Being J. I. Packer

Photo by Spencer Selover on Pexels.com

J. I. Packer: His Life and Thought offers the readers the life, faith, career, works and controversies of this influential theologian. The set up of the book is giving the narrative first then the analysis from McGarth. So this is not the usual all narrative and then the conclusion will give the analysis of the person. This will give you a breather from the narrative to examine what takeaways we can get from that part of Packer’s life. Both the narratives and reflections are meaty and in some parts of the book, you can’t distinguish each other. I like how McGarth gives a satisfying context of certain events, people, books and career moves of Packer that shaped his life. You won’t get lost reading this book.

Read More »

A List of Christian FB Pages That Creates Awesome Infographics!

Infographics are not just eye candies but it conveys a message that you can grasp in a glance. It helps easily digest ideas and concepts that a bunch of words can’t do. I love inforgraphics not only does it aids me to quickly learn something but it’s also a great opportunity to see some creativity and artworks.

This maybe a short list but I would like to give you readers opportunity to add your favorites here. Just fire it away on the comment section. Now here’s the list I hope you’ll enjoy:

Read More »

Pinoy Christian Youtuber List #2

avhcryc

Hello! It’s a new month and another list of Christian Youtubers! If you like video content other than sermons, seminars or conferences, this list is for you. This may not be a list of messages, nevertheless these vloggers are out to give you godly and worthy content. If you mist the previous list better click here. If your looking for sermons or preachers check the blog’s Pinoy Preacher List series. To add some kick to this list, I’ll include a video as a sampler to what to expect to these Youtubers.  Hey the list is waiting. Let’s dive in!

Read More »

The Freebie Round-Up #80

erk63yp

Internet is down at home so I’m posting this round-up on my monthly staycation here at my parents house. With my age I need to have this monthly unwinding from my stressful graveyard shift work. Also give more time on the Word of God.

Anyways, here’s a list of great freebies for the week. If you’re 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.

Also since I’m not 24/7 monitoring the latest freebies of publishing companies, I’m posting their e-mail sign up page, so you’ll be in the loop whenever they give out freebies. You can find it at the end of this round-up.

FREE ebook “Indwelling of Sin” by John Owen –  This is Chapel Library’s book of the month so get this free bookwritten by a Puritan.

Read More »

The Quotable Round-Up #118

yvyidve

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 Freebie Round-Up #41

yfhkuupWe had a successful VBS this past week and we thank God for His blessings. We have over 60 kids learning the Word of God, playing and doing crafts. And some kids want to attend church. Neat! A parent gave us a positive feedback as well. Thank you for all those who prayed. And please continue to pray that the seeds we planted and may grow in the hearts of these little ones.

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.

qvfpy4d

*Read: Pinoy Preacher List #1

FREE devotional-  I Am Not Ashamed: The Power of the Gospel in Romans is a 28 day devotional from The King and His Kingdom blog and its free once you sign up on their mailing list.

FREE audio and video course – Albert Martin taught this course and its good to know its available online for free. The Pastor: An Instructional Guide to His Call, Life and Work  covers alot of areas of the pastors life and is composed of 6 units, so you have to spend quite a time in this gem.

fne51kz

*Read: The Rebel’s Dictionary: Swoonies

FREE catechism for kids – Sojourn Kids offers The North Star Catechism that aims to guide kids in learning biblical truths. You can purchase but it’s free on their website.

FREE e-book “Exposition of the Gospel of John” by A. W. Pink– Something new and big over Mongerism is this free e-book by A. W. Pink which is available in different digital formats.

eoem3us

*Read: Book Review: A Place Like Heaven by Samuel Miller

FREE study guide “Sow Your Seed” – Grace Baptist Church Los Banos provides this free download that will guide believers to their Bible study.

FREE magazine “Theology” – There is a brand new magazine in town and it’s called simply “Theology” and it’s free. Contributors in the first issue are Fred Sanders, Mike Reeves, Kevin DeYoung, R. C. Sproul and many more!

upm5loq

*Read: Book Review: Competing Spectacles by Tony Reinke

FREE e-book “The Whole Christ”  by Sinclair Furgeson- Just by taking a simple survey, you get this free e-book from Crossway for free in different digital formats.

