Monday, February 28, 2011


     A few months ago I downloaded J. Gresham Machen's Christianity and Liberalism into my Kindle reader. A couple of weeks ago I was listening to a podcast that I had downloaded into my Kindle of the Wretched Radio program. During that particular podcast, the host, Todd Friel, mentioned some aspects of Machen's book, and qoute some parts of it. He also reccomended that every Christian should read it. Well, that reminded me that I already had, and prompted me to start read it. I am glad that I did.
     Christianity and Liberalism was first published in 1923, but it's contents are very relevant for the Christian of 2011. I agree with Mr. Friel that every true disciple of Christ would benefit from reading this book. Many of the challenges that Prof. Machen was facing in his, liberals with the church who are trying to undermine the central doctrines of historical Christianity, are the same challenges that Christians face today.
     One of the main points that Prof. Machen makes in his book is that this is not a battle beweet "conservatives" and "liberal," but it is actually a battle between believers and the unbelievers, who have crept into the church. It is a battle for the heart and soul of the Gospel. In his introduction to the book, Prof. Machen defines the battle in this manner:

     "It is this problem which modern liberlism attempts to solve. Admitting that scientific objections may arise against the particularities of the Christian religion -- against the Chrisian doctrines of the person of Christ, and of the redemption through His death and resurrection -- the liberal theologian seeks to rescue certain of the general principles of religion, of which these particularities are thought to be mere temporary symbols, and he regards as constituting 'the essence of Christianity.'

     It may well be questioned, however, whether this of defense will prove to be efficacious; for after the apologist has abandoned his outer defenses to the enemy and withdrawn into some inner citadel, he will probably discover that the enemy pursues him even there. Modern materialism, especially in the realm of psychology, is not content with occupying the lower quarter of the Christian city, but pushes its way into all the higher reaches of life; it is just as much opposed to the philosophical idealism of the liberal preacher as to the Biblical doctrines that the liberal preacher ha abandoned in the interests of peace. Mere concessiveness, therefore, will never succeed in avoiding the intellectual conflict. In the intellectual battle of the present day there can be no 'peace without victory'; on side or the other must win.

     As a matter of fact, however, it may appear that the figure which has just been used is altogether misleading; it may appear that what the liberal theologian has retained after abandoning to the enemy one Christian doctrine after another is not Christianity at all, but a religion which is so entirely different from Christianity as to be long in a distinct category. It may appear further that the fears of the modern man as to Christianity were ungrounded, and that in abandoning the embattled walls of the city of God he has fled in needless panic into the open plains of a vague natural religion only to fall an easy victim to the enemy who ever lies in ambush there." (emphasis added)
     I am still in the middle of reading this book. To be honest, admist other things, I sometimes find myself in the middle of reading up to five books or more at the same time. That is just a personal note about myself.
     In the coming weeks I will be sharing you some parts and aspects of Prof. Machen's polemic work. I will also be sharing aspects of Prof. Machen's life that I have learned about and is relevant to the writing and main theme of this book.
     Oh, one important note. Since I am reading this book on my Kidle, my references to the book will not have any page numbers.


Jude 1:4

     For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated  for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jude 1:4


A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


     Your first thoughts might be, "Wait a minute. Grease was set in the 1950s. How can it be a movie that celebrates the sexual revolution that came about in the 1960s?" It is true that Grease was set in the 1950s, 1959 as a matter of fact, but the whole concept of the movie was a throwing off of the values that were still culturally held by most Americans in the 1950s for the ideas of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. This is seen in the movies title song itself.

