinot
“When she married you, she gave you her life to spend. Are you spending your life wisely?” — Dan Horn
“Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your own living room by people you wouldn’t have in your house.” — David Frost
“Some people get an education without going to college; the rest get it after they get out.” — Mark Twain
“Heaven is eternity in the presence of God through a Mediator. Hell is eternity in the presence of God with no Mediator.” — Tony Reinke
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” — Martin Luther
“What is the best safeguard against false doctrine? The Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.” — J. C. Ryle
“People will not look forward to posterity who will not look backward to their ancestors.” — Edmund Burke
“The very familiarity of blessings sometimes makes us insensible to their value."— J. C. Ryle
“Man does not need to know exhaustively in order to know truly and certainly.” — Cornelius Van Til
“I began my education at a very early age—in fact, right after I left college.” — Winston Churchill
“The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it.” — La Rochefoucauld
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” — Sir Richard Steele
“I will keep the ground that God has given me and perhaps in his grace, he will ignite me again. But ignite me or not, in his grace, in his power, I will hold the ground.” — John Knox
“Question everything but Scripture.” — Geoff Botkin
“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they simply make the best of everything they have.” — Unknown
“The measure of a great teacher isn’t what he or she knows; it’s what the students know.” — John C. Maxwell
“People fall in private, long before they fall in public. The tree falls with a great crash, but the secret decay which accounts for it, is often not discovered until it is down on the ground.” — J. C. Ryle
“I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.” — Jackie Mason
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." — Edmund Burke
“A ship in the harbor is safe—but that is not what ships are built for.” — John Shedd
“A lot of men have a wishbone where they ought to have a backbone.” — Unknown
“Dreams don’t work unless you do.” — John C. Maxwell
“TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. Open a book.” — Unknown
“Drag and Drop for Windows users: DRAG your peecee off your desk, and DROP it in the trash.” — some forum member’s tagline
“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” — C. S. Lewis
“Music is a discipline, and a mistress of order and good manners, she makes the people milder and gentler, more moral and more reasonable.” — Martin Luther
“Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.” — George Washington
“If you don’t fear God, you’ll fear everything.” — Dan Horn
“[N]ot one particle remains to man as a ground of boasting. The whole is of God.” — John Calvin (Institutes 2.3.6)
“I’m not lost.” — Frank Churchill
“People who have time on their hands will inevitably waste the time of people who have work to do.” — Thomas Sowell
“Even if you are on the right track, but just sit there, you will still get run over.” — Will Rogers
“[T]he ministry of Satan is employed to instigate the reprobate, whenever the Lord, in the course of his providence, has any purpose to accomplish in them...” — John Calvin (Institutes 2.4.5)
— July 24th, 2012 —
“‘Girls, get back!’ Ezra shouted.
His face was pale, but his eyes kindled with indignation as he stood in front of the girls protectively. Ezra dropped the pitchers in the sand and his hand flashed to a dagger, concealed under his tunic. Jarah’s eyes grew wide. He could be killed for carrying a dagger!
Jarah was a slave in Egypt. It was a dangerous place to be.Her work was exhausting and her family was torn between the gods of the Egyptians and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And her brother…would his Ada be given in marriage to an Egyptian in the palace? Would they ever be free?
Adventure, excitement, love, and faith come together when Jarah and her family find themselves at the culmination of four hundred years of history.” — from the back cover
I approached this book with a bit of mild skepticism. Regrettably, novice Christian writing has gotten a bad rap for being preachy and poorly written; and here was a young Christian authoress who was deeply concerned about the state of young peoples’ reading, and was determined to offer something else, an alternative, to the fluff and trash that is out there. Though such a motivation is admirable, to be sure, I was still skeptical.
But I was in for a pleasant surprise.
Hope Auer has done a great job, in my opinion, of combining biblical historical events as recorded in the book of Exodus with the story of a fictional family living under the tyrannical Pharaoh’s rule. Not only was her writing cohesive, but it was engaging: even though this book was written for a younger audience of boys and girls, it held my attention—as a nineteen-year-old! While Hope communicated a number of important messages very well, nowhere did her writing seem “preachy.” (One of the subplots included a “romance,” but Hope handled it in a wonderfully biblical fashion.)
A book like this is a breath of fresh air. Hope has done a great job, and I can say with complete honesty that I can’t wait to read book two.
AGE RANGE: Any age, but it’s written for young boys and girls.
— July 14th, 2012 —
A couple of weeks ago, I read and reviewed Pastor Doug Wilson’s book Reforming Marriage. It was a great book. I loved it.
Regretfully, while Pastor Wilson had many wonderful things to say (and said them well), his position on birth control was, I believe, incorrect, and I respectfully, but strongly, disagree with him on this point.
In the extra space of the book, I started to write my thoughts on his position. Those notes grew so lengthy that I thought it might be worthy of putting here on my blog. Perhaps someone will be edified. With that in mind, here is the unedited text I wrote in the book—my thoughts on his thoughts.