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

Freebie Round-Up #39

Freebie Round-Up #38

Freebie Round-Up #37

Freebie Round-Up #36

Freebie Round-Up #35 

Freebie Round-Up #34

Freebie Round-Up #33

Freebie Round-Up #32 

Freebie Round-Up #31

Freebie Round-Up #30

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 Quotable Round-Up #96

npjl5idHeads up guys! time for some 7 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from “Rebels Rescued: A Student’s  If you were blessed by this book, please consider getting it on Amazon or at your nearest bookstore! Grace and Peace!

“Without God’s grace performing a divine heart transplant, everything in us seeks to rebel against God.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

“The consequence of sin, therefore, is death. But what about the little sins? Do those deserve death too? This is important. All sin—as the Bible teaches—is rebellion against God.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

“Reformed theology teaches from Scripture that, before God created the heavens and the earth, he has chosen—or “predestined”—his people to be saved for eternity.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

“One of the common objections to predestination is: “If God has already elected those who will be saved, then why evangelize?” It’s a good question and there are at least two primary reasons. First, we share the gospel because Jesus commands us to (Matthew 28:19). Second, we share the gospel because it is the means by which God saves his elect—through the hearing of the preached word (Romans 10:17).” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

 “Apart from God’s grace in giving us new hearts to love him, we remain chained and imprisoned by sin and unbelief. There is no freedom apart from God’s work of grace and it’s grace precisely because his salvation is something we don’t deserve.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

“As a physically dead person cannot do anything that is physically productive, a spiritually dead person cannot do anything that is spiritually good. Being spiritually dead means that we are unable to respond to anything good. The issue is not freedom to do something, but ability.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

“Our hearts deceive us into thinking that the things of this world will bring great joy, only to be duped. Enjoying the pleasures of this world offer small joy—and oftentimes fake joy—compared to the enjoyment and satisfaction found in God.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

Collecting the Past: Delighting Grace Interviews Caleb of Log College Press

joanna-kosinska-44214-unsplash-01While Monergism.org dishes out awesome e-books of the past Christian giants, there is a new kid on the block that is solely dedicated in publishing unknown 18th-19th century American Presbyterians. As you go to their website Log College Press,  you’ll find over 1700 works by 350 authors that are free for download. So we reached out to Caleb Cangelosi, founder of Log College Press, to talk about church history, old books and of course Log College Press:

Delighting Grace:  First off, why is it important for us to look back and read materials of and about the past? In other words, how essential is history for a believer?

Caleb Cangelosi: The study of church history is vital for Christians today because we are not the first ones to study the Scriptures, wrestle with theological questions, and engage in apologetics and evangelism. God has been working in His church far before He brought us into the world. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, and have much to learn from our forefathers in the faith. As George Santayana wrote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 

The study of history also teaches us that God uses sinful saints to accomplish His purposes, and therefore gives us great hope and encouragement as we go forth into the world today. Additionally, we must recognize that our religious experience in American has been impacted by our American theological ancestors – the past is not dead. At Log College Press, we are committed to encouraging the reading of both primary and secondary sources, for it is important to hear directly from those in the past, and to understand their writings in proper historical context, so that we might rightly apply their teachings to the present. We are motivated by the conviction that as Christians in the present root themselves in the past, we will bear fruit forward into the future for the glory of God and the church of Jesus Christ.

Delighting Grace:  Can you tell us who are these authors and what is the most important contribution by this group in Christianity specifically in America?

Caleb Cangelosi: Log College Press is devoted to collecting and reprinting the writings of and about American Presbyterians from the 18th and 19th centuries. Our website contains authors from several different American Presbyterian denominations, and each of these bodies made unique contributions to the church of Jesus Christ, so it is difficult to state just one important thing they gave to America. But in general, in the books on our site you will find a commitment to the Scriptures as the inerrent, authoritative word of God; a commitment to the Westminster Standards as the summary of Scriptural teaching; a commitment to a gospel-centered and law-delighting piety; an emphasis upon the church of Jesus Christ; a focus on missions, evangelism, and apologetics; and a love for preaching (many of the writings on our site are sermon collections).