I solve my problems and I see the light
We gotta plug and think, we gotta feed it right
There ain't no danger we can go too far
We start believing now that we can be who we are

Grease is the word
They think our love is just a growing pain
Why don't they understand, It's just a crying shame
Their lips are lying only real is real
We start to find right now we got to be what we feel

Grease is the word
Grease is the word, is the word that you heard
It's got groove it's got meaning
Grease is the time, is the place is the motion
Grease is the way we are feeling

We take the pressure and we throw away
Conventionality belongs to yesterday
There is a chance that we can make it so far
We start believing now that we can be what we are

Grease is the word
Grease is the word, is the word that you heard
It's got groove it's got meaning
Grease is the time, is the place is the motion
Grease is the way we are feeling
This is the life of illusion
Wrapped up in trouble laced with confusion
What we doing here?

We take the pressure and we throw away
Conventionality belongs to yesterday
There is a chance that we can make it so far
We start believing now that we can be who we are

     The first two line speak of the generation that came into being young adults in the 1960s believing that they were the first ones to have a clear understanding of what really truth in the world around them. They believed that all the generations that came before them had messed everything up, and had no wisdom to convey to them. A common catch phrase of the youth in the 60s was, "Do not trust anyone over thirty years old." (Their lips are lying only real is real)
      There ain't no danger we can go to far.

      The young adults of the 60s really believed that there not going to be any consequences to their setting aside of any morals of the past. Free love. Have all the sex you want with whoever you want. Take whatever drugs you want. Drop out of life. Live like a bohemian. Everything will turn out okay.

We take the pressure and we throw away
Conventionality belongs to yesterday

     Unfortunately, much of the culture of the 1950s in America was about personal comfort, fitting in (being conventional), and "keep up with the Jones." The morality of pop culture and most Americans of the 1950s could be explained from a line in the Christmas favorite Santa Claus is Coming to Town:  "Be good for goodness sake." (We will look further at this when we examine some of the television programs of the 1950s) It was a type of "moralism" that was separated from the Gospel. This was partly what the youth of the 1960s were rebelling against. Unfortunately, they also rebelled against the truth that is found in the Bible.

     Through most of the movie, Olivia Newton John's character represents the innocence that many remember the 1950s for. She is also attracted to the "bad boy" character that John Travolta plays in the movie. Many harken back to the 1950s as a "time of innocence," but the seeds of what would come to full bloom in the 1960s were planted in the 1950s and before.
     One song in the movie has Stockard Channing making light of Olivia Newton John's character's innocence:, Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee.

Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee, lousy with virginity
Won't go to bed till I'm legally wed, I can't, I'm Sandra Dee
Watch it, hey, I'm Doris Day, I was not brought up that way
Won't come across, even Rock
Hudson lost his heart to Doris Day
I don't drink or swear, I won't rat my hair,
I get ill from one cigarette
Keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers.
Would you pull that crap with Annette?
As for you, Troy Donahue, I know what you wanna do
You got your crust, I'm no object of lust,
I'm just plain Sandra Dee Elvis,
Elvis, let me be, keep that pelvis far from me
Just keep your cool, now you're starting to drool
Hey, fungu, I'm Sandra Dee

      Later in the movie, Olivia's character sings the same song about herself, but with a twist.

Look at me,
There has to be something more than what they see
Wholesome and pure,
Oh so scared and unsure, a pawn then,
Sandra Dee Sandy,
You must start anew,
Don't you know what you must do
Hold your head high,
Take a deep breath and sigh
Goodbye to Sandra Dee

     How does her character start anew? In the last scene of the movie, she appears, to every one's surprise, in a black tight fitting outfit and smoking a cigarette. Clearly a sign that her character has opted to cast of her innocence.
     This same theme is further explored twenty years later in the 1998 motion picture Pleasantville, where two modern teens (portrayed by Toby Maguire and Reese Witherspoon) find themselves trapped in a 1950s sitcom. Through the sitcom, the 1950s are portrayed as black and white with no excitement or life to it. Color come to the town of Pleasantville through "sexual liberation". 