While I would still classify him [Doug Wilson] as being pro-life (based off his statements on page 126, “…it is clear that certain forms of birth control are expressly prohibited in Scripture.…infanticide and abortion. The Bible excludes all such practices in the most direct way possible—‘Thou shalt not kill.’ What many may not realize is that this commandment also excludes certain birth control devices, such as ‘morning-after pills’ or the IUD. These are devices which prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, consequently, they are unlawfully taking a human life after it has begun.”), I believe he is incorrect in his assertion that “There is nothing in Scripture that says the act of using birth control is unlawful in itself.” I will grant that Scripture is silent in the sense that one cannot look in one’s concordance and hope to find the phrase “birth control”, but I believe Scripture is by no means silent concerning the principles behind the idea.
Mr. Wilson himself says, on page 125, that “the Lord is the One who opens and closes wombs.” He is absolutely correct here. But if God is indeed “the One who opens and closes wombs”, why are we deciding to regulate them?
Any time we with our modern technology devise a method for doing or regulating something which occurs naturally in Creation, we need to tread very carefully and ponder whether our new way of doing things is really the best way. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Pr. 14:12)
When God created the world, He created an order. When we tamper with that order we dance dangerously close—whether we realize it or not—to playing God.
The Lord is the One who opens and closes wombs; and in a proper marriage, children are the natural fruit of such a union. Therefore, we act foolishly if we regulate that which God did not design to be regulated by man.
It is a sin for a man and wife to use birth control of any kind. When a man and wife choose to use birth control, it is to say, first, that this couple deems it best that they not have a child at this time. It is to say that they know every possible reality which could result from every possible decision, and that to have a child right now is not the best thing. Only God has such knowledge of possibilities. Such an attitude, therefore, lays claim to divine omniscience. The second point follows from the first: namely, that when a claim to omniscience is made, and the claimant believes that something other than that which God has decreed or ordered is best, the claimant throws into question God’s omniscience. Two parties claiming omniscience yet differing as to what is best in a given situation cannot both be omniscient. Either one is, or the other; but not both. Therefore it follows that when a man or woman makes such a claim (however unwittingly) on the omniscience which only God possesses (by differing with Him as to what is best in a particular situation), he or she casts into doubt (however unwittingly) the omniscience of God. They claim for themselves knowledge which God apparently does not have, and He is therefore not omniscient. And therefore God is not God.
Birth control is blasphemy.
Perhaps Mr. Wilson is correct. Perhaps I am wrong. But I will have to be convinced from Scripture that he is right before I change my opinion.
— July 4th, 2012 —
“What sets George Washington’s Sacred Fire apart from all previous works on this man for the ages, is the exhaustive fifteen years of Dr. Peter Lillback’s research, revealing a unique icon driven by the highest ideals. Only do George Washington’s own writings, journals, letters, manuscripts, and those of his closest family and confidants reveal the truth of this awe-inspiring role model for all generations.
Dr. Lillback paints a picture of a man, who, faced with unprecedented challenges and circumstances, ultimately drew upon his persistent qualities of character—honesty, justice, equity, perseverance, piety, forgiveness, humility, and servant leadership, to become one of the most revered figures in world history.
George Washington set the cornerstone for what would become one of the most prosperous, free nations in the history of civilization. Through this book, Dr. Lillback, assisted by Jerry Newcombe, will reveal to the reader a newly inspirational image of General and President George Washington.” — from the back cover
This is not a biography of George Washington, but rather a scholarly, gracious defense of his Christianity. Totaling around 957 pages of the main text and nearly 200 pages of endnotes, this book is, I think, the greatest, most cogent defense of George Washington’s Christianity penned yet. I really don’t see how it could be otherwise: authors Dr. Peter Lillback and Jerry Newcombe simply bury the arguments against Washington’s Christianity “under an avalanche of facts”, as one reviewer states on the back of the book. That reviewer is right. The authors of this book leave no stone unturned in their meticulous research.
Lillback conducts extensive word studies, analyzing all the “religious” words and phrases Washington used and how many times they were referenced; and what Bible verses were referred to both explicitly and implicitly. We read of the many sermons Washington owned and appreciated. We learn of the dozens of prayers he wrote for so many different causes and reasons. The authors touch on alternate biographies of Washington (such as that written by Parson Weems) as well as the famous story of Washington and the cherry tree.
But Lillback also deals with objections, those that claim that Washington didn’t take communion, that Washington was a Freemason, that Washington had a temper, that Washington owned slaves. But Lillback and Newcombe always weigh the evidence carefully against the objection to determine the validity (or lack thereof) of a particular objection, instead of letting their personal feelings interpret the evidence.
As Walter A. McDougall has said of this book,
Secular historians ignore George Washington’s ward Nelly Custis, who wrote that doubting his Christian faith was as absurd as doubting his patriotism. But they cannot ignore this mountain of evidence suggesting Washington’s religion was not Deism, but just the sort of low-church Anglicanism one would expect in an 18th century Virginia gentleman. His “sacred fire” lit America’s path toward civil and religious liberty.
It’s a long book, and the pages are salted heavily with superscript numerals referencing the exhaustive endnotes. But in the end, it’s well worth the journey—especially in an age of history revisionism where the heroes of yesteryear are thanked for their sacrifices by getting their names dragged through the mud.
AGE RANGE: All ages.