Delighting Grace:  There are already tons of Christian books out there that a Christian read. What do you think makes reading old stuff a unique experience for a Christian?

Caleb Cangelosi: C. S. Lewis put it best in his essay, “On the Reading of Old Books.” He wrote, “Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books…The only palliative [to ignoring our cultural and chronological blind spots] is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books. Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes. They will not flatter us in the errors we are already committing; and their own errors, being now open and palpable, will not endanger us. Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction.”

Delighting Grace:  Wow! Please tell us how Log College Press started and what goals LCP wants to target?

Caleb Cangelosi: For some time I have had the desire to create a website that collected all the digitized writings of early American Presbyterians, much as the Post-Reformation Digital Library did for the Post-Reformation period. Over the past several years I have also wanted to see some of the books and booklets that I appreciate from these authors reprinted. After not finding any publishers interested in doing these reprints, I finally decided I would try to do it myself. I quickly realized that I could kill two birds with one stone and combine my two desires into one project – Log College Press (the name is taken from the earliest American Presbyterian “seminary,” William Tennent’s Log College – as many universities and colleges have a publishing arm, I thought it a fitting name on several levels).

So Log College Press is really two things. It is a website, offering free PDF downloads of all the public domain writings we can find online (or digitize ourselves) from 18th and 19th century American Presbyterians, and a near-daily blog that discusses the authors and writings we’re putting on our site. It is also a publishing company that aims slowly but surely to reprint some of the hidden gems from these authors, and hopefully one day secondary sources about them (we also have on our website a bookstore that possibly contains one of the largest online collections of secondary sources on American Presbyterian history). The website and the publishing are both designed to bring these authors and their writings back to the knowledge of the general public, so that by taking root in the past we might bear fruit into the future.

Delighting Grace:  And some are free to download and read!

Caleb Cangelosi: Yes! We want people to be able to read the writings of this period, and so the primary service we provide is collecting in one place what is already out there on the internet. Nearly all the books on our site have been found on Google Books or Archive.org. The digitization projects of these websites is a tremendous blessing of the internet age. What formerly was hidden away in a library is now accessible with the click of a button, and can be loaded onto a tablet for easy access. We’ve done the work of locating the books and organizing them by author, so that those who are interested in this period can discover them more easily. Hopefully our work will enable these authors to reach a new audience – including an international audience who has never heard of these writings, or does not have American library access to them. I like to say that our job is that of “biblio-paleontology” – the finding of ancient books by unknown authors, who though dead can still speak God’s truth to our hearts.

Delighting Grace:  That’s one noble cause for Christians to bring these authors back. How about the process of getting these materials and putting it online. It must be interesting process, isn’t?

Caleb Cangelosi: It is indeed. Currently two of us (a gentleman named Andrew Myers, and I) work on posting books to the site. As I just mentioned, we typically locate the works we are looking for on Google Books or Archive.org. Discovering books – especially books we had not known of previously – is the best part of this work. Sometimes we have to manually scan a work ourselves, or pay a library to do that for us. Since all these works are in the public domain, it is not a legal problem to copy them and post them online.  We also clean up the PDFs, deleting blank pages to make them more visually attractive and “user-friendly.” We try to find as many pictures of the authors as we can find. That has also been a neat part of this work, because often there is only one picture that everyone thinks of with regard to a particular author – and yet there are often more pictures online, some from the authors’ youth. Seeing additional pictures can help change the way you think about a person.
Delighting Grace:  Is there a one material from LCP that has a unique backstory?

Caleb Cangelosi: Two items come immediately to mind. First, Archibald Alexander’s Lecture Notes on Systematic Theology. Not only do we see what seminary class was like back in 1818, but also the notes were taken by Charles Hodge, Alexander’s student who followed Alexander as professor at Princeton Seminary. It is not alway easy to make out his handwriting, but it is fascinating to read hand-written notes from this era. Second, Alfred Nevin’s Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. This is a treasure trove of historical and biographical information, pictures, and Biblical-theological studies on important topics.

Delighting Grace:  Now that’s a gem! If a Christian wants to read books from Log College Press, which one would you first recommend and why?