     We live in a world now that tells us that true freedom and hapiness can be found by throwing away the sexual mores of the past. We are told that monogomy was a concept forced upon us by those who would want to control us. None of this is true.
     Contrary to the belief of most people today, "sex" is not a dirty word to God. Sex is a gift from God. It is a gift that is to be used in its proper place. It is to be between one man and women who come together in the covenant of marriage for life. Sex is not just a biological function either. There also are emotional and spiritual aspects to it.
     The main reason that sexual sin is to be avoided is not because of the negative physical  consequences that could come out of it (AIDS, Herpes, out of wedlock pregancies, etc), but because it violates the holiness of God.


     True freedom comes through placing one's trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


     Contrary to what most people believe today, the arts (literature, motion pictures, television, music, etc.) are not neutral when it comes to promoting the worldviews of the artist to the consumer. As a matter of fact, it is usually the medium in which the philosophy/worldview of the artist is conveyed and promoted to the consumer. It is true that most of us do not watch a motion picture, or listen to a song with the intent of getting part of our worldview or philosophy from it. This is usually true on the consumer's part, but quite a different story on the part of the artist. Whether we wish to face the facts or not, most of what we see, hear, or read is not produced for entertainment purposes only.
     Most of the general population will never read the works of any of the major philosophers, but the ideas of those philosophers will generally find their way into the general thinking of the person on the street. The average American today has probably never heard of Friedrich Nietzsche or the philosophy of nihilism, but many of the same Americans, unknowingly, live their lives in accords to the philosophy of nihilism. How have the philosophies of the academics trickled down to mainstreet America? Through the arts.
     Today I will begin a series of post that will look at some of the products of pop culture, and examine the philosophies and worldviews that are being promoted through these works of art. I will also be comparing how those philosophies to what the Christian worldview has to say about the areas of life these works of art have addressed.
     The word "philosophy" in the Greek means to be a "friend/lover (philos) of wisdom (sophia)." In the Bible, throughout the book of Proverbs, wisdom is personified as a woman who is crying out in the streets, and the reader is admonished to be a close friend/lover of this wisdom. Now, the wisom that is referred to in Proverbs is not the abstract idea of wisdom (that is always searched for, but never really found) that has been promoted by the ancient Greeks and most secular philosophers since. The wisdom that Proverbs refers to is the concept of wisdom that was taught by the ancient Hebrew. It is a prictical wisdom. It is a wisdom that effects the every day life. It is the wisdom that comes from accepting and putting into one's life the things that are commanded by God in the Bible. It is a wisdom that has a true understanding of who God is, and who we are in the light of that truth. In that light, Christians are the true philosophers.
     So, grab a chair, some popcorn, becuase we will first be off to the movies.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Luke 3:16-17

     John answered then all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
     His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Luke 3:16-17

     John the Baptist was referring here to Jesus Christ, who was about to begin His public ministry. John's preaching and baptizing were centered around the doctrine of repentance.
     When most of us here the word "repent", we immediately have in our minds the idea of a turning away from our sins. That is part of the solution. In the original Greek language of the New Testament, the word for "repent" is metanoeo. The word carries the idea of a person changing their own mind about a subject.
     What is it that we are to change our minds about?  The Bible shows that in our fallen state that we all have wrong views about God and about ourselves. Having a proper understanding of ourselves and of God has eternal consequences. In in very first sentence of Book One of his Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin puts it in these words:

"Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves."

     The wisdom that Calvin refers to can only come from the Bible, God's Word.  So, what does the Bible tell us about the true nature of God and of ourselves?
     First, is that God is infinitely holy, righteous, and just. (c.f. Isaiah 6:1, Exodus 9:27, Deu 16:18). There are no moral flaws in God.
     Second, is that we are all fallen people who have sinned against a holy God (c.f. Romans 3:23), and deserve the payment of death (Roman 6:23). None of us have anything to offer to God in our so called "religious/spiritual" offerrings to God (c.f. Isaiah 64:6). That as fallen sinners against an infinately holy we deserve the eternal judgement and wrath of God (c.f. Romans 1:18, Ephesains 5:6).
     Third, that God has made a way that fallen sinners can be reconciled unto Him and still remain just and righteous. God sent His Son, live a righeoues life and die on a cruel Roman cross, and take upon Himself the wrath of God that should have been put on wayward sinners (c.f. John 3:16). The only way that any of us can be made reconciled to God is by putting their complete trust in the finished work of Christ on their behalf (c.f. John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
     The Bible also tell us that Jesus in not only Savior, but as the Second Person of the Trinity, he will also be judge (Revelations 19:15).
     John the Baptist was tell his listeners that Jesus will either be their Savior or their Judge.  Look at the wording:

