The Quotable Round-Up #118

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The mid-term election is now over here in the Philippines. We can see defeats and victories of those who ran for office. Some are already proclaimed winners. Now lets get back to reality and pray for these newly elected officials that they may serve this country well. There are lots of works to do to help this country move forward. Whether you like the officials or not, keep them in prayers. And always remember the sovereignty of God over the affairs of men.

Anyways, here’s 7 quotes from the new book by Sean McDowell & J. Warner Wallace, So The Next Generation Will Know. The book review is on it’s way but if you want to get the book, click on this Amazon link to place your order.

“… a biblical worldview is grounded in biblical teaching. You can’t align your life to the truth of the Bible if you don’t even know what it says. That’s why everything begins and ends with the study of God as revealed in Scripture: theology.”

“If Christianity is considered to be just a subjective opinion (an individualistic preference about God) and not the unique and only cure for spiritual death (regardless of an individual’s personal opinion), don’t be surprised when young people treat Christianity more like a cookie than a cure.”

“Worldview is not just about the mind—it is also about the orientation of the heart. Simply put, a worldview is a fundamental commitment to reality that shapes how we live.”

“…worldview as simply a view of the world that answers three critical questions: (1) How did we get here?—Origin; (2) Why is everything so messed up?—Predicament; and (3) How can we fix it?—Resolution.”

“…every generation of young people has sought to find their place in the world. But what is different for Gen Z is the depth of loneliness many feel and the availability of endless counterfeits that claim to be able to fill their hearts with meaning.”

“The next generation of Christians faces spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and moral challenges like no prior group of believers. And much of this is because of the ubiquity of technology. Members of Generation Z face more challenges just one click away than previous generations did when they would look for it.”

“Theology and apologetics are not direction­less pursuits. They point us toward holy behaviors and provide us with answers to several questions that matter to young people.”

 

The Quotable Round-Up #113

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I’m half way through Broken Pieces by Simonetta Carr. The book is about  the tragic story of her son, Jonathan as he battles schizophrenia. If you want to purchase a copy of the book at Amazon please click this link. But for now, here’s 5 quotes from that book.

“Once we recognize our powerlessness and fix our eyes on God, we can understand why his Word constantly reminds us not to fear.”

“I remember a popular saying: “A parent only is as happy as his or her most unhappy child.” It’s true, as far as our tendencies go. We would like so much to take on their sorrows, even if that won’t do them any good. The only answer is to ask the Lord to give us all strength. He can sustain us while he works in our children’s troubled minds.”

“It’s easy for us to think that our motherly care is the main influence in our children’s lives, when in reality they are in God’s hands and he uses our parenting efforts for his glory.”

“Pain is an intrinsic part of the Christian life in this earthly pilgrimage.”

“I think that most Christian parents want to “be the Holy Spirit” for their children. We want to enter their minds and direct their thoughts, especially when we see them stray. This desire is magnified in my situation, when my son’s thoughts are absolutely unintelligible and unfathomable—just like the voices he is hearing.”

 

6 Ways to Learn Logic Online With Zero Budget

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Logic and knowing logical fallacies can be an indispensable tool in apologetics. Before you answer any questions from skeptics, logic can dismantle it before hand by pointing out that it is an invalid argument. Another is that pointing out fallacies will keep you in focus on the argument itself and avoid wandering to unnecessary arguments.

I belong to a Facebook group that discusses theology. And when you discuss theology you’ll inevitably invite folks for a discussion often swelling to a friendly debate. Some do have strong arguments and some do not. One of the things I noticed is that some have invalid arguments that they would drag again and again that doesn’t merit anything with the discussion. Sadly they think they are making points on their arguments but in reality they are not.

As Christians we need to please God not just by showing respect and humility in answering but also responding in a clear and logical way. The way we think matters to God also.

So before you channel your inner Josh McDowell or Greg Bahnsen (LOL), here’s six ways to learn logic and logical fallacies without opening your wallet.

Read what’s it all about

Before we go to the entree, here are some starters that you might want to check out:

The Fallacy Detectives – A superb site on learning logic and its fallacies. This Frequently Asked Questions about Logic article is a great starting point to know about it. Mostly questions floating in your mind are answered here.