Caleb Cangelosi: Of the four publications that we have put out thus far, William Swan Plumer’s Christ All in All: The Right Temper for the Theologian that would be appealing to the broadest audience. Plumer’s booklet, though originally addressed to seminary students, is an easy introduction to the writing of the period, and is so rich in its Christ-centered piety. It is also a great read for anyone who desires to study theology, for Plumer teaches the manner in which one ought to approach this joyful task.

If any of your readers are pastors or teachers, they should definitely buy Francis Grimke’s Meditations on Preaching (about the glorious calling of feeding God’s sheep with the truth of Christ), or C. W. Grafton’s A Forty-Three Year Pastorate in a Country Church (about small-town ministry). Finally, if anyone is interested in learning more about Presbyterianism, Thomas Dwight Witherspoon’s The Five Points of Presbyterianism is a great introduction. We are about to publish Archibald Alexander’s Aging in Grace: Letters to Those in the Autum of Life (about the trials of growing old, and the Christian’s hope beyond the grave).

Delighting Grace:  How about those freebies? What is your Top 5 must read from the Free PDF Library?

Caleb Cangelosi: This is a very difficult question, as we currently have on our site over 1750 works by over 350 authors! But here are five that I would recommend:

  1. Archibald Alexander’s Biographical Sketches of the Founder, and Principal Alumni, of the Log College – to learn more about the history of the Log College and early American Presbyterianism.

 

  1. William Catto’s A Semi-Centenary Discourse – A History of the the First African Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, and a Brief Notice of Rev. John Gloucester – to learn about early African-American Presbyterians.

 

  1. Henry Alexander White’s Southern Presbyterian Leaders– biographical sketches of Presbyterians in the 19th century Southern United States.

 

  1. William Swan Plumer’s Commentary on the Psalms (or Hebrews orRomans)– commentaries filled with exegetical insights and practical wisdom for the Christian life.

 

  1. Stuart Robinson’s Discourses on Redemption– a great study of the gospel from Genesis through Revelation; a 19th century Biblical theology.

 

Delighting Grace:  Thank you for this interview Caleb, so please invite our readers to go check Log College Press and share us your social media accounts so we can get in touch with LCP.

Caleb Cangelosi: Thank you so much for the privilege of communicating to your readers what we are doing! We would love for them all to visit our site (www.logcollegepress.com) and browse our free library, our blog archives, and our bookstore. We are giving away a free ebook on our home page, so your readers should definitely take advantage of that (currently, it’s William Swan Plumer’s Christ All in All: The Right Temper for a Theologian). Your readers can also sign up to receive our blog posts in their email inbox (this is a great way to learn more about the authors and works on our site). We are also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To keep the website going, and to enable us to reprint more works, please buy our publications! I don’t currently ship to the Philippines, but I do sell ebooks (in Kindle and EPUB formats), so international readers can purchase them. We also sell our books on Amazon. If anyone has more questions, there is a contact form on our website. We would love to hear from them!

Rooted on Theology: Delighting Grace Interviews Brandon Smith

The word “theology” sometimes drives us to shudder. We know it’s essential but we find it too complex or too boring to discuss. However, we won’t fully know who God is and His way if we don’t sound theology.  Delighting Grace recently reach out to Brandon Smith, author of “Rooted” and talked about theology, his latest book and a new podcast:

Delighting Grace: Hello pastor! How important is theology?

Brandon Smith: Theology is at the center of the Christian life. Theology is about God, the Bible teaches theology, the gospel is a theological message, and the Christian life reflects God theologically. In other words, all of life is about theology.

Theology just means “words about God.” So when we talk about God, we are doing theology. Everyone is a theologian–it just depends on whether you’re a good or bad theologian.

Delighting Grace: What are some reasons why people tend to sway away from theology?

Brandon Smith:  People often think theology is a professional sport or an academic discipline. There is an academic form of theology that’s extremely important, but that doesn’t mean that theology is only for academics (or even pastors). When we say, “God is in control” or “Jesus is Lord,” you’re speaking and believing theology. We shouldn’t be afraid of theology because if you’re a Christian, you’re a theological person.

