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The Sleep of Death

Sleep is an odd thing when you think about it. By day, we build skyscrapers, fly airplanes, write poetry, and blow things up. By night, we lie down unconscious for 8 hours. Our heart rate slows, our brain activity diminishes, our bodies lie still. Sometimes we drool.

It’s sort of undignified when you really let it sink in. Even in the city that claims to never sleep, people still sleep. Scripture likens death to sleep—and this makes sense. Sleep is a reminder of death because we can’t keep going on indefinitely. Our bodies and our minds start to fall apart if we spend too much time without sleep, much like they do when we get older. So we go find a nice, cushy surface and lie motionless and unconscious on it for a while. • • • Read More • • •

Selling Hangers to People Fresh out of the Closet

The fan certainly has been coming into contact with a lot of stuff regarding homosexuality and marriage lately. This is because, if I may understate the problem, sin is messy. Our laws have failed to reflect God’s laws for some time and so our politicians, having redefined “up” as “down” and vice versa, find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to reengineer all our helicopters and airplanes.

Christians who are genuinely trying to understand the true gravity of the situation are finding it very difficult to avoid getting turned all topsy-turvy. There are a lot of questions about specifically what should and should not be legal, as well as questions regarding what is and is not moral. This is especially the case for people who make money on weddings, but even some people running businesses that have nothing to do with marriage, say thrift stores, can become confused. Before we get started talking about those issues, we should briefly define the difference between things that are immoral and things that should be illegal. • • • Read More • • •

Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 5.1

God the great Creator of all things does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.

Westminster Confession of Faith: 5.1

Christians, even Calvinists, often act as though God is sovereign only over the big things. If something is trivial to us, we assume that God has simply left it to chance. But God governs over all things, regardless of how small. It is said that the devil is in the details, and he often is—but only by divine decree.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so the things that seem unimportant to us may be important to someone else. This is alright, though, because all things are under God’s control. Even the affairs of microscopic bacteria in otherwise uninhabited parts of the world are divinely ordained. The universe is a grand symphony to the praise of the glory of God, and He has orchestrated every note (even the disobedient ones) to bring Him the most glory possible.

Arguments with Atheists Aren’t Fair

I’ve been meaning to write more in the field of apologetics, but with the recent website downtime and other projects I’ve been working on, I haven’t had time. However, in contrast to the opinion of modern society’s poets, I don’t believe that it is ever too late to apologize.

Apologetics, for those who don’t know, isn’t about saying “I’m sorry.” The word means to defend, and so I’m talking about debates and discussions with non-Christians (especially atheists) concerning the truth of the Bible and the existence of God. If you already knew that, I apologize—er, I mean, I’m sorry. • • • Read More • • •

Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 4.2

After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.

Westminster Confession of Faith: 4.2

God made man upright, but he has sought out many inventions (Ecclesiastes 7:29). That is to say, Adam and Eve were not created as the slaves to sin that they would later become. They were free moral agents in the sense that their wills were not bent toward iniquity as ours are. Their decision to disobey, though predestined, was not due to any depravity of nature compelling them. God gave Adam and Eve the ability to choose between obedience and disobedience to His command. What He withheld, however, was the grace that would effectually incline them toward righteousness. • • • Read More • • •

The Apple Watch: Purpose and Pricing

Let’s start by ignoring the $10,000 elephant in the room, shall we? Before we evaluate the most expensive Apple watches, we should start by asking why Apple is making a watch at all and if it’s a good idea. Only with that foundation will we be able to make sense out of their decision to make expensive watches. Actually, before we start talking about the Apple watch, let’s talk about watches in general. • • • Read More • • •

The New Macbook: a Tiny Laptop with Only One Port

I’ve written a handful of blog posts on Apple-related topics and it would be easy to come to the conclusion that I’m an Apple fanboy. But if volume of words is a metric for judging who is and is not an Apple fanboy, I think the people most violently opposed to Apple would be more easily presumed fanboys.

For right now, Apple is one of only a handful of companies striving to do great design work. Moreover, the design work they put into their platforms (especially iOS) has created an ecosystem of well-designed apps that doesn’t exist anywhere else. That may be my favorite thing about them: the apps other people develop for their platforms. I also like Apple products because they’re high quality, well designed, and they work exceptionally well for my specific purposes. If something better comes along, I’m more than happy to jump off the bandwagon.

All of that said, Apple has announced two products recently that have a lot of geeks up in arms because they seem like awful decisions: the new Macbook with only one port and the Apple Watch. I’d like to share some thoughts on each of these, both from a design perspective and the perspective of a potential user. • • • Read More • • •

Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 4.1

Moving on from God’s eternal decree, the next chapter in the Westminster Confession deals with creation.

It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.

Westminster Confession of Faith: 4.2

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Four Reasons You Should Read the KJV Bible More

Some Mormons play guitar. I saw a few of them doing just that at a park a few months back. It does not, however, follow that all people who play the guitar are Mormons. The logical fallacy I’m addressing here is quite common today, so I want to start off by making sure everyone is aware of it.

There are also a lot of people who prefer the King James Bible who are absolute nutters—people who couldn’t tell the difference between a Nestle-Aland New Testament and a Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia Old Testament. They say and really believe things like, “If it was good for Paul, it’s good enough for me.” But just because someone—say, the author of this post—prefers the Authorized Version (KJV) doesn’t mean he is a nutter—or at least that kind of nutter.

With that out of the way, let me make four brief arguments for why you should make an effort to ensure your King James Bible doesn’t get too dusty on your shelf. • • • Read More • • •

The New Covenant: The Risen Sun

When you turn on a flashlight outside on a cloudless day, it likely won’t do much. Actually, you probably won’t be able to even tell that it’s turned on. The light of the sun is so much greater than the light of your little LED-bulb that the latter is rendered almost imperceptible by the former. It would be a mistake, however, to thus assume the flashlight isn’t working or producing any light.

Many people misunderstand the Old and New Covenants in much the same way. The light of the risen Christ is so great that it can cause the light God gave in the Old Covenant to be difficult to perceive. Because of this, some people assume that the Old Covenant was deficient and broken—that it didn’t show people Christ or administer grace. As we’ve seen, however, that simply isn’t the case. Men and women have always been saved by faith in Christ. If a man can’t see Christ in the Old Covenant, the deficiency is in the man, not the covenant. • • • Read More • • •

Five Books that Helped Shape Me As a Christian

Books are funny things. Each of them shapes you in at least some small way, but some will prove far more shaping than others. This can be because of the time when you read them, the content of the book, discussions you had about the book, or factors you’re never made aware of. That said, here are the five books (besides the Bible) that I look back on as having had the biggest impact on me.

  1. Desiring God – This book is really what got me started reading theology. Piper presented theology in a way that was appealing and I don’t know that I would have read any of the books below without having read this one—even though I never quite finished it. • • • Read More • • •

Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 3.8

After seven straight articles about predestination in chapter three of the Confession, the Westminster Divines thought it wise to clarify how the doctrine is to be used.

The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.

Westminster Confession of Faith: 3.8

The notion that Calvinists are jerks is a common one today because many have not heeded this article. Predestination is a doctrine that needs to be handled carefully. It should result in assurance of salvation, humility, hard work, and worship for those who believe it. Calvinists who make Balaam’s donkey appear to be a more amiable messenger have done something wrong. They do not know what Spirit they are of.

The doctrine of predestination teaches us that we had nothing whatever to do with our salvation. It teaches us that we were so bad, only God could save us. It humbles us by telling us that we could never even have a part in our salvation, then it reassures us by teaching us that the whole of it has already been accomplished for us. Let’s pray that God will use this doctrine to move us to worship and humility.

Twelve Theses on Male Modesty

Rather than write an extended post on male modesty, I’ve heavily condensed my thoughts into twelve theses. If we’re being honest: it’s probably one of the best ways to ensure that men will read it.

  1. The Greek word for lust simply means powerful desire. It cannot, therefore, be reduced to only include sexual desire.
  2. Men and women are fully capable of having powerful or inordinate desires for all the same things. The difference between men and women is not in what the they can be tempted by, but rather what the are most prone to be tempted by. • • • Read More • • •

Why You Should Stop Praying “In Your Name, Amen.”

Scripture often speaks of believers as children and of God as Father. This description is comforting to believers because it teaches us what we are often like and how God responds to us. Children make lots of mistakes that their father will help them overcome. Children also rebel openly, but that doesn’t make their father stop loving them. Adoption is truly a great gift.

I’d like to address a mistake that many Christians make while praying, but I want to begin and end with a reminder that we have a loving Father who bears with us even in our mistakes. Most people do not have a good theology of prayer, but that doesn’t mean that God isn’t listening—just like a child who can’t quite say “daddy” isn’t ignored on the grounds that he talks funny. • • • Read More • • •

Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 3.7

The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praised of His glorious justice.

Westminster Confession of Faith 3.7

When thinking about election and reprobation, we must remember that because all men fell with Adam, God is not obligated to save anyone. When you give a gift to a family member, other people do not have the right to demand that you therefore give them a gift as well. Salvation is a gift and God dispenses it as He pleases.

The Potter, says Paul, has rights over the clay (Romans 9:21). He has the right to save whom He will and pass over whom He will. If His goal were to promote pots in general, then creating some destined for destruction would be silly. But His goal is His own glory, so He uses some pots to show His grace and some to show His justice. In all this He not only maintains His righteousness, but also manifests it.

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