Got Questions? How should a Christian view logic? is an excellent question (with an excellent answer) that will set why do we need logic in our arguments. 

Truthbomb Apologetics – The 10 Commandments of Logic  is your first dip to the different logical fallacies that you will encounter when your in argument.

 Go Visual

One way to learn something is to get a visual grasp of a lesson. So here are some visuals that will aid you to easily digest logic and it’s fallacies.

Check this infographic – You can view this awesome infographic in two ways, the poster version and the 11 x 17 jpeg,  thanks to The Visual Communicator Guy.

Download this free poster – Critical Thinking Shop offers this 24 x 36″ wall poster of the 24 most common fallacies for free in PDF format (just scroll bellow to see the download link).  Once you download it you can post it on your room or frame it so that you can see and remind you about logical fallacies.

 Listen to a Sunday School message

There are lots of audio resources that can be included in this section but let us stick to something simple. With a quick search on SermonAudio, I pick two of the best message on logical fallacy:

Josh Bales – Simply titled Fallacies, Bales delivered this message at The Wells Church. The audio is not that good but the content of it is solid. Most logical fallacies discussed has Bible references that you can check it yourself.

Jonathan Harris – Part of an apologetics series (which you can check it also), Logical Fallacies is based on the book The Fallacy Detectives. Again the audio is not good but it has a good run down of the fallacies and it has a PDF text that you can download.

 Take a Test

Choose below to see how you measure up on what you have learned so far. This will help you retain what you have learned from #2 and #3. Also this will prepare you for the last two ways which requires some heavy lifting.

Logical Fallacies Quiz – Posted on ProProfs, this free quiz has 6 easy questions that warm ups for the other quizzes below. To take this quiz, simply click the “Start” button.

Fun TriviaCan You Spot the Fallacy? has 10 questions and you need to read the arguments carefully.

The Fallacy Detective – Check this article How Logical Are You?  for a simple quiz on logical fallacies. Also check this free  witty official test  which includes some bonus stuff aside from the logical fallacy test. Answers are provided at the end of the test.

So by now you already have a grasp on logic and logical fallacies. Now let’s shift our gears on how your learning fit as an apologetics tool, thus this is the aim of this listacle. These last two ways will show you how.

Watch this Video

Dr. Jason Lisle had a tremendous impact to me in apologetics. His books really helped me see presuppositional apologetics power in subduing secular worldviews. Purchase his book Ultimate Proof of Creation and Discerning Truth and you’ll see what I mean. But since this is a budget free post on logic, check out this video from him. In this video you’ll see how, logic and apologetics fit hand in glove in dismantling arguments against Christianity solely based in his book Discerning Truth (a book on logical fallacies). This video is more leaning to the evolution vs. creation debate nevertheless it has a great presentation on logic and logical fallacies. Click to this link to another video that is based on Ultimate Proof of Creation which introduced me to presuppositional apologetics.

 

Download this book

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Crossway Books and Vern Poythress are so generous to have Logic online and for free download. It’s a long book but given the caliber of the author, this is a must read. This will somewhat complement what you have learned from Dr. Lisle’s videos above.

Now that you have learn logic and logical fallacies, think of the arguments that you commonly encounter. Do you find it valid or invalid?

Joining A Book Launching Team

udpwobdSince November last year, I have been busy but tremendously enjoying, being part of a book launching team. It’s such a thrilling journey to help out an author spread the word of his newest book. I used to participate on book blogging tours, but being in a launching team is quite a different experience.

It started with the book by Jeff Medder’s titled Humble Calvinism. Knowing him from his previous books, I need to sign up and be part of it. Were given an advance copy of the book that is slated to be release on March 2019. That’s four months allotted time to read and write a review of the book. Along the way, I got to collect some interesting quote from the book and posted it on my blog. You can read part 1 and part 2 here at Delighting Grace. It was an engaging book and I love every bit of it. Now that I  posted quotes (which got some people interested with the book)  wrote book review on this blog and on Goodreads, I can say I’m done with it. But that’s half of the story.

