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The Potter's Clay

Scripture, Theology, the Christian worldview, and other ramblings.

28 June 2005

Wikis

I think we have all heard of Wikipedia, an open source encyclopedia that allows users to edit the entries in the encyclopedia itself. I find it quite useful. There are two "“wikis"” out there that I would recommend visiting: Theopedia and Tulipedia.

Theopedia deals with the various facets Christian belief in general, while Tulipedia deals with, (you guessed it), the doctrines of Grace, or Calvinism. Both are very informative, and seem to need further growth. If you feel so inclined, stop by one of them and help make these wikis bigger and better!

27 June 2005

ESV Bible Translation Committee Q & A

In case you didn't know, the ESV Bible has it's own blog. Right now, they are posting Q&A interviews with various members of the translation committee. I have found these entries to be quite informative.

You can read the interviews at the ESV Blog or at Adrian Warnock's blog.

23 June 2005

Google Maps - Fun with Geography

Scott McClare over at the Crusty Curmudgeon (love the name) has posted a couple entries about Google Maps. After finding his blog and reading about it, I am now officially hooked on Google Maps. If you haven’t fooled around with Google Maps technology, you might want to take a few minutes (which will turn into a lot of minutes quick) to type in your hometown, and then move onto bigger and better things. Visit Scott’s blog for links to some really cool shots of landmarks and various other items of interest. Here is his first post, and second post.

Google Maps

Have fun! Let me know if you find any cool. Here is my alma mater.

22 June 2005

Expounding the Nature of Godliness, part 2

4. Godliness is an extensive thing

It is a sacred leaven that spreads itself into the whole soul: 'the very God of peace sanctify you wholly' (I Thess. 5:23). There is light in the understanding, order in the affections, pliableness in the will, exemplariness in the life. We do not call a black man white because he has white teeth. He who is good only in some part is not godly. Grace is called 'the new man' (Col. 3:10), not a new eye, or tongue, but a new man. He who is godly is good all over; though he is regenerate only in part, yet it is in every part.

5. Godliness is an intense thing

It does not lie in a dead formality and indifference, but is vigorous and flaming: 'fervent in spirit' (Rom. 12:11). We call water hot when it is so in the third or fourth degree. He whose devotion is inflamed is godly and his heart boils over in holy affections.

6. Godliness is a glorious thing

As the jewel to the ring, so is piety to the soul, bespangling it in God's eyes. Reason makes us men; godliness makes us earthly angels; by it we 'partake of the divine nature' (2 Pet. 1:4). Godliness is near akin to glory; 'glory and virtue' (2 Pet. 1:3). Godliness is glory in the seed, and glory is godliness in the flower.

7. Godliness is a permanent thing

Aristotle says, 'Names are given from the habit'. We do not call the one who blushes sanguine, but the one who is of a ruddy complexion (I Sam. 17:42). A blush of godliness is not enough to distinguish a Christian, but godliness must be the temper and complexion of the soul. Godliness is a fixed thing. There is a great deal of difference between a stake in the hedge and a tree in the garden. A stake rots and moulders, but a tree, having life in it, abides and flourishes. When godliness has taken root in the soul, it abides to eternity: 'his seed remaineth in him' (I John 3:9). Godliness being engraved in the heart by the Holy Ghost, as with the point of a diamond, can never be erased.

--Thomas Watson. A Godly Man's Picture. The Banner of Truth. 13-14.

21 June 2005

Which Theologian Are You?

Take the test and find out!

18 June 2005

He has rescued us

"The human heart is most deceitful and desperately
wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" Jer. 17:9

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,)
dwells no good thing." Romans 7:18

There is nothing in man by nature apart from
God, which is not vile and deceitful.

If there is anything good in me,
if I have been transformed by the renewing of my mind,
if I am regenerate,
if I have passed from death unto life,
if I have been taken out of the family of Satan,
if I am adopted into the family of God's dear Son,
if I am now no longer an heir of wrath,
if I am a now a child of heaven,
then all these things are of God, and in no sense,
and in no degree whatever, are they of myself!

