Book Review: Can A Christian Be A Nationalist? By Dr. Isabelo F. Magalit

hhqprb4It seems to me when we talk about nationalism, we as a Filipino Christians sometimes can’t point our finger on it. We might see it on how blind nationalist cults like Iglesia ni Cristo, Ang Dating Daan or a Filipino church like Aglipayan built a religious group that is Pinoy. Some might not look far than to see how Ed Lapiz promotes it or the recently the resurgence of an evangelical movement that promotes the social gospel coined as “neighborology”.  But what does the Bible really says Christians being a nationalist?

The book “Can A Christian Be A Nationalist?” answers it with a resounding “Yes”. Dr. Magalit who wrote some books on sticky issues like homosexuality and family planning, tackles a topic that some of us are confused of. We know we are heaven’s citizen and pilgrims just passing through but do we care to promote nationalism? Dr. Magalit first answers the case against being nationalist which is for me impressive. Then he sites Paul and Moses as examples. He included a sort of survey and ends with his vision for the nation.

The book is definitely short and you might say its “bitin”. For a topic about nationalism there is much to be said. Then again this book is enough for Christians to open further discussion and do some actions.  This book is superbly done and a must read.

My verdict: 4.5 out of 5


The Quotable Round-Up # 65

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Hey people here’s your favorite post. Hot and fresh quotes from the books “ Apologetics Made Simple” by Jason Petersen, “A Rulebook for Arguments” by Anthony Weston (a secular author) and “Drawn by the Father” by James R. White . If you enjoyed these quotes, please buy the books at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“There are two common mistakes that unbelievers typically make when they misrepresent Christianity. First, they might change the definitions of the words you used to describe your position. When this happens, do not let them get away with it. Explain why it is important to utilize common definitions. Explain how changing definitions can alter the meaning of the entire proposition. Second, they will ignore what the Bible teaches about whatever topic they are discussing.” — Jason Petersen

“When one is claiming that a proposition is true, a simple question must be answered. That question is, “How do you know that what you believe is true?” Any philosophy that cannot answer this question collapses into skepticism. Perhaps a person may agree that their philosophy results in skepticism, but you only need to tell them, “If you know that you know nothing, you do know something.” Therefore, skepticism is self-refuting.” — Jason Petersen

“If anyone has any beliefs whatsoever, they only can have them by assuming that a proposition is true. Without a starting belief, it is impossible to draw a conclusion. This starting belief is known as an ‘axiom.’ With all of this being said, everyone who has any belief at all is a dogmatist.” — Jason Petersen

“When you are using arguments as a means of inquiry, you sometimes may start with no more than the conclusion you wish to defend. State it clearly, first of all.” — Anthony Weston

“Argument is essential, in the first place, because it is a way of finding out which views are better than others. Not all views are equal. Some conclusions can be supported by good reasons. Others have much weaker support. But often we don’t know which are which. We need to give arguments for different conclusions and then assess those arguments to see how strong they really are.”– Anthony Weston

“What is the result of the divine transaction? What does the Father’s sovereign choice mean in the lives of men? The answer is clear: those who are given by the Father to the Son shall come to the Son. It is not said that they might come, or that they have a higher probability than others to come, but that they shall come. They will come to Christ, they will believe in Christ, they will trust Christ.” — James R. White

“Inarguable truth of Christ’s words is that men who are the object of God’s grace in being given by the Father to the Son will come to Christ as Lord. They will do this without fail. No man who is so given will seek his salvation or his sufficiency anywhere but in Christ.” — James R. White


The Quotable Round-Up # 64

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Hey people heres your favorite post. Hot and fresh quotes from the books “Kept for Jesus ” by  Sam Storms “Young, Restless and Reformed” by Collin Hansen and “Discerning Truth” by Dr. Jason Lisle . If you enjoyed these quotes, please buy the books at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“Our security is ultimately dependent on God’s character and commitment, not on ours. People say, “If we change, we lose our salvation.” No. We can’t lose it, not because we can’t change, but because God can’t.” — Sam Storms

“To deny eternal security means the possibility exists that some who come to the Son will in fact be cast out. It means the possibility exists that the will of the Father and of the Son that all born-again believers be raised up on the last day will not, in fact, be fulfilled. It means that although Jesus is determined to ensure that every born-again Christian is fully and finally saved, the possibility exists that every born-again Christian might be fully and finally damned for eternity. Are you prepared to say that?”– Sam Storms

