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The Potter's Clay

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

27 August 2005

Conference Time **Update 2**

This Friday and Saturday (26th & 27th), Alpha & Omega Ministries will be hosting their 2005 National Conference near Seattle. I will be attending of course, as it is only twenty minutes from my home. I am very excited about the conference, and the debate too. James White will be debating John Dominic Crossan on the thesis “Is the Orthodox, Biblical account of Jesus of Nazareth Authentic and Historically Accurate”. Needless to say, that is a large thesis for a debate. I for one am looking forward to the cross-examination portion of the evening.

I am praying that God will be glorified in the conference lecturers and in the materials being disseminated. I am prayerful the Word of God will be upheld as the ground and pillar of Christianity, and defended against the attacks of the Jesus Seminar and other liberal theologians. Lord willing I will give an update after Friday's lectures, and more on Saturday.

**8/26 PM Update**- It's almost midnight here, and the Friday portion of the conference just ended. Amazing stuff tonight. Dr. Renihan spoke of the Authority of Scripture. I took way too many notes, so all I can say is it was excellent. Very edifying and faith strengthening. Here is Dr. White's recap.

Dr. White spoke on The Da Vinci Code, and the fact that Dan Brown is a great fiction writer, and that's it. The Da Vinci Code is so full of historical errors and mistakes, I was amazed anyone actually takes this book seriously, or Dan Brown for that matter. I know, it's "fiction", but Brown clearly has an agenda he is pushing in this book, and that agenda hates all things Christianity.

Steve Camp ministered with his amazing musical talents. It was a time of refreshing, God honoring music. It was a spiritual high for sure!

Lord willing, more updates to come tomorrow after a full day of conference, and the debate tomorrow night.**

**8/27 Update** - Well, the debate is over, as is the conference. Overall, it was a tremendose blessing to hear such God glorifying preaching. The debate was very enjoyable. Dr. White and Dr. Crossan interacted in a very charitable, and at times, funny way. Both are quite witty men, and very smart men too. I respect both of them for that. I am biased of course, I think White got the better of Crossan, simply because it became clear through the debate that Crossan really does not believe in the All-Powerful God of the bible and history. Here is Dr. White's brief recap of the debate, which I am sure he will go inot more detail in the near future.

Next year the conference and cruise will originate in Tampa Bay, FL, hurricane country. I am not really sure I'll be attending. :-)

Soli Deo Gloria!

23 August 2005


I ran across this site. It is loaded with information about theology. Enjoy!

22 August 2005


I am hooked on Sudoku. It is a numbers game that is just plain fun. My father in law is a game guru, and he got me hooked on Sudoku not long ago. Check out the website for more. Apparently this game is all the rage in Japan right now. There doesn't seem to be very many newspapers carrying the puzzle. Here is a simple overview:

" Fill in the grid so that every row,
every column, and every 3x3 box
contains the digits 1 through 9. "

That's all there is to it. There are levels of difficulty. I am good enough to consistently get the easy ones solved, but that is it. I have a long way to go!

19 August 2005

The Sacred Sandwich: Throwing the Book at Postmodern Christianity

I first found The Sacred Sandwich months ago, and I have to say, it is one of the best sites on the web. The curator of the site has a way with satire that is humorous to me, but of course, may be offensive to others. Don't get me wrong, it is appropriate humor, and spot on in my opinion.

Just take a look and you'll see what I mean.

18 August 2005

Going Deep with God By Having Him Carry Our Loads

One of the reasons we don't know God deeply is that we don't venture much on his pledge to carry things for us. Knowing God with a sense of authentic personal reality, is not merely a matter of study. It is a matter of walking with him through fire and not being burned. It is a matter of not being crushed under a load because he carries it for you at your side. What, then, does he carry?

1. God has carried our sins.

Isaiah 53:11, "By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities." Hebrews 9:28, "Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many." 1 Peter 2:24, "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross."

