Author Archives: Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Weekly Links (11/17/2017)

“You gain fluency in a language when you move from merely translating an unfamiliar language into a familiar one to interpreting all of life through that new language. It happens when you can think, feel, and speak in a language. In a sense, the new language becomes the filter through which you perceive the world and help others perceive your world and theirs…Gospel-fluent people think, feel, and perceive everything in light of what has been accomplished in the person and work of Jesus Christ.” (Jeff Vanderstelt, Gospel Fluency: Speaking the Truths of Jesus into the Everyday Stuff of Life)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! A number of resources have turned up, and I’m excited to share what I’ve found!

  • The Master’s Seminary just came out with their Fall issue, focusing on Christian responses to claims from those who identify as LGBT. Don’t miss their book reviews.
  • The Gospel Coalition has announced a new learning platform called TGC Courses, online classes taught by many great scholars in their respective fields on topics as wide as church history, Old and New Testament, apologetics, doctrine, counseling, and more! The ones I’m personally most excited about is ‘Mining God’s Word’ and ‘Theology for Children’ songs. Dive right in!
  • Speaking of free courses, Biblical Training has added a course by textual critic Dan Wallace to their Institute called Textual Criticism. This course requires a login to watch the lectures, but I promise it will be worth it!
  • There have been a few cases that have been sent to the Supreme Court related to religious conscience that you may have heard about but don’t know much of the details. Kim Colby makes us aware of the three cases that are coming up, and it’s a good summary. Be on the lookout for them in the news, and pray for those involved.
  • Listen in as Alasdair Groves talks with David Powlison about psychology. That alone should pique your interest.
  • A new book critiquing theistic evolution is coming out at the end of this month called Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique, edited by J.P. Moreland, Stephen Meyer, Christopher Shaw, Ann Gauger, and Wayne Grudem. Moreland was recently interviewed about the book, and Andrew Naselli gave his initial take on the book last week, but it’s a convenient location to find a 79-page excerpt and a 9-minute video. Check it out!
  • Lita Cosner and Dr. Robert Carter write a brief, but extremely helpful article for Christians on the amount of misinformation that exists on the internet, and how to wisely discern what is true from what is false. This should be required reading for any believer who uses the internet.
  • Do you sleep less than Jesus? If so, you may need to read this article, then get some sleep, please.

That’s all for this week! Please pray for the youth and collegians as they meet for Bible study tonight. See you all on Sunday (morning and evening)!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (11/10/2017)

“What was the message of the Reformation? In essence, the main question asked and answered was: How does a person get right with God? This was the central issue. For Rome, sinners are saved by faithfully adhering to the dogma of the Catholic Church. But when the Reformers began to examine the Bible, they saw that salvation came by God Himself through the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Nate Pickowicz, Why We’re Protestant: An Introduction to the Five Solas of the Reformation)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! It’s time to get your dose of informative links into your life, so here we go!

That’s all for this week! Please pray for the youth and collegians, as they meet tonight at church. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (10/27/2017)

“Grace is that aspect of divine action by which God blesses his rebellious creatures, whether through preservation (common grace) or salvation (special grace). It characterizes the manner in which he deals with those who through their rejection of him as their Creator and sovereign deserve nothing from him and yet whom he still chooses to bless.” (Carl R. Trueman, Grace Alone–Salvation as a Gift of God: What the Reformers Taughts…and Why It Still Matters [The Five Solas Series])

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! I hope this week gave you time to spend with the Lord in prayer and reading His Word. There are, of course, many links to help drive you back to both, so here they are!

That’s all for this week! Please pray for flocks tonight and tomorrow, as most of our church will be in homes reviewing the previous Sunday’s sermon, as well as getting to know one another from different affinity groups. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (10/20/2017)

“While we must always remember that it is our responsibility to proclaim salvation, we must never forget that it is God who saves. It is God who brings men and women under the sound of the gospel, and it is God who brings them to faith in Christ. Our evangelistic work is the instrument that he uses for this purpose, but the power that saves is not in the instrument: it is in the hand of the One who uses the instrument.” (J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! It’s been a hot week, but the weekend is here, so make sure you have something cool to drink, and enjoy this week’s links!