“It’s a fallacy that just shouldn’t happen — but it does all the time. The straw-man fallacy is when a person misrepresents his opponent’s position and then proceeds to refute that misrepresentation (i.e., the “straw man”) rather than what his opponent actually claims.” — Dr. Jason Lisle

“The key is to remember that an argument should be based on its merit, not on the alleged character defects or the circumstances of the person making the argument.”– Dr. Jason Lisle

“In the abusive ad hominem, the critic attacks his opponent’s character or insults him in an attempt to discredit him in the eyes of the audience. This tactic is common in politics, and it may psychologically sway people. However, it is logically fallacious because a person’s character (or lack thereof) is logically irrelevant to the validity of his argument. Even if the critic’s negative claims about his opponent are true (e.g., he really is a draft-dodger, or he really did spend time in jail), this has no bearing on the position he is advocating.” — Dr. Jason Lisle

“There is a place for emotional language. After all, language has other purposes than to make logical arguments. It can be used to inform, to question, to command, and to evoke. However, when people try to evoke an emotional response to persuade others of a point that is logically questionable, the fallacy of the question-begging epithet is committed.”– Dr. Jason Lisle

“The evidence speaks for itself.” This expression is quite common, but when used as part of an argument, it is the fallacy of reification. Evidence does not speak at all. Evidence is a concept: the name we give to a body of facts that we believe to be consistent with a particular point of view. People draw conclusions about evidence and verbalize their thoughts. But evidence itself does not have thoughts to verbalize.”  — Dr. Jason Lisle

The Quotable Round-Up # 63

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Hey people heres your favorite post. Hot and fresh quotes from the book “Kept for Jesus” by Sam Storms  . If you enjoyed these quotes, please buy the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“We are eternally secure in our salvation not because we are faithful but because God is. He is reliable. He is trustworthy. He is true to himself and will never fail to fulfill what he has promised.”

“Justification is God’s legal declaration that the righteousness of his Son, Jesus Christ, has been imputed or reckoned to us so that we stand in his presence fully accepted and forgiven by faith alone.”

“If the greater task was God’s sending his Son to die for us while we were his enemies, how much easier for him to save us and live for us now that we are his friends? If God loved us as much as he did while we were helpless, sinful, and ungodly, how much more shall he love us now that we are justified, righteous in Christ, adopted as children, and reconciled to his heart.”

“I’ve often heard this: “We say to Jesus, ‘Who were we that led you to do this for us?’ Jesus then says to us, ‘You were a treasure hidden to yourself but seen by me.’” But my understanding is that when we ask, “Who were we that led you to do this for us?” the only answer is: “You were hell-deserving rebels who had no claim on anything in me other than to be the recipients of eternal wrath. I did this for you not because you were a treasure or because of anything in you; indeed it was in spite of what was in you. I did this for you solely because of what was in me, namely, sovereign and free and gracious love for those who deserve only to be hated.”

“Jesus died for spiritually impotent people (Rom. 3:10–12). He died for people who were helpless to prepare themselves, helpless to prove themselves worthy, helpless to do or think or say anything that might attract God’s love. Contrary to the aphorism “God helps those who help themselves,” God helps those who are utterly and absolutely helpless.”

“Genuine, saving faith is the sort that not only learns what he says but also loves it. Genuine faith displays its true character by producing in the heart of the individual a persevering attachment to Jesus. Momentary, flash-in-the-pan commitment to Christ means nothing. We’ve all seen people who are excited today and out the exit tomorrow, men and women who display an attraction to religion and the benefits it can bring them, but who, during the routine experiences of daily life, are rarely heard to utter a distinctly Christian word or make a self-effacing sacrifice for the benefit of another or commit a distinctly Christian act.”

“Merely hearing the gospel avails little. Neither witnessing nor personally benefiting from the working of miracles testifies to the presence of saving faith. That initial emotional euphoria upon responding to the good news of the kingdom can quickly dissipate and die. That we all likely know men and women who heard and received and later ministered on behalf of the gospel, only later to have fallen away, is a sobering reality that ought to give us pause. But at no time should it lead us to conclude that those genuinely born of the Spirit can falter so as to finally fail to enter the kingdom of God. Such is the love of God for his own that he will never permit them to suffer eternal loss.”