However last January,  another author, Dan DeWitt was scouting for folks who wants to be on his launching team. His latest book, Sunny Side Up, was to be released early February. And by that time, I’m still not done with Humble Calvinism! So I have to give way in favor of Sunny Side Up and start reading. Humble Calvinism can sit and wait. So in January, I’m juggling with two books with two different release date. I have to learn to manage my time by checking my calendar. Sometimes I’m all pumped up to read but life happens. I work in graveyard shifts and I get to take care of my little daughter. So my spare time are on laundry time. There I was able to squeeze in writing book reviews and other articles. Still in the end, I manage to finish both books and do the necessary digital promotions for them.

As of this writing, I’m on William Boekestein’s launching team for the release of his book The Future of Everything  on March. I’m of course reading that book and Flip Michael’s book Five Half Truths which I personally ask a copy from the author with a promise to review it on my blog and post some quotes. After finish I reading Boekestein’s book, I’ll immediately dive in to Simonetta Carr’s  Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them, which, like Flip Michaels book, I will post quotes and write a review.

If your a book blogger, I would suggest you try it. It maybe an out of your comfort zone experience (with deadlines, meeting up with the team and reading a digital copy of the book) its all worthwhile.

So before I end this article, here’s some takeaways I want to share to you that picked up being a part of  book launching team: 

Tips on participating a book launching team

*  Be sure you love reading.

* Follow authors,  specially up and coming authors. You can find them on your social media platforms. Most likely bloggers and contributors of big ministries (like The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, Ligonier Ministries etc.,) will eventually write a book, so you might want to follow them in their social media accounts. In addition, authors from small Reformed publishing companies would also ask for help.

* Sign-up to free newsletters of book publishing companies. In that way, you’ll find the upcoming books and if they need a launch team for a particular release.

*You can ask directly to the author and request the newly released book. Send him or her a private message.

* Be sure you have a blog (if necessary have a good number of followers); an Amazon, Goodreads and other book review sites account. In this way you can easily help the author spread the word of his new book.

* Read the book ASAP. Set aside books if you have a reading list and focus on the books to be launched. If you’re in multiple launching team, manage it by reading the book that is closest to the release date.

* Post quotes from the book on your social media accounts and don’t forget to tag the author.

Perks being in a launching team

*You’ll get to first the book in advance.

*You’ll get to interact more with the author (which is so cool!)

*If possible, you’ll receive a physical copy of the new book.

*You’ll be included to an exclusive, launch team only Facebook group.

*You’ll meet other bloggers  in the Facebook group and get to exchange ideas.

*Well you have a story to tell that you have been part of launching that book.

Have you tried joining a book launch team? Please share your story on the comments section.

 

 

 

The Freebie Round-Up #30

kqkfcelI’m thankful for Tim Challies for mentioning me on his Ala Carte last January 29. It made my stats (visits, views and sign ups) spike up for a couple of days not just on The Freebie Round-Up #29 but to other postings on my blog.  Hoping I’ve served many believers with freebies that they can freely use personally and for the ministry.  Also I’ve updated and added some content to my 2016 post, renamed How to Create an Instant Digital Christian Library Without Breaking the Bank, which garnered more than 100  views. Again I’m hoping some Christians will be bless by it.

Anyways, here’s a list of great freebies that are waiting to be downloaded. And if your new here to this post or you missed out other freebie round-ups, check the links to those post at the end of this article.

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FREE One on One study on the Gospel of Mark – A 14 session study of the Gospel of Mark for a one on one setting at a coffee shop or at home, Bruntsfield Evangelical Church offers this resource for free.

FREE “Journal of Theology” of Mid-America Reformed Seminary – This annual magazine is filled with articles and book review from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Click this link to access the archive of past issues, read  and download them for free.

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FREE “Bible Study Resources” from St. Helen’s BishopgateDownloadable free studies of a couple of books of the Bible for personal and small group use.

FREE e-book “More People to Love” by Benjamin Vrbicek – From the author of “Don’t Just Send A Resume”, Vrbicek is offering his other book for free by simply signing up for his e-mailing list. Once you do sign up, you’ll receive an e-mail with a few more free e-books. That’s way so cool! Just scroll down till you find the subscription box.

FREE e-book “New Testament Greek for Laymen” by Michael A. Merritt – If you want to study NT Greek here’s something that will help. The Daily Dose of Greek is an excellent site for beginners who wants to know the language of the New Testament. This free book is now part of their growing resource page that will assist you achieve that goal.