"For He has rescued us from the kingdom of
darkness and has brought us into the Kingdom
of His dear Son." Colossians 1:13

--C.H. Spurgeon

15 June 2005

Expounding the Nature of Godliness

Expounding the Nature of Godliness

'EVERY ONE THAT IS GODLY'

It will first be enquired, 'What is godliness?' I answer in general, 'Godliness is the sacred impression and workmanship of God in a man, whereby from being carnal he is made spiritual.' When godliness is wrought in a person, he does not receive a new soul, but he has 'another spirit' Numb. 14:24). The faculties are not new, but the qualities are; the strings are the same, but the tune is corrected. Concerning godliness, I shall lay down these seven maxims or propositions:

I. Godliness is a real thing

It is not a fantasy but a fact. Godliness is not the feverish conceit of a sick brain; a Christian is no enthusiast whose religion is all made up of fancy. Godliness has truth for its foundation; it is called 'the way of truth (Psa. 119:30). Godliness is a ray and beam that shines from God. If God is true, then godliness is true.

2. Godliness is an intrinsic thing

It lies chiefly in the heart: 'circumcision is that of the heart (Rom. 2:29). The dew lies on the leaf, the sap is the root. The moralist's religion is all in the leaf; it consists only in externals, but godliness is a holy sap which is rooted in the soul: 'in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom' (Psa. 51:6). The Chaldean expounds it, 'in the close place of the heart'.

3. Godliness is a supernatural thing

By nature we inherit nothing but evil. 'When we were in the flesh, the motions of sins did work in our members' (Rom. 7:5). We sucked in sin as naturally as our mother's milk, but godliness is the 'wisdom from above' (Jas. 3:17). It is breathed in from heaven. God must light up the lamp of grace in the heart. Weeds grow of themselves; flowers are planted. Godliness is a celestial plant that comes from the New Jerusalem. Therefore it is called a 'fruit of the Spirit' (Gal. 5:22). A man has no more power to change himself than to create himself.

--Thomas Watson. A Godly Man's Picture. The Banner of Truth. 12-13.

(to be continued...)

13 June 2005

Challies.com June giveaway

Tim Challies has another fine giveaway! Click the image below to enter:

June Giveaway

12 June 2005

Prayer for Matt

Please be in prayer for my good friend Matt Pearson. On Monday, the 13th, he is having back surgery to repair a disc that is basically toast. It should be a routine surgery, but one never knows when dealing with the nervous system. After the surgery, he will have about eight weeks of bedrest before he can get going again.

The surgery will be around 10:30 AM PDT. Please ask God to give Matt and his family comfort during this time. I will post an update once I hear more...

In Christ,
Joe

09 June 2005

Reformed Baptists

Steve Hays posted about Reformed Baptists, and I liked it, so here it is. As a Reformed Baptist myself, it was enjoyable to read. Personally, I don't get sideways about my Reformed Presbyterian friends being paedobaptists, because to me, it is an issue of conscience. I am not convinced from Scripture that infant baptism is warranted in the church. Presbyterians feel the opposite. So be it, I am fine with that. I am convinced Covenant Theology is the best hermeneutic. To my mind, it simply flows from the text. I would assert that I can be a Baptist and still be faithful to a Covenant hermeneutic.

Here is the post on Mr. Hays' blog: Reformed Baptists and other Devil-worshipers

As well, I subscribe to the Reformed Baptist Theological Review. These are seriously well done journals, I highly recommend you subscribe, regardless of your theological bent. You will be edified.

My hope is that Reformed brethren on both sides of the isle will be able to unite in the Gospel of Grace and proclaim it with vigor and conviction to a world that hates God. I believe the Doctrines of Grace and the high view of Scripture that the Reformed theology enjoys are pillars to faithful Gospel proclamation.

Lord, unite us in your mercy and glorious, sovereign grace.

Soli Deo Gloria

08 June 2005

The Bible Centre

In the same vein as the gold mine I referenced in a previous entry, I have yet again another great resource, this one from jolly ol' England.

The Bible Centre publishes works that you really can't find anywhere else on the Internet. They have a large selection of Reformed writings of which I have found helpful and edifying. Enjoy.

http://www.biblecentre.net/

07 June 2005

Prayer for Monerigism.com

John Hendryx at Monergism.com is asking for prayer, as there are changes in store for him and his ministry. Please read this and consider supporting his efforts.

Monergism.com is, in my opinion, the best website for Christian theology out there, hands down. I feel indebted to his ministry, since I cut my teeth on Reformed theology by reading through the site day after day. I still make his site my first stop in my AM web-run.

Prayer for Monerigism.com

In Christ,
Joe

06 June 2005

The Purpose Driven Blog

My good friend and brother in Christ, Doug Patton, got up and running today with his new blog. Don't be misled by the title, the real purpose behind his blog is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Welcome to the blogosphere Doug!

The Purpose Driven Blog

SDG,
Joe

04 June 2005

The Nature of Theology

THE NATURE OF THEOLOGY

The word THEOLOGY refers to the study of God. When used in a broader sense, the word may include all the other doctrines revealed in Scripture. Now, God is the supreme being who has created and even now sustains all that exists, and theology seeks to understand and articulate in a systematic manner information revealed to us by him. Thus, theology concerns itself with ultimate reality. Since it is the study of the ultimate, nothing is more important. Because it contemplates and discusses the ultimate, it in turn defines and governs every area of life and thought. Therefore, as long as God is the ultimate being or reality, theological reflection is the ultimate human activity.

This book is a presentation of several major biblical doctrines that come under the study of systematic theology. A doctrine consists of a set of propositions relating to a certain theological topic – it is the biblical teaching on a given subject. Theology then refers to the study of Scripture or the systematic formulation of doctrines from Scripture. A truly biblical doctrine is always authoritative and binding, and a system of theology is authoritative only to the extent that it reflects the teaching of Scripture.

Many warn against studying theology for its own sake. The anti-intellectual spirit of the age has so infiltrated the church that they refuse to believe that any intellectual activity possesses intrinsic value. To them, even knowing God must serve a greater purpose, probably a pragmatic or ethical one. Although the knowledge of God ought to affect one's conduct, it is nevertheless a mistake to think that the intellectual enterprise of theology serves a purpose that is greater than itself. Christians should affirm that since to study theology is to know God, and knowing God is the highest purpose of man, theology therefore possesses intrinsic value. Jeremiah 9:23-24 says:

This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his
wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man
boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he
understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises
kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,"
declares the LORD.

There is no higher purpose for which the knowledge of God intends to reach, and there is no higher purpose for man but to know God. Theological knowledge produces moral demands and other effects in one's life, but these are not higher purposes than the theological task of knowing the verbal revelation of God.

--Vincent Cheung, Systematic Theology

03 June 2005

One Man Star Wars

This actor is quite amazing. He can do the Star Wars trilogy (original three) in under an hour, by himself, on a stage, with no props. Just take a look at some of the clips, they are quite funny. Oh, and he does the Lord of the Rings trilogy in under an hour as well...

02 June 2005

Electing Love

Electing love has selected some of
the worst of men to be made the best.
Pebbles of the brook Grace turn into
jewels for the Savior's crown. Worthless
dross he transforms into pure gold.
Redeeming love has set apart many of
the worst of mankind to be the reward
of the Savior's passion and death.
Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest
of the vile to sit at the table of mercy."

Spurgeon

01 June 2005

Gold Mine

Boy, I just found a gold mine today. The Thomas Watson Collection at Bible Bulletin Board. I have recently become a fan of Watson after my pastor recommended his work A Godly Man's Picture. Watson has a way with words that is sorely missing from many of today's Reformed authors. I find many modern day writers are simply too verbose, taking three pages to explain something Watson or Spurgeon could explain in one page (and with better quality I might add...). Additionally, many modern Reformed writers are academics, not pastors or laymen. Don't get me wrong, there is a place for academia, but academia should be for equipping ministers to proclaim the Gospel of Grace, not to equip them to be able to impress their fellow professors in the academic community with 800 page works on a topic that really only needs a couple hundred pages of good, solid, pithy exegesis and thoughtful commentary. There is simply too much novelty these days, not only in academic circles, but on the web as well. Alas, I digress...

I would recommend reading Watson. He had a heart for the flock of Christ, and it shows in his writings.

SDG,
Joe