“Wherever emotions are high and the gospel is portrayed as promising health, wealth, ease, and popularity, people will believe. This is epidemic today. The response is enthusiastic but shallow; there is no deep consideration of the gospel and its implications; there is no counting of the cost. The response is quick and euphoric but false; it soon fades. Beware of so-called conversions that are all smiles and no repentance, much religious bravado but no brokenness over sin and no humility.”

Tested by Time: Delighting Grace Interviews Dr. Isabelo Magalit

photo courtesy of  Leneth Hortillosa Neri

Truly its an honor to meet Dr. Magalit.  This prolific Christian author still has the strength and wisdom to talk about God. While others are enjoying their retirement, Dr. Magalit,  in his 70’s he graced an apologetics seminar here in Batangas. And I know he can still go on by God’s grace ( he told me has 2 book project coming soon.)


After the apologetics seminar, I sat with Dr. Magalit and talked about his friendship with John Stott, his books and advice for young pastors:

Delighting Grace: Hi pastor. You have mentioned that John Stott mentored you. How was it and what is the one thing you learned from him that you treasured?

Dr. Isabelo Magalit: Yes, but not formally. He is an officer of IVF in Cambridge ( which Dr. Magalit is previously connected). The first book of his that I read is “Basic Christianity”. It’s a wonderful presentation of the gospel though its a long read. The gospel was clearly explained in that book. We actually reprinted that in Manila. His a long time friend. Every time I go to London I visit his church. Although latter in life he mentored me, I know him in my youth through his books. Then when I became pastor every time he comes to Manila, of course, he will come and see me.

Delighting Grace: You wrote a booklet about Iglesia ni Cristo titled “Who is Jesus According to the New Testament?”. Please tell us the process of writing this booklet.

Dr. Isabelo Magalit: I wrote that in 2012, then somewhere along the line, our elders told me, “Manong, if you need a sabbatical to finish the the book, we will give you two months.” So I completed the book in two months. 

Delighting Grace:   So whats the reception of the booklet by the Iglesia ni Cristo ministers?

Dr. Isabelo Magalit: They didn’t read it. They don’t want to read it.

Delighting Grace: You personally talk to someone in the INC on why they don’t want to check out the booklet?

Dr. Isabelo Magalit: Our Young People went to the Iglesia ni Cristo Central Temple which is near Diliman.

Delighting Grace: No clamoring? They just don’t want to read it.

Dr. Isabelo Magalit: They don’t want to read it.

Delighting Grace: Among your books which is the most memorable for you?

Dr. Isabelo Magalit: I think the most important is this (pulls out the booklet titled “Who is the Real Christian?”), its still a best seller and my church in Quezon City buys this by the hundreds and uses it as a primary tool for evangelism. It has a Tagalog version and its cheap. Its only 5 pesos. 

Delighting Grace: You have been in the ministry for so long. So in your opinion how did the evangelical landscape in the Philippines changed from your early days to the present?

Dr. Isabelo Magalit: I think the evangelical landscape today is more intentionally involved on socio-political.  Because the Lausanne Congress evangelism is our top priority but its not only our duty. We have a duty to be involved socio-politically. Meet human needs, serve the poor and help refugees. I was part of Lausanne Congress.

Delighting Grace: Lastly pastor, what would you advice to young pastors who are just starting in the ministry.

Dr. Isabelo Magalit: Make sure you have time everyday to read your Bible and to pray. Your quite time is fundamental. That’s basic. Second, your wife should be a real partner. Are you married?

Delighting Grace: Yes.

Dr. Isabelo Magalit: Your wife is your closest partner. You will share her even your heartaches and injustices that they have done to you as a pastor. You wife is the main protection from falling into sin. It’s very important to have your wife as a partner in your prayer life in your Christian service. She must do something for the church. Involve your wife in everything you do. 

Delighting Grace: Thank you  pastor for the time you gave for this interview. God bless

Online resources from Dr. Isabelo Magalit:

Buy Dr. Magalit’s books online:

Can a Christian be a Nationalist? by Dr Isabelo F. Magalit audio message:

A Worker Approved by God by Dr. Isabelo Magalit audio message:

Unedited Interview

Guys I have a treat for all of you. Here’s the raw and unedited audio interview of Dr. Isabelo Magalit . Part 1 is 9 minutes and Part 2 is 6 minutes. Some of what you’ll hear from these mp3 are not included in this blog post.…/Dr._Isabelo_Magalit_Interview_Part_……/Dr._Isabelo_Magalit_Interview_Part_…

The Quotable Round-Up # 62

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Hey people heres your favorite post. Hot and fresh quotes from the books “Preach: Theology Meets Practice” by Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert, “Young, Restless and Reformed” by Collin Hansen,  . If you enjoyed these quotes, please buy the books at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“Christian preaching, though, has at its heart the desire to make a change, to say something the world does not hear from anywhere else and does not even want to hear. It’s not that Christian preachers are looking for ways to be contrarian. It’s that the message we have been given to preach is the countercultural, status quo challenging, and offensive declaration that the human race is in rebellion against our King, and that our choices are to be judged for that rebellion or to accept love and forgiveness from His hand.” — Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert

“Too many churches today have preachers who look to the culture around them not simply for the most effective methods of communicating their message but for the most effective message to be preached.” — Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert

“Understanding that theological truth about preaching can make all the difference between a milque-toast preaching ministry that just makes suggestions about a few things “we might want to think about” and a preaching ministry that heralds the good news, direct from the throne of God, that those who trust Jesus and confess Him as Lord will find mercy, forgiveness, salvation—and new life!—in His hand.”– Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert

“Humanly speaking, God’s sovereignty seems to threaten human responsibility. But Scripture affirms both truths. Even when we don’t understand, we can thank God that he does not limit himself according to our understanding. God gives Christians all the motivation they need to share their faith. We evangelize for God and his glory, out of love for our neighbors. We have confidence because there is no greater evangelist than the Holy Spirit.” — Collin Hansen

“Christians must seek not a return to the Reformation or the First Great Awakening but a return to Jesus Christ, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”– Collin Hansen

“Mere knowledge is not the end of Calvinism or any other theology. Theology should drive a Christian toward transformation—toward greater worship of God and more powerful service for his sake.”– Collin Hansen

“Maybe you can only survive so long on a self-help diet. Eventually you get pretty sick of yourself. A biblical understanding of God—big beyond description, active, perfectly holy—tastes much better than junk-food pop psychology.”– Collin Hansen



The Quotable Round-Up #58

paper_zpshrjhwlqw Here are some of the quotes from the booklet “A Primer on Free Will” by John Gerstner. If you enjoy these quotes, please buy the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“If you are born of His Spirit, you will naturally choose the goals of the Spirit. It will really be irresistible. It will be impossible for you to reject virtue utterly. It will be impossible for you to love vice utterly, if and when God pleases and gives you a new heart.” — John Gerstner, “A Primer on Free Will” #aprimeronfreewill #johngerstner #freewill #irresistiblegrace ##calvinism #sovereigntyofGod

“As a sinner you are free. In heaven or hell you are free, in the sense that you make choices according to what seems good to you. But when those choices are always the choices of evil, then of course you are in a bondage to the evil consequences of those evil choices.” — John Gerstner, “A Primer on Free Will” #aprimeronfreewill #johngerstner #freewill #irresistiblegrace ##calvinism #sovereigntyofGod

“But when you have a new heart from above, when you are born from above, when you are born by the Spirit, then you are, in a really wonderful sense, freed. Then you really choose the good because the good is naturally attractive to your new heart.” — John Gerstner, “A Primer on Free Will” #aprimeronfreewill #johngerstner #freewill #irresistiblegrace ##calvinism #sovereigntyofGod

“But, you see, the unregenerate person, as long as he is unregenerate, never will come because he hates Jesus Christ. He simply spurns and detests His invitation. The invitation is standing and any time his heart is changed, his attitude is different, he will want to claim the promises which the Savior offers, and he shall most certainly have them.” — John Gerstner, “A Primer on Free Will” #aprimeronfreewill #johngerstner #freewill #irresistiblegrace ##calvinism #sovereigntyofGod

“He is the one who does the choosing, and our response is the choosing of Him. We are conscious, of course, first of our choosing Him and only afterwards do we realize that we chose Him because He has first chosen us.” — John Gerstner, “A Primer on Free Will” #aprimeronfreewill #johngerstner #freewill #irresistiblegrace ##calvinism #sovereigntyofGod

“Spiritually dead people do not will to come to Christ. They must be given a new heart. These evangelists should continue to invite (as Christ does) without neglecting to teach the divine initiative!” — John Gerstner, “A Primer on Free Will” #aprimeronfreewill #johngerstner #freewill #irresistiblegrace ##calvinism #sovereigntyofGod