The Truth of the Cross — Free eBook

This week is Holy Week and thanks to Reformation Trust we’re giving away the eBook edition of R.C. Sproul’s The Truth of the Cross. This book serves as an uncompromising reminder that the atonement of Christ is an absolutely essential doctrine of the Christian faith, one that should be studied and understood by all believers.

You can get the ePub edition from the Ligonier Store or the Kindle edition from Amazon.

Offer expires April 30, 2013.

BOOK REVIEW: “PASSION: How Christ’s Final Day Changes Your Every Day” by Mike McKinley

The title and subtitle say it all… this is a book that goes through the passion narratives of the gospels.

What’s a passion narrative? What’s the gospels? That is what I loved about this book, it is a great devotional book cause it deals with what the events of the life of Jesus have to do with us AND whenever it uses Christian terms it takes the time to explain it in a brief but accurate way. That is what makes this book great to give to a new Christian or an unbeliever. (But, don’t let that make you think a more seasoned Christian would not benefit from this.)

Can’t recommend this book enough for those wanted to know the gospel and know Jesus and what he did and what it means to our every day lives. Get it.

Audio And Video Now Available — 2013 Ligonier National Conference

“We live in an age of compromise, but if we stand on the bedrock of God’s truth, we will not bend with the winds of relativism and faithlessness.”
—R.C. Sproul

Last week we held our 2013 National Conference on the theme, No Compromise. This conference sought to encourage Christians to stand firm for bedrock truths such as the resurrection of Christ, the trustworthiness of Scripture, the importance of theology, the primacy of preaching, the exclusivity of Jesus, and other subjects of scriptural study.

We are now pleased to announce that the audio and video from each session are available either to purchase or stream for free:

Optional Sessions:

[via Ligonier Ministries Blog]

Radical Individualism and the Church as Family
by Joe Hellerman:

Mental health professionals are now recognizing a truth taught throughout the Scriptures—emotional healing and spiritual growth occur primarily in the context of interpersonal relationships. People who run away from uncomfortable or downright painful relationships almost invariably repeat the cycle of dysfunction with the next person or the next generation (or the next church) down the line. Those, on the other hand, who stay and courageously engage with others are the ones who grow in their self-understanding and in their abilities to relate to God and to their fellow human beings. Community is, in a word, redemptive.

None of this is terribly novel. We all know it to be the case. Why, then, do we constantly sabotage our most intimate relationships, seek help from others only after the damage is irreversible, and continue to try to find our way through life as isolated individuals, convinced somehow that God will be with us to lead us and bless us wherever we go? Why are we increasingly unable to stay in relationship, stay in community, and grow in those interpersonal contexts which God has specifically provided for our eternal well-being?

Some might attribute the relational crises characterizing our churches solely to individual sin and selfishness. Sin and selfishness, however, have been around since Adam. Why the radical increase in relational breakdown in our society and in our churches today? Something bigger is in the works, and it has to do with the unique orientation of modern Western culture, especially contemporary American society. Ours is a culture which insists to its own destruction that the dreams, goals, and personal fulfillment of the individual deserve a higher priority than the well-being of any group (natural family or church body) or relationship (friendship or marriage) in an individual’s life.

The incessant failures of marriage after marriage, along with the repeated unwillingness of persons to stay in the local church in order to grow through relational conflict, are only superficially due to individual sin and selfishness. Our culture has powerfully socialized us to believe that our individual happiness and fulfillment must take precedence over our relationships with others in our families and in our churches. And it is precisely the influence that this radically individualist worldview exerts upon American evangelical Christians which best explains our struggle to keep relationships together in the body of Christ. The tune of radical individualism has been playing in our ears at full volume for decades. We are dancing to the music with gusto. And it is costing us dearly.

Read the rest or:

Listen to MP3

Listen to readout of article:

Radical Individualism and a Church in Crisis — GCD

Runtime: 17:43 Words saved: 2,736 Size: 5.19 MB

[via Take Your Vitamin Z]

Before We Were Separated Brethren…

James Swan

The Called to Communion blog recently presented a number of entries on “the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity" following a webpage from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Maybe some Roman Catholics are interested in unity, but I guess it depends on exactly what you read.  For instance, consider the following excerpts from this book with the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur: Familiar Explanation of Christian Doctrine For the Family and More Advanced Students in Catholic Schools (1875) (pp. 70, 91-93, 97-98).

Q. Does the Lord make use of apostate Catholics, such as Martin Luther, Calvin, John Knox, Henry VIII., King of England, to reform the manners of the people?

A. The thought is absurd. The lives of those men were evil, and it is only the devil that makes use of them to pervert the people still more. The Lord makes use of His saints, such as a St. Francis of Assisium, a St. Dominick, a St. Ignatius, a St. Alphonsus, to convert the people and reform their evil manners by explaining to them the truths of faith, the commandments, and the necessity of receiving the sacraments with proper dispositions, and by setting them in their own lives the loftiest example of faith, purity, and all Christian virtues.

Q. Are there any other reasons to show that heretics, or Protestants who die out of the Roman Catholic Church, are not saved?

A. There are several. They cannot be saved, because

1. They have no divine faith.
2. They make a liar of Jesus Christ, of the Holy Ghost, and of the Apostles.
3. They have no faith in Christ.
4. They fell away from the true Church of Christ.
5. They are too proud to submit to the Pope, the Vicar of Christ.
6. They cannot perform any good works whereby they can obtain heaven.
7. They do not receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
8. They die in their sins.
9. They ridicule and blaspheme the Mother of God and His saints.
10. They slander the spouse of Jesus Christ: the Catholic Church.

Q. What is the act of faith of a Protestant?

A. O my God, I believe nothing except what my own private judgment tells me to believe; therefore I believe that I can interpret Thy written word the Holy Scriptures as I choose. I believe that the Pope is anti-Christ; that any man can be saved, provided he is an honest man; I believe that faith alone is sufficient for salvation; that good works, and works of penance, and the confession of sins are not necessary, etc.

Q. Have Protestants any faith in Christ?

A. They never had.

Q. Why not?

A. Because there never lived such a Christ as they imagine and believe in.

Q. In what kind of a Christ do they believe?

A. In such a one of whom they can make a liar, with impunity, whose doctrine they can interpret as they please, and who does not care about what a man believes, provided he be an honest man before the public.

Q. Will such a faith in such a Christ save Protestants?

A. No sensible man will assert such an absurdity.

A CTC blog entry from last year asks, Do You Wan to Go to Heaven? which addresses, “So do you mean to say that if I decide to skip Mass on Sunday, and then drop dead on Monday, I will go to Hell?” Which, after various considerations, is affirmed (but not given the typical loopholes and qualifications that many other Roman websites do). The article presents an apologetic against “once saved always saved” etc. and explains to ill-informed Protestants why going to mass is so serious for Roman Catholics that if missed, qualifies as a mortal sin: “When we ‘skip Mass’ we are deciding that we would rather be elsewhere than in the presence of God the Father, with the angels and saints, in that perfect act of worship which is the presentation of the sacrificial Lamb of God to the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.”

Compare this to: Just Why Are Only 20% of Catholics Attending Mass? Here, a priest explains why only a small percentage of Roman Catholics actually go to mass (poor homilies, poor music, poor hospitality). “A Protestant once said: “If you Catholics really believed what the Church teaches about the Mass and the Most Holy Eucharist, your churches would be full and you would see Catholics crawling on their knees to attend Mass!

Interesting. CTC is busy calling wayward Protestants to “communion,” but 80% of their fellow brethren are in danger of hell. Most Protestants, according to a Roman paradigm, just don’t know Rome is the true church. That is, many Protestants could at least make it to Purgatory due to ignorance. This seems to me to be a poor strategy for CTC. Their goal: “Our aim is to effect reconciliation and reunion between Catholics and Protestants, particularly those of the Reformed tradition." Perhaps calling their fellow brethren to actually attend communion would be a more consistent use of CTC’s bandwidth.

from Pros Apologian

To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union