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For “Those Who Love Your Name”

Posted on Sep. 09, 2009

“Let those who love your name be joyful in You.”

Psalm 5:11

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John Calvin on Church Discipline

Posted on Sep. 07, 2009

“As the saving doctrine of Christ is the soul of the church, so discipline forms ligaments which connect the members together, and keep each in its proper place. Whoever, therefore, either desire the abolition of all discipline, or obstruct its restoration, whether they act from design or inadvertency, they certainly promote the entire dissolution of the Church.”

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 vols., ed. John T. McNeill (Philidelphia: The Westminister Press, 1960), p. 1,238 (Book IV, Chapter XII, Section 10).

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eJournal on Church Discipline from 9 Marks

Posted on Sep. 02, 2009

9 Marks has provided a number of helpful articles on the subject of church discipline.

The editor states, “Church discipline is just such an uncomfortable act of tough love, which is why 9Marks would like to spend two issues of the eJournal considering this important topic. In this issue, Wyman Richardson and Greg Wills help us to count the cost of practicing or not practicing church discipline. Ken Sande offers some legal counsel. And Kevin DeYoung, a pastor in mainline Protestant land, offers words of warning to evangelical land, a land where tough love increasingly has to shout to be heard.”

In one of the articles by Gregory Wills, we read, “John Dagg stated, “When discipline leaves a church, Christ leaves with it.” What is the answer?”

This “eJournal” offers a treasure trove on this important area of church life.

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Father and Son Retreat in Washington

Posted on Sep. 01, 2009

2009 Father and Son Retreat in Rimrock, Washington.

Eight of us* traveled to the rugged mountains of Washington State for a father and son retreat. It was delightful to see fathers with their sons, allocating time for training their sons and enjoying one another.

Retreats like this bring hope for future generations.

Using Proverbs eight as our daily devotional, the whole theme of the camp was making the Word of God your compass. Fathers and sons received instruction in land navigation from a very gifted communicator – former Army Infantry Officer Troy Hacking – and were sent into the wild to find their way via their compass….

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The Divine-Deli-Cafeteria Religion and the Sufficiency of Scripture

Posted on Aug. 21, 2009

This week Newsweek released a story that shows us how far the American mind has drifted from looking to scripture for answers. As we are quickly closing in on the date for the Sufficiency of Scripture conference in December, I am mindful of the various influences that have banished this kind of thinking from American culture. The compromised church, the fruits of public education, the addiction to age segregation, the collapse of the family in America have created a completely different world than our founding fathers conceived.

Newsweek magazine sums it all up by saying, “We Are All Hindus Now.” (Click HERE to view full article)

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Women in Combat - Morality Circumvented

Posted on Aug. 20, 2009

It is hard to ignore the sad state of a nation that has lost its sense of the beauty and glory of womanhood and the necessity of an estimable treatment of women that includes protection. In the church and family these issues are of enormous importance. This collapse of love for the opposite sex always follows the collapse of biblical patriarchy. Albert Mohler writes about what is happening behind the scenes and public statements, on the matter in his article, “A Quiet Circumvention of Morality - Women in Combat.” He writes,

“A nation’s moral character is revealed in the way it fights its wars. This report, filled with documentation, reveals that our nation’s moral character is now being redefined before our eyes. If it is true that a majority of the American people affirm their readiness to see women “join combat units, where they would be directly involved in the ground fighting,” the American people are demonstrating their disregard for the moral wisdom of the ages. The nation is forfeiting the responsibility of men to act as protectors of women, and acquiescing to the failure of men to fulfill their duty.”

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Scott Brown on Moody Radio’s Prime Time America

Posted on Aug. 12, 2009

Paul Butler with Moody Radio just interviewed me on our new book, Family Reformation: The Legacy of Sola Scriptura in John Calvin’s Geneva and in honor of his show, today we are again offering personally signed copies for 50% off.

Go to Paul Butler’s blog to listen to the interview HERE.

Signed Copy 50% off Sale ends tomorrow night August 13th.

Click HERE to purchase.

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Parenting as Cultural Resistance

Posted on Aug. 07, 2009

Neil Postman, one of the truly insightful secular social commentators of the 20th century, was correct when he said that parenting was “Cultural Resistance.” In one of his books, “The Disappearance of Childhood” he outlines the devastating influences of our culture on childhood. At the end of the book he asks a question, “is the individual powerless to restrict what is happening?” He says,

The answer to this, in my opinion, is “No.” But, as with all resistance, there is a price to pay. Specifically, resistance entails conceiving of parenting as an act of rebellion against American culture. For example, for parents merely to remain married is itself an act of disobedience and an insult to the spirit of a throwaway culture in which continuity has little value. It is also at least ninety percent un-American to remain in close proximity to one’s extended family so that children can experience, daily, the meaning of kinship and the value of deference and responsibility to elders. Similarly, to insist that one’s children learn the discipline of delayed gratification, or modesty in their sexuality, or self-restraint in manners, language, and style is to place oneself in opposition to almost every social trend. Even further, to ensure that one’s children work hard at becoming literate is extraordinarily time-consuming and even expensive. But most rebellious of all is the attempt to control the media’s access to one’s children. There are, in fact, two ways to do this. The first is to limit the amount of exposure children have to media. The second is to monitor carefully what they are exposed to, and to provide them with a continuously running critique of the themes and values of the media’s content. Both are very difficult to do and require a level of attention that most parents are not prepared to give to child-rearing.

Nonetheless, there are parents who are committed to doing all of these things, who are in effect defying the directives of their culture. Such parents are not only helping their children to have a childhood but are, at the same time, creating a sort of intellectual elite. Certainly in the short run the children who grow up in such homes will, as adults, be much favored by business, the professions, and the media themselves. What can we say of the long run? Only this: Those parents who resist the spirit of the age will contribute to what might be called the Monastery Effect, for they will help to keep alive a humane tradition. It is not conceivable that our culture will forget that it needs children. But it is halfway toward forgetting that children need childhood. Those who insist on remembering shall perform a noble service.

Neil Postman, The Disappearance of Childhood, (1982; repr,. New York: Vintage, 1994), 152-153

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Arraign it, Accuse it, Spit on it - Hatred of Sin

Posted on Aug. 05, 2009

What kind of reactions should we have toward our sin? Thomas Goodwin says this,

Work in your hearts a hatred of sin… If a man had killed your friend, or father, or mother, how would you hate him! You would not endure the sight of him, but follow the law upon him. Send out the avenger of blood with a hue and cry after thy sin; bring it afore God’s judgment seat, arraign it, accuse it, spit on it, condemn it and thyself for it, have it to the cross, nail it there, if it cry I thirst, give it vinegar, stretch the body of sins upon his cross, stretch every vein of it, make the heart strings crack; and then when it hangs there, triumph over the dying of it, show it no pity, laugh at its destruction, say, Thou hast been a bloody sin to me and my husband, hang there and rot. And when thou art tempted to it [sin], and art very thirsty after the pleasure of it, say of that opportunity to enjoy it, It is the price of Christ’s blood, and pour it upon the ground. … Shall I live upon that which was Christ’s death? Shall I please myself in that which was his pain? Shall I be so dishonest, so unkind, as to enjoy the pleasure for which he endured the smart?

—Thomas Goodwin (1600—1679), Christ the Mediator in The Works of Thomas Goodwin (RHB), 5:294.

I found this excellent quote on Miscellanies Blog.

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Welcoming Our Fall Intern Class

Posted on Aug. 03, 2009

We are pleased to welcome our fall intern class to join us for the next five months here at the NCFIC. Please pray for these men as they assist us in the work of church reformation. It is our prayer that their time with us would be fruitful in every way. Pray for their labors, for their studies, and that God would give them a vision of His Holiness, the power of His word, the beauty of the church and an abundance of spiritual fruit from these months of labor and mentorship.

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