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FREE e-book “Philippians for You” by Steven J. Lawson – Lawson is a great expositor preacher and getting this book for free is such a blessing for those people who are looking for solid exposition of the Letters to the Philippians.

FREE audiobook “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan – Christian Audio’s freebie of the month dishes out the classic book by John Bunyan. Nuff said!

Do you want more freebies? Check out these past blog post:

Freebie Round-Up #29

Freebie Round-Up #28

Freebie Round-Up #27

Freebie Round-Up # 26

Freebie Round-Up # 25

Freebie Round-Up # 24

Freebie Round-Up # 23

Freebie Round-Up # 22

Freebie Round-Up # 21

Freebie Round-Up # 20

Freebie Round-Up # 19

Freebie Round-Up # 18

The Freebie Round-Up #17

The Freebie Round-Up #16

The Freebie Round-Up #15

The Freebie Round-Up #14

The Freebie Round-Up #29

d4mxnqqHello guys! Monday is the start of a new work week and it’s a perfect time to apply what we have learned yesterday’s worship service. Are you excited to do it? Praying that God’s grant you grace to live out His Word today. I hope with these freebies, you’ll find something to kick start a Monday with God. And if your new here to this post or you missed out other freebie round-ups, check the links to those post at the end of this article.

FREE “Bible Basic” online classes – Riverview church prepared this free online class that includes 1 hour long video and 2 hand outs on how to study the Bible.

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FREE Conference video and audio of “Your Life in Christ” – Dr. Con Campbell of Covenant Hope Church of Dubai have a couple of conference materials that are free to download.

FREE printable checklist, discussion guides and illustrations for kids – Whether it’s children or teachers that you want to evaluate, Jack Klumpenhower has some freebies that could help. Includes salvation summary, post discussion guides and more!

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FREE e-booklet “What It Means to be Reformed” from Faith Alive – It’s an interesting question that people should ponder. This free booklet address this question and other issues surrounding this topic.

FREE access to Union Theology resources – Tons of video, audio and articles if you sign up for free to get full access including lectures from Michael Reeves.

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FREE “Current” magazine – This is the magazine of The Free Presbyterian Church of North America. It’s published quarterly and contains articles, Bible lessons, testimonies and news. Check this link to read all their magazines for free. 

FREE e-book “Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms” from IVP Press – Glad IVP Press is now in the freebie game (and I hope) they’ll continue to be generous. This free ebook is a valuable reference that contains over 300 terms clearly and concisely defined.

Do you want more freebies? Check out these past blog post:

Freebie Round-Up #28

Freebie Round-Up #27

Freebie Round-Up # 26

Freebie Round-Up # 25

Freebie Round-Up # 24

Freebie Round-Up # 23

Freebie Round-Up # 22

Freebie Round-Up # 21

Freebie Round-Up # 20

Freebie Round-Up # 19

Freebie Round-Up # 18

The Freebie Round-Up #17

The Freebie Round-Up #16

The Freebie Round-Up #15

The Freebie Round-Up #14

5 Reasons Why Your Sermon is Boring (and 5 Ways to Fix It)

wzOd8BWOf course, God can still use a boring sermon to bless His people.  However that’s not an excuse not to improve and use God given resources available to the pastor. I would like to share (based on my experience) five reasons why sermons are boring and tips to tweak it.

You use the same old illustrations over and over again – We understand that you use the same jokes or illustrations to make us easily grasp what you want us to understand. You want what is already familiar to us. At first we like those stories. However in time those illustrations breeds contempt. We became tired of listening to that part. We already know what part of the sermons were you will insert that. Some of us maybe rolling our eyes and saying in our mind “Goodness that worn out joke is coming…”.  Some of us might even joke about those same old illustrations. And some might feel embarrassed.

Fix it: Its time to find some great stories that will explain points in your sermon. Try reading books (Christian and non Christian), watching TED-talks videos on Youtube, check out Christian blogs or listen to sermons from other preachers. Another tip is what Dr. Nathan Busenitz had suggested is to use Church History. It’s gives informative and timeless  touch to your message. Another thing is, if its possible why not go straight to the point.