Holy Sprit = is given to those who put their trust in Christ
wheat = the saved, those who trust in the completed work of Christ for their salvation
his barn = God's abode, eternal life with God

fire = the judgement of God
chaff = the lost, those who have rejected salvation through trust in what Christ has already done and are trusting in themselves to gain acceptance with God
unquenchable fire = the eternal punishment of God where a person ends up in Hell and then the Lake of Fire

     We all have a choice to make. Either Jesus will be our Lord and Savior, or He will be our judge. There is no avoiding it. One day each one of us will stand before Him in His court of law (c.f. Hebrews 9:27)


     If you are reading this, and have never repented to God, and put your trust in the finished work of Christ for your salvation, today can be the day that you should do so.

Romans 10:8-9

     But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
     because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:8-9

Doctrinal Discernment - Mark Dever

Sunday, February 13, 2011


     It was on a Monday, on the thirteenth day of the month of February, in the year of our Lord 1939, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that Robert Charles Sproul was born.
     Dr. Sproul has been a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and Jackson, Mississippi, and Knox Theological Seminary in Ft. Lauderale, Florida. In 1994, Sproul was a vocal critic of the document Evangelicals and Catholics Together.
     R.C. has been the author of many Christian books. His best know work amongst Christians today is The Holiness of God. He has also in recent years written a number of children's book with Christian themes. Among theses are:  The Prince's Poison Cup and The Priest With Dirty Clothes A Timeless Story Of God's Love And Forgiveness
     Dr. Sproul is now Senior Minister of Preaching and Teaching at Saint Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Florida. He can also be heard on his Renewing Your Mind Ministries either on radio or podcast.
     The focus of R.C. Sproul's teaching and preaching is to restore a true understanding of the holiness and sovereignty of God in the modern Christian church.



Saturday, February 12, 2011


     According the the Julian Calendar, it was on a Monday, on the twelfth day of the month of February, in the year of our Lord 1554, that the nine days Queen of England, Lady Jane Grey, was beheaded at Tower Hill, an elevated spot northwest of the Tower of London, and went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Lady Jane was about the age of eighteen when she died. Before being executed, and after she placed her head on the chopping block, her last words were the same as the last words of Jesus, as recounted in the Gospel of Luke:

"Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit!"

     In her youth, Lady Jane was able to receive a comprehensive education that included studies in Latin, Greek and Hebrew as well as contemporary languages. It was during these lessons that her tutors would lead Lady Jane to a true knowledge of Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Lady Jane would become a serious student of the Bible, and was able to read it in the original languages.
     When King Henry VIII died, his only son, Edward VI, assumed the throne of England at the age of nine years old. King Edward and Lady Jane were cousins. There was an attempt by some, including Jane's father, to have Edward marry Jane, but nothing came of it. During Edwards short reign of six years, he would make changes to the Church of England that were more of a religious nature than one of a political one as his father, King Henry VIII did. Edward, like his cousin Jane, was a true evangelical Christian. Unfortunately, for England, Edward would died at the age of fifteen.
     After Edwards death, there was an attempt to keep Henry VIII's oldest daughter, Mary Tudor, from ascending to the throne of England. Many Protestants knew that if Mary would become queen, as a devout Roman Catholic, that she would attempt to place England back under the rule of the Roman Pontiff. Jane's father, and other men of high positions in the court and government, unknown to Jane, carried out a conspiracy to put Jane on the throne in order to keep England a Protestant nation. Some of these men, like her father, did this move just for self gain. Lady Jane did hold the throne for nine days. Mary was able to gain enough support from the people and officials to gain her place on the throne of England. Lady Jane's reign, and the conspiracy were quickly over.
     As her cousin, Queen Mary had no desire to see Jane executed. Even though, as a devout Roman Catholic, she did not agree with Jane's protestantism, she had great affection for Jane. Mary's counsel advised her though that as long as Jane lived that she could be used as a rallying point for any further rebellions to overthrow Mary's reign on the throne. With a heavy heart, Mary agreed that Jane should be executed.
     Before Jane would be executed, Queen Mary attempted to convince Jane that she should return to the Roman Catholic Church. As an attempt to do this, Mary sent the church scholar John Feckenham to convince Jane of the "errors" of her ways. It has been reported that after one of his debates with Jane that Feckenham was to say, "She should be my tutor than I hers." Lady Jane never did waver in her faith, or deny her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Matthew 10:32-33