Delighting Grace: Well said pastor. We believers should not be scared of theology. In your calling, how do theology shapes you as a pastor?

Brandon Smith: Pastors and Christian leaders must know theology better than anyone else. As says, we will be held accountable. False teachers are specifically called out in Scripture. As a pastor or leader, it’s your job to teach sound theology. There should be a difference between you and the Mormon bishop down the street.

So, to answer your question more directly, theology has always helped me be a good pastor and leader. It’s difficult to counsel someone who’s hurting when you don’t know how to tell them the truth about God’s love and mercy and grace, and about how all things work together for good. But remember, theology should shape us all this way. It’s not just the pastor’s job to counsel others with sound truth.

Delighting Grace:  If a pastor wants to teach theology in a church, what advice can you give to them if that’s their first time to do it?

Brandon Smith: Don’t take it too seriously, as if your sermons need to become seminary lectures. Theology is serious business, but every sermon has theology in it. It’s your job not to merely teach theological lessons, but to show people how those beautiful truths matter for everyday life.

 

Delighting Grace:  Wow great advice. You wrote a book titled “Rooted” which according to the book, it’s a primer. So why write a primer when you can write a whole book on theology?

Brandon Smith: There are plenty of 1,000-page theology books in the world. I’m thankful for them, but most people won’t read them. We wanted to write a short, accessible book that anyone could read. Part of why I think people stay away from theology is that they feel intimidated by the size and language of theology books. No one should be intimidated by Rooted.

Delighting Grace:  How’s the process in writing a book? Also how is like J. A. Medders as a co-author?

Brandon Smith:  Writing a book is hard work. It’s not always or even often fun. Rooted took several years of editing and changing and reimagining. I enjoy the process, but most of the time writing the book was late nights with a cup of coffee, forcing myself to get words on the page.

(Jeff) made writing Rooted fun and exciting. I had already written much of the book, but he brought the words to life. He’s one of the most creative and powerful writers out there, and people will keep learning that as he writes more. He’s a writing freight train and I’m just along for the ride.

Delighting Grace:  Your book is awesome pastor. Read it and I learn a lot. So please invite them to check out “Rooted”.  You have a new podcast you and I also enjoy?

Brandon Smith:  Thank you! I love Rooted. It’s like watching a baby grow up and finally go off into the big, scary world. You’re nervous, but you know it’s ready.

Yes, the podcast has been a blast. It’s called Word Matters, and it consists of short episodes in which Trevin Wax and I discuss confusing or difficult passages of the Bible. Each episode is 15-20 minutes long, and we always try to give practical advice about how to preach and teach the passages we cover. We also have guests from time to time!

Delighting Grace:  Any parting words for our readers concerning theology?

Brandon Smith:  Again, don’t be afraid of theology. If you’re a Christian, you’re a theologian. Keep hungering and thirsting for righteousness by reading God’s Word and praying, and your theology will grow along with it.

Delighting Grace:  Amen to that pastor. So guys check his latest book “Rooted” and the podcast with Trevin Wax called “Word Matters”.

Save

The Quotable Round-Up #37

For this week we are featuring quotes from J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith’s latest book titled “Rooted”. Hope you’ll like it and please pick up a copy.

“The church, Christ’s body, is called to live now in the light of the future.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“Everlasting forgiveness is found with Jesus, by faith alone in his death for our sins and in his resurrection from the dead.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“When sin entered the world, God didn’t turn a blind eye. In his justice and mercy, he’s provided the Savior.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“What we need today is a gospel-minded bucket list. In eternity, you won’t be able to travel to Thailand and tell unreached peoples about Jesus. You won’t be able to give your money to pro-life movements. You won’t be able to evangelize your friends and family members, urging them to look to Jesus. That’s for now. Today. Right now. This is the mindset we need today.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“True worship is glorifying God in all of life—to the perimeters and edges of life.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“If you have a paralyzing fear of death, you are living as one who has no hope. You are living with a bad eschatology.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“Christians have no need to fear death because we are going to be raised from the dead, joining Jesus in a resurrection like his.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“Now, our greatest accomplishment is something we didn’t do, but rather something that’s been done for us and in us. We boast in Jesus’s cross.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted