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God Is Better

We are people who always seek what is best and I offer to you, more accurately, God offers it to you. God offers you himself. He says, “Come to me, for I am the best” (Isa. 55:1-7). My life is about helping people see the supreme value of God, through Jesus Christ. He is better, so much better than anything with which you could compare him. He is better than scholarships or a GPA or a bachelor’s degree. He is better than independence or athleticism. He is better than everything—He is better. [Watch Entire Sermon Here.]Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 10.22.00 AM (more…)

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Psychological Language Enters CSB Translation

Recently at Together for the Gospel 2018, Dr. Tom Schreiner announced that psychological language had made its way into the translation of the Christian Standard Bible Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 5.59.05 AM(CSB). “Tonight, the passage Dr. Mohler used said ‘revilers’ but the Christian Standard Bible said, ‘verbally abusive’. I think that’s accurate; I think it’s a bit clearer to most contemporaries,” said Schreiner. Dr. Mohler referenced 1 Corinthians 5:1-6:11 in his plenary session on the Thursday night at Together for the Gospel, in which the verses of 5:11 and 6:10 translate the word, “λοίδορος.” Almost every other version of Scripture translates the word “λοίδορος” as “reviler” whereas the CSB uses “verbally abusive.” For the first time, psychological language is seeping its way into Bible translations.

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Archeological Integrationism

IMG_8690.JPGAs I write these words, I am sitting less than one mile from the Old City in Jerusalem. Yesterday my group spent 12 hours learning, walking, exploring, dare I say bustling through the Old City observing everything from the Holy Sepulchre to the Temple Mount. It was a combination of both culture shock and the collision of my faith with the historical details that have informed it for the past decade. As I prepared for this day, many said to me that I would never read the Bible in the same way. They were wrong: I will never approach my faith in Jesus, the Christ, in the same way. Yet, I still push back against archeological integrationism that necessitates this trip to inform my faith.  (more…)

A Response to David Murray’s Misappropriation of Common Grace

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 8.22.37 PMDavid Murray has had much to say about biblical counseling within the past few years since assuming his teaching position at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in 2007. Of his publications, he has written mostly within the area of practical theology and now has placed himself within the biblical counseling movement. Most recently, in his article on The Gospel Coalition’s website, “How Biblical is Biblical Counseling?” he identified himself as a family member of the biblical counseling movement with some familial concerns.[2] His concerns have stimulated conversations within the biblical counseling movement of the nature and validity of the term biblical counseling.[3] His critique proved to be helpful in promoting clarity in what biblical does and does not mean as we use it within the context of biblical counseling. However, his article provided clarity in a way that was—most likely—not Murray’s intent. The reason being is that his article has encouraged biblical counselors to think well about their own position and, consequently, Murray’s misrepresentation of it.

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John Owen’s Perspective on the Effects of Habits

 

 

John Owen’s Perspective on the Effects of Habits:

Habits Promote Sanctity of the Church

 

 

We had a light in this candlestick; which did not only enlighten the room, but gave light to others far and near.

—David Clarkson, Spoken of John Owen at Owen’s Funeral

 

 

In the wake of the English civil war, groups of clergy were ousted because of their seemingly anti-government teachings, ministry, and perspective. These men did not seek to overthrow the government, but rather to purify the church that had become so closely married to the government. Thus, in 1662 an edict was issued to provide standardization across the Church of England and that edict was the Act of Uniformity. It was declared that there would be uniformity in the sacraments, public prayer, and all of these changes were based on the Book of Common Prayer. However, these clergy members, given the pejorative title Puritan, refused to adhere to this new mandate and were ejected from every formal ministry or governmental position in England. This was the Great Ejection of 1662 in which some 2,000 plus clergy members forfeited their formal positions of ministry and government leadership because of a refusal to submit to the Act of Uniformity. One of these clergy members was John Owen—a faculty of Oxford, regular chaplain of Oliver Cromwell, and English clergymen. (more…)

2017 CDT Laguna Hills

The Call to All Christians:

Books that were referenced Competent to Counsel by Jay Adams, Theology of Biblical Counseling by Heath Lambert

Counseling Is An Every Member Ministry (Student’s Outline)

 

How Does Change Happen?

Books Referenced: Transformed into His Likeness;    How does change happen (Student’s Outline)

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Worshipfully Prioritize Your Marriage by Faith!

 

(This post is an addendum to a sermon preached July 16, 2017 at Faith Community Church in Newhall, CA. You can find the PowerPoint here: Strengthening Your Core–Marriage (FCC 7.16.17).)

Below are some practical tools to help you prioritize your marriage by faith:

  1. Digital Boundaries: This means you need a location to keep your phones while at home so that they are not always on you, and always demanding your attention. A simply priority would be that you do not engage technology before you meaningfully engage your spouse.
  2. First Fifteen Minutes Project: Another thing that I encourage couples to all the time is the idea of crystallizing the first fifteen minutes that you are home for each other. This means that the wife stops what she’s doing if she’s home, or the husband stops what he’s doing and you guys take 15 minutes to talk with each other. We have to hang up the phone when our spouse walks in the door. We have to put dinner on hold for a few minutes. This is just a very practical way of saying you matter to me. You’re a priority. Children—be quiet. TV—be quiet. Telephone—be quiet. My spouse is home and they are a priority to me.
  3. 3-2-1-1 Communication Exercise
  4. _Intimacy Inventory.docx

Cultivating Contentment through God-Enabled Obedience

**Sermon preached at Grace on the Ashley Baptist Church in Charleston, SC

Harnessing Technology and Social Media for the Glory of God (Transcript)

“If these qualities are in you, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful.”

—2 Peter 1:8
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Tide of Technology

 I grew up on the opposite side of the United States in Savannah, GA. One of our favorite summer activities was going to the beach, as I am sure many of you would agree with. When you go to the beach you stake out your piece of sand, set up your stuff, pop out the umbrella and then start to hang out. What I quickly learned growing up is that when swim in the ocean you have to keep track of how far out you are going. It is easy to lose track of how far out you have gone, or perhaps how far you have drifted from your spot in the sand. One of the things that most of us do when we are out in the water at the beach is that we keep turning around and checking where our stuff is. (As a Dad admittedly my spot is not as cool as it once was. Now I spend my time looking back for the stroller and kids toys.) What happens is that unbeknownst to us, the tide pulls us in certain ways: sometimes this is very dangerous, too. People can be pulled too far out and have great difficulty getting back to shore, thus putting them in a really difficult position.

Today, I have been asked to speak on technology and social media and I want to start by describing it much like this tide in the ocean. Technology serves much like the tide of the ocean. Often times we are swimming around in technology to the point that we don’t always realize where it is pulling us and how. In fact, some of you are the one’s facing the ocean and you are losing track of how far you have gone. Perhaps, to a great degree of danger. (more…)

A Believer or a Behaviorist?

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Every person possesses habits. An important question to ask in understanding habits is, “what is the role of those habits in the educational experience?” Educators understand repetition, discipline, structure, and environment but do educators understand the behavioral assumptions that drive those methodologies or the ideologies from which current methodology has been derived? Consequently, the aim of this paper is to address one, central research question: can repeated behavior prohibit or promote learning or knowledge acquisition from a behaviorist’s perspective? Ivan Pavlov, perhaps a father in the behaviorism camp, spent years testing and proving what he believed to be the answer to this question.[1] He argued that he could create a consistent stimulus and develop a habit in his subjects (primarily working with dogs) through external means, thus priming them for future responses.[2] He believed that external stimuli teach a person to respond in certain ways, and those responses are then solidified through repeated exposure. Not all behaviorists agree, though, with Knight Dunlap stating these habits of learning were seen as the very fabric of the human nature: “in their totality, make[ing] up the character of the individual.”[3] If Pavlov’s assertion is true, and Dunlap’s perspective is accurate, what role does habit formation plan in the ability of the student to learn? (more…)