  • There was a recent conference in Vallejo called The Man of God Producing Men of God with Chris Mueller and Brian Croft as a couple of the speakers that seems worth listening to. Some of the sessions are for church leaders, not just pastors, so take a look!
  • Cold case homicide detective and former atheist J. Warner Wallace was recently interviewed about his unique circumstances revolving his conversion and how he now uses the methods in solving homicide cases to making a case for the Christian worldview. If you have never heard his story, this will definitely worth your time.
  • Tony Reinke interviewed historian Dr. Andrew Pettegree on the influence Martin Luther had with the use of the printing press and how it changed the way theology was disseminated to laypeople. Very fascinating to hear stories surrounding the Protestant Reformation.
  • Speaking of which, Desiring God continues their Here We Stand podcast with profiles on Hugh Latimer & Nicholas Ridley, Ulrich Zwingli, Hans Gooseflesh, and Hellen Stirke.
  • Ligonier Ministries, for a brief period of time, is making their new album Post Tenebras Lux: A Symphonic Celebration of the Protestant Reformation free to download! Beautiful music to highlight what God did 500 years ago, and continues to do today. Don’t miss out on this!
  • A website called Church Clarity is seeking for megachurches to come out and declare whether they allow anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+ to participate fully as a member of their church. Denny Burk exposes the lack of clarity this group seeks, both biblically and theologically.
  • Matthew Barrett lays out a simple thesis: sola Scriptura calls for inerrancy. I would wholeheartedly agree.
  • Patrick L. Tomlinson, a science fiction writer, believes his thought experiment that involves choosing to save a five-year-old girl over 1,000 embryos from a burning building proves those who are pro-life with respect to abortion truly do not believe their own position. Robert George and Christopher Tollefsen give a thorough response to Tomlinson, who claims he has not had a satisfying answer in the 10 years since proposing this scenario. I would say the wait is over.

That’s all for this week! Please pray that the youth and collegians will hear the Word of God preached tonight, and those participating in the College Life Evangelism Workshop will be further equipped to give the gospel to those in need of it.

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (10/13/2017)

“Every Christian is called into full-time ministry. Once we step over the line and begin to follow Jesus, everything we do is supposed to be done in his name, representing him, with the goal of advancing his kingdom.” (J.D. Greear, Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Another week has come and gone, but the Lord is still in control, and He is good! I pray these links will be a further reminder of His goodness.

  • How can we resolve most of our relational conflicts, when everything in us doesn’t want to do it? Jon Bloom at Desiring God offers some honest words of wisdom that will give you a better perspective on conflict that you may currently have.
  • How is missionary outreach done in closed countries? TMAI provides some background information, and possible ways of continuing the advance of the Great Commission to those who need to hear the gospel. This is very good food for thought, and also worth praying for more laborers to be sent into the harvest.
  • Are pastors called to preach Christ in every text of the Bible? Such is the mindset of some, who call for a Christocentric hermeneutic, as opposed to a grammatical-historical one. TMU Professor Abner Chou explains why this hermeneutic, though well-intentioned, has some issues that doesn’t square well with Scripture. This is some fascinating reading.
  • Al Mohler continues his series of apologetics through the SBTS chapel messages every week. This week, he covers the statement, “Jesus is the only way to heaven.
  • Mohler also has made available a new e-book he has compiled, called The Gathering Storm: Religious Liberty and the Right to Be Christian. You can get a free download by signing up here.
  • Former transgender Walt Heyer exposes the fact that there are people in the transgender movement who are seeking to leave because they have changed their minds. Many in the movement, whether transgender or not, are not very friendly towards those who leave, but the power of the gospel has been the means to draw out some and draw them towards Christ. May God be glorified to bring many to Himself again and again.
  • What can be said to a married couple who is currently infertile? Maybe not a lot, but God is never without hope and encouragement, as highlighted in this article that lays out four truths they (and we) need to hear.
  • Desiring God is still providing profiles of Reformers in their Here I Stand podcast. This week: Thomas Becon, William Tyndale, Martin Bucer, Marie Dentière, and Johannes Oecolampadius.

That’s all for this week! Please pray for our youth and collegians, as they will be meeting at church tonight! See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (10/6/2017)

“Churches that want to penetrate their world with the gospel think less about the Sunday morning bang and more about equipping their members to blast a hole in the mountain of lostness.” (J.D. Greear, Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! There’s a general theme with these posts (with one rare exception), so I hope you love learning more about what God has done in history, ad how He continues to grow His people. Here’s to celebrating God’s faithfulness in the church throughout its history.

That’s all for this week! Short, and sweet! Tonight, please pray for the youth and collegians, as they meet tonight at church. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (9/29/2017)

“Just as genuine saving faith assumes that a person has repented from sin, so genuine repentance assumes that someone is turning to Christ in faith. Repentance from sin and faith in Christ are two sides of the same coin, two aspects of the same decision of the heart…Nevertheless, it still seems to me that a deliberate omission of the need to call people to repent of their sins constitutes a significant departure from New Testament patterns, and such a departure cannot be taught and practiced without significant harmful consequences to the church and to many of the people who hear such a gospel.” (Wayne Grudem, “Free Grace” Theology: 5 Ways It Diminishes the Gospel)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! The week is coming to a close, but it