Believing this and experiencing its liberating effect is crucial. 1) It is crucial for life now. Guilt feelings do not have the last word! 2) It is crucial for the hour of our dying. The sting of death is sin, but thanks be to God, it was removed. 3) It is crucial for everlasting joy. Christ's sin-bearing work secures for us never-ending compensation for every so-called "loss" in this life of sacrificial love. This confidence is the foundation of knowing God.

2. God pledges to carry our anxieties.

1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." The only other place this word for "cast on" occurs is in Luke 19:35 where the disciples threw their coats on the colt for Jesus to ride.

What worries does God aim to take from our backs and carry for us? Every kind. For example, anxieties about 1) lacking necessities (Phil. 4:4-7); 2) being useless (Is. 55:11); 3) weakness (2 Cor. 12:9); 4) decisions (Psa. 32:8); 5) opponents (Rom. 8:31); 6) affliction (Psa 34:19; Rom. 5:3-5); 7) aging (Is. 46:4); 8) dying (Rom. 14:7-9); and 9) not persevering (Phil. 1:6; Heb. 7:25).

When George Mueller was asked how he could be so calm in the middle of a hectic day with so many uncertainties in the orphanage, he answered something like, "I rolled sixty things onto the Lord this morning." When Hudson Taylor was told about missionaries in his charge being in trouble, he was heard soon after whistling his favorite hymn, "Jesus I Am Resting."

3. God pledges to carry our burdens (= "our lot").

Psalm 55:22, "Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." The word for "burden" here is "lot." What is your lot in life today? What has providence brought you. This is finally of the Lord. And will carry it for you. It is not meant to crush you or carry you away. It is meant to test your trust in God to carry it for you. (See also Psa. 16:5; 63:8.)

For Amy Carmichael the "lot" was singleness. There were several chances to leave it, and take "the other life." But she heard the inner voice, No, no, no. As Elisabeth Elliot tells the story in A Chance to Die.

4. God pledges to carry the cause of justice for us.

1 Peter 2:23, "While being reviled, [Jesus] did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept handing over to Him who judges justly."

In almost every relationship of life you will be treated unjustly. "Jesus never called us to a fair fight" (George Otis). How will you not be embittered? By letting God carry your cause and settle accounts either on the cross or in hell. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay" (Rom. 12:19). Leave it to him. Prepare to be treated unjustly, whether it is someone breaking in front of you in line, or bearing false witness at the final trial of your life.

5. God pledges to carry you all your life.

Isaiah 46:3-4, "Hearken to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save." (See also Ex. 19:4; Psa. 18:35; 94:18.)

In the end the Christian life is a life of being carried from beginning to end. We work. But it is not we, but God who works within us (1 Cor. 15:10).


So come to him, all you who labor and are heavy laden and find rest for your soul. Go deep with God and know him better by venturing more on his pledge to carry you and all your concerns.

--John Piper

17 August 2005

Coldplay - Live 2005

Last night, my wife surprised me with tickets to see Coldplay at the White River Amphitheatre. One word: Wow. They are great live, and the amphitheatre was just awesome. Nothing like an outdoor show. Coldplay is one of my favorite bands right now, so I was excited to see them live, and they did not disappoint. I think they sound better live than on any of their studio albums. Amazing sound and experience. I had a blast, and I have my wife to thank! :-)

16 August 2005

Edwards, Spurgeon, Ryle and Friends

I highly recommend you make Edwards, Spurgeon, Ryle and Friends a permanent entry on your blogroll. I have been following this blog since it's inception, and have greatly benefited from reading the various quotes.


14 August 2005

Reading Revelation - Part 2

Again, Jollyblogger has a well written follow-up to his previous post about Reformed eschatology and interpreting the book of Revelation. David Wayne is one of my favorite bloggers, check him out.

As well, if you are up for some reading, check out Knox Seminary's "John-Revelation Project". It has been out on the internet for a while now. I read it last year and it really pricked my mind to pursue a better understanding of Revelation. I am not 100% sure of the conclusions, but it is a fascinating study nonetheless, and I need more study in that area too.