You preach the same old topic over and over again- We understand that when you emphasize a certain topic and repeat it over and over, you want to church to really get it.  Of course we want to be constantly reminded of something from the Word of God. However, if that’s often and there is no other topic to be preach, then we have a problem. It might be also that you stick to your forte and scared to try other topics. Whatever the reasons are you need to grasp the heart of church.

Fix it: Ask your preaching team or key laymen on what to preach. Let your other preachers in your church preach. In that way it might reveal what are the spiritual needs of the church.  Consult other pastors about what message matters to your church. Brainstorm in a place other than the church. And one last thing, don’t forget that the Holy Spirit will work even if you preached the topic once.

You talk too much of yourself- It’s one thing to put your personal anecdotes as a good illustration for the message, but when you become the sermon itself, eyes will roll and boredom will strike. In some cases, pulpits can be use to elevate self, academic achievements, virtue signalling and even solicit sympathy.

Fixt it: Let us remind ourselves that preaching is all about God and not you. You are responsible to point us to God through your message. If you’re trying to lift up your name in the pulpit, your glorifying yourself and not God. God didn’t called you to do that. He gave you that privilege to be His mouth piece.

Your sermon is too long – I’m not against long sermons. What I’m against are the unnecessary things included in the message that made it long. Beating around the bush, too much illustrations, personal stories that drift to a rabbit hole, random announcements etc., are some of the reasons the sermon had an unwarranted length.

Fix it:  Why not go straight to the point? Why preach 1-2 hours that will leave your listeners dire of boredom when you can preach a 30-45 minute sermon that will bless them? Maybe its time to sharpen the saw. Sometimes we as preachers should learn to adjust to the listeners not the other way around. Flexibility is the key. Of course, this is not a small step to compromising your message but by learning to be flexible were becoming good preachers in the process. Listen what Spurgeon has to say about shortening your long message:

“Brevity is a virtue within the reach of all of us; do not let us lose the opportunity of gaining the credit which it brings. If you ask me how you may shorten your sermons, I should say, study them better. Spend more time in the study that you may need less in the pulpit. We are generally longest when we have least to say.”

Your listener already heard enough talk even before the sermon begin –  Sometimes the one thing that drives boredom is not in the sermon itself but the talk you had before you start the preaching. You already consumed the listeners time and attention. What is left is disinterested folks who just wants you to get over your message. You already filled their ears with announcements, updates and adventures of your recent trips. Sad, sensitive and discouraging talks will leave them in the slump. Little did you know you long talk stole your sermon’s thunder.

Fix it: Place those important announcements and updates at the end of the service. Set a meeting specially if the issue are for members only. Print out some flyers containing those announcements so your member can read it at home. If its not that serious or demanding you can share it through Facebook group chat.

Pastors, we love and support you. We love you enough to say that their is something wrong with your sermon. We want to be biblically saturated and nothing else. And we know you want it also. However, their something that hinders that goal and that is your sermon is boring. So with all due respect listen to your flock. They want to bring out the best from you.

 

The Quotable Round-Up #102

t4jqaugFresh from a recent seminar about biblical counseling, me and my wife got copies of two books, Excelling in Relationships and Climbing Out of Depression, each in English and Tagalog version. So my wife reads the English and mine is the Tagalog. Hope we finish and further enhance what we have learned in the seminary. But for now I’ll be posting some quotes from the Tagalog translation of David Meengs book Climbing Out of Depression. 

“Mahalagang maunawaan natin na kung paano tayo mag-isip, magsalita o kumilos ay may koneksyon sa ating kalagayang espirituwal. Ang mga espirituwal na mga alalahanin ay nangangailangan ng espirituwal na solusyon! Ang katotohanan lamang ng Diyos ang magpapalaya sa atin sapagkat ipapakita nito ang tunay na kondisyon ng ating isipan at puso. Ito lamang ang makapagbibigay ng tahasang tugon sa pinaka ugat ng problema, nang walang tinatago.”

“Sang-ayon ang Diyos na tayo nga ay nasasaktan ng ibang tao! Ngunit ang ating maling tugon o reaksyon sa pananakit sa atin ang pinakaproblema, at depende iyan kung ano ang kalagayan ng puso natin. Ang karunungan mula sa Diyos ay nagtuturo na kailangang higit nating alamin kung paano ang tamang tugon sa mga nanakit sa atin. Ang karunungang ito ay taliwas sa itinuturo ng sikolohiya!”

“Ang pag-asa ayon sa Biblia ay naiiba talaga sa pag-asa sa paningin ng mundo bilang isang” kahilingan” lamang. Ang pag-asa ayon sa Biblia ay ang pananampalataya na may lakas ng loob na nag-aabang sa Diyos na tuparin Niya ang kanyang mga pangako na nakasandig sa katangian Niya; hindi nakadepende sa tao, sa mga bagay na pag-aari o sa mataas o mahirap na kalagayan sa buhay.”

“Ang mga taong mayroon Kristo sa kanilang mga puso, ang tanging may pag-asa at maaring magbago at mabuhay sa paraan ng Diyos! Bakit? Sapagkat ang kapangyarihan lamang ni Kristo ang may kakayahang sirain ang kapangyarihan ni Satanas sa puso ng mananampalataya.”

“Ang taong na kay Kristo na ay nailigtas mula sa kapangyarihan at sa parusa ng kasalanan! Iyon ang pag-asa! Matapos ang pagbabago ng puso, ang saloobin, mga salita at mga gawa ay magkakaroon din ng pagbabago pati na ang mga damdamin o nararamdaman ng isang tao ay magkakaroon na rin ng pagbabago.”

“Kapag nakatago sa ating mga puso ang pag-asa ng Diyos, magagawa nating sariwain sa ala-ala ang mga ito sa oras ng ating pangangailangan. Ang Banal na Espiritu bilang ating pinakamahusay na Tagapayo at Gabay ay nagpatotoo sa ating espiritu upang tulungan tayo. Kasabay ng pag-asa sa ating mga puso, ay magiging handa tayo sa pagbibigay rin ng pag-asa sa iba!”

“Ang katapatan ng Diyos ay labis na kahanga-hanga. Ang banal na katapatan ng Diyos ay ganap na nangangalaga sa isang mananampalataya. Ang ating Diyos ay lubos na nakatuon sa mga minamahal Niya.”

5 Questions A ‘Bible Only’ Proponent Should Ask

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Like my previous post titled 5 Questions A Biblicist Should Ponder which I defined what is a Biblicist, we need to clarify what is a Bible only folks for this article. “Bible only” proponents believes that they only need the Bible in the Christian life. This is not espousing the position of Sola Scriptura but Solo Scriptura. Of course they believe in the Bible alone as authority however other sources specially books are not needed. Some (but not all) fundamental or Bible Baptist folks hold on this. I don’t consider this as a major teaching but primary an argument against using resources other than the Scriptures.

Also I want to clarify that this article doesn’t set aside Sola Scriptura in favor of other resources. I uphold Sola Scriptura and reject Solo Scriptura.  Though not as equal as the Bible on authority, I believe God uses books and other resources to help Christians in understanding God. However to have a biased view on these materials is advocating anti-intellectualism and unbiblical.

And with that lets jump in to the 5 questions a “Bible only” folks should ask:

Do I use hymnal books, Sunday school hand outs, church by laws, VBS curriculum, dictionaries or seminary textbooks at church? 

Why use those resources when you have already a Bible?  After all its “Bible only” right? You might response that you don’t view these resources  at par with the authority of the Bible. Then again, this and the following two points are influential in your perspective and you shouldn’t deny it.

Am I benefiting on the Bible’s built in features like cross reference, introduction to the books of the Bible, maps, appendixes, indexes, and also the divisions and numberings of chapters and verses? 

Let’s push it further. One should also consider if he is a “Bible only” Christians, are those built in tools found in his Bible. They’re found in the Bible however they are not part of the Bible.  The text itself is the Bible. You might find it too much but if you want to be a purist in the “Bible only” sense, you should consider this question. Nevertheless, you are succumbing to a man made tool place in your Bible.

Are my educational background (theological or secular), denominational tradition or church culture and values;  in any way influence my being ‘Bible only’?

I think we should not limit the “Bible only” position on tangible resources mentioned above.  How about the things that shaped us as a Christian either from a Christian or secular influence. This is an inescapable truth that we are formed by these elements, wont you agree? still believe in your position is impossible. The reality is, the mere fact you believe in “Bible only” position is a compelling evidence that these influence are truly “controlling” you to sway to such belief.