     So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,
     but whoever denies me before men, I will deny before my father who is in heaven. (ESV)

Matthew 10:32-33

Monday, February 7, 2011


     It was on a Thursday, on the seventh day of the month of February, in the year of our Lord 1867, near the village of Pepin, in the "Big Woods" of Wisconsin, to Charles Phillip Ingalls (01-10-1836 to 06-08-1902) and Caroline Lake (Quiner) Ingalls (12-12-1839 to 04-20-1924), that Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born. She had three sisters, Mary Amelia (01-10-1865 to 10-20-1928), Caroline Celestia "Carrie" (08-03-1870 to 06-02-1946), Grace Pearl (05-23-1877 to 11-10-1941), and one brother, Charles Frederick, who died in infancy.
     When she was a young child, her family would settle in what was the Indian Territory near Independence, Kansas. Her novel, Little House on the Prairie, would be based on the experiences of those years.


     It was on a Friday, on the seventh day of the month of February, in the year of our Lord 1812, that Charles John Huffam Dickens was born.
     Dickens would go on to become an accomplished English novelist. His novels contained social commentary about those who were part of the underbelly of Victorian society (i.e. the poor, orphans).
     Many of his novels have been adapted to the motion picture screen.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


     It was on a Thursday, on the fifth day of the month of January, in the year of our Lord 1837, in Northfield, Massachusetts, that Dwight Lyman Moody was born. His second birth took place in April of 1855 when his Sunday school teacher, Edward Kimball, led him to the Lord.
     Moody would go on to become a evangelist who would preach in America and in England.  Out of a growing Sunday school congregation that needed a permanent home, he started a church, the Illinois Street Church, in Chicago, Illinois.
     After the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871, Moody would become more fervent in his personal witnessing to anyone that he would come across in his daily life.
     On January 22, 1886, Moody proposed to his congregation the formation of the Chicago Evangelization Society, for the training of gifted men for the purpose of reaching people with the Gospel. After his death, it would be renamed the Moody Bible Institute.


Romans 10:15

     And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

Romans 10:15

Friday, February 4, 2011


This is posted today due to February 6th falling this year on a Sunday.

     It was on a Monday, on the sixth day of the month of February, in the year of our Lord 1911, in an apartment on the second floor of a commercial building in Tampico, Illinois, to John "Jack" Reagan and Nelle Wilson Reagan, that Ronald Wilson Reagan was born.
     What can I say about a man who had such an impact on the United States and the world. He was my Commander-in-Chief when I served I the United States Navy from December of 1984 to January of 1988.
     On the 100th anniversary of the day of his birth, I believe that the best way of remembering President Reagan is hearing something of his on words.
     On January 11, 1989, he gave his farewell address from the Oval Office of the White House. Below is a video of that address. After hearing it, you might say like I did, "We miss you Mr. President. We wish you were hear today to lead us through these difficult times."

Thursday, February 3, 2011