10 August 2005

Reading Revelation

Jollyblogger has a nice, short essay on how to read the book of Revelation. I happen to agree with this method of interpreting Revelation. It is a fascinating book, one that I think contains many blessings for Christians. To my mind, it is very comforting to know that the Sovereign God of the Bible has established the beginning to the end of history, and it is all culminating in the victory of the Lamb!

Soli Deo Gloria!

06 August 2005

A Reformed Baptist Manifesto - Chapters 1-3

Over at Matt's blog, he has re-published chapters one through three of A Reformed Baptist Manifesto. I blogged on these months ago, and chapter three just went up, so I thought a refresher would be nice.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

The Blog of Redundancy Blog

Matt Pearson (aka JIBBS) has a new blog. His old one went belly up.

The Threefold Use of the Law

by R.C. Sproul

Every Christian wrestles with the question, how does the Old Testament law relate to my life? Is the Old Testament law irrelevant to Christians or is there some sense in which we are still bound by portions of it? As the heresy of antinomianism becomes ever more pervasive in our culture, the need to answer these questions grows increasingly urgent.

The Reformation was founded on grace and not upon law. Yet the law of God was not repudiated by the Reformers. John Calvin, for example, wrote what has become known as the “Threefold Use of the Law” in order to show the importance of the law for the Christian life.1

The first purpose of the law is to be a mirror. On the one hand, the law of God reflects and mirrors the perfect righteousness of God. The law tells us much about who God is. Perhaps more important, the law illumines human sinfulness. Augustine wrote, “The law orders, that we, after attempting to do what is ordered, and so feeling our weakness under the law, may learn to implore the help of grace.”2 The law highlights our weakness so that we might seek the strength found in Christ. Here the law acts as a severe schoolmaster who drives us to Christ.

A second purpose for the law is the restraint of evil. The law, in and of itself, cannot change human hearts. It can, however, serve to protect the righteous from the unjust. Calvin says this purpose is “by means of its fearful denunciations and the consequent dread of punishment, to curb those who, unless forced, have no regard for rectitude and justice.”3 The law allows for a limited measure of justice on this earth, until the last judgment is realized.

The third purpose of the law is to reveal what is pleasing to God. As born-again children of God, the law enlightens us as to what is pleasing to our Father, whom we seek to serve. The Christian delights in the law as God Himself delights in it. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). This is the highest function of the law, to serve as an instrument for the people of God to give Him honor and glory.

By studying or meditating on the law of God, we attend the school of righteousness. We learn what pleases God and what offends Him. The moral law that God reveals in Scripture is always binding upon us. Our redemption is from the curse of God’s law, not from our duty to obey it. We are justified, not because of our obedience to the law, but in order that we may become obedient to God’s law. To love Christ is to keep His commandments. To love God is to obey His law.


1. The church today has been invaded by antinomianism, which weakens, rejects, or distorts the law of God.
2. The law of God is a mirror of God’s holiness and our unrighteousness. It serves to reveal to us our need of a savior.
3. The law of God is a restraint against sin.
4. The law of God reveals what is pleasing and what is offensive to God.
5. The Christian is to love the law of God and to obey the moral law of God.

Biblical passages for reflection:
Psalm 19:7-11
Psalm 119:9-16
Romans 7:7-25
Romans 8:3-4
1 Corinthians 7:19
Galatians 3:24

1. Calvin, Institutes, bk. II, 1:304-310.
2. Calvin, Institutes, bk. II, 1:306.
3. Calvin, Institutes, bk. II, 1:307.

Excerpt from Essential Truths Of The Christian Faith by R. C. Sproul

03 August 2005

Paul Helm on Calvin's View of the Atonement

Another fine essay by Paul Helm, this time on Calvin's view of the atonement of Christ.

A Call to Witness

Here is an excellent sermon by John Calvin that can be found in the book The Mystery of Godliness. It is worth the time to read.