Now for something personal…. 

Am I intimidated by individuals who reads lots of books? 

We should also look at this angle which can be a  bit personal. After all this maybe a valid reason why you hold on this so called position. Do you feel intimidated by believers who enjoy reading  Christian books, talking about it and sharing it? Lets tweak the question a bit more: Do you feel left out in the conversation when people starts talking about the books or author they follow?

Another question I want to ask (and I’m risking to be too personal): Are you threaten by smart individuals at church?  Do you feel you might lose authority or relevance to these people who are smarter than you? In this case, this not an issue of whether you stand on this impossible position, its a matter pride.

Am I just plain lazy to study?

Maybe this is another reason why you say you’re “Bible only”.  Rather than be honest that you don’t know or don’t want to learn something you settle for this excuse.  If you’re a pastor or preacher you should know better. You owe your church or ministry that you should be equip first by rooting on Scriptures and then getting excellent resources. Times are changing, culture is shifting and people need answers. It wont hurt to learn something that will eventually benefit the church. Not all of what you need to know has been taught to you in seminary. You might need to update, expand and level up.

 

5 Questions A Biblicist Should Ponder

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The term Biblicist has a broad definition. However in this article, I’ll address the Biblicist as a Christian who claims to be neither Calvinist or Arminian and believes that the Bible alone is the only and final authority. You can find them in some fundamental, independent or Bible Baptist circles . They encourage us to be one rather than choose the two, because for them, the Biblicist stand is the biblical one. While it might look noble and virtuous, however by testing the Biblicist position with these five questions, you’ll be surprise that it won’t hold water.

Are you just ignoring the issue?

Some believers just don’t want to be caught in this controversial topic, so they use the position as a trump card to dismiss it. Rather than look at it as an opportunity to have a meaningful discussion and to hear both sides of the issue, they resort it by saying that they are a Biblicist. Well this is not merely an exercise of choosing which side. It’s a question on who or what is biblically sound.

Are you just ignorant of the issue?

Yet some doesn’t have any clue of the matter.  So they jump on the bandwagon to fellow Christians who holds the Biblicist position without thinking it over.  However, the first question and this one doesn’t solve the issue, rather it leads to further anti intellectualism that is so prevalent in this group.

How do you define the Biblicist view?

Whenever I hear someone explain what a Biblicist is, some automatically quote 1 Timothy 3: 16-17, then declare that their belief is on the Bible alone in matters of Christian living, ministries and doctrine.   If by defining Biblicist meant that you adhere to  Scripture alone as the final authority, then a Calvinist can also be called Biblicist (Remember the 5 Solas include Sola Scriptura). In fact,  looking at their theological richness biblically and historically, Calvinism fits in that category. And please don’t appeal on the catechisms or confessions and view it as equal to Scriptures. You’ll end up misrepresenting the Reformed view.  I cant speak for the Arminian but I believe they will also appeal and say that the Bible is their final authority. So by that they are also Biblicist.

What are the basic doctrines a Biblicist adherent to?

As a Calvinist I can point out the doctrine of grace through the TULIP acrostics. As for the Arminians, well I’m not sure but as I check out the web, some might sum it up with the acrostic DAISY (Diminished Depravity, Abrogated Election, Impersonal Atonement, Sedentary grace and Yieldable Justification) although our Arminian friends might disagree. So how about our Biblicist friends? What doctrinal points can they show that is neither Calvinistic or Arminianistic? If they claim to be neural from both and scriptural at the same time, then they have to present something distinct  from the two.

Which brings us to the last question….

Are you just a closet Arminian? 

When push becomes a shove, a Biblicist will try to defend their position against a Calvinist. As they defend their position, you’ll notice that their counter arguments are similar with what an Arminian. Sure, they might not believe in losing ones salvation (neither some Arminians), however by looking on what doctrines they stand you can easily say that their defending Arminianism. They might say they don’t but in reality they are.

As we question the so called Biblicist position, we can see that rather untangling themselves from the issue they further thrown into confusion.  Rather side stepping the issue why not confront it. Try studying it, checking the Scriptures and praying for it. By then we will really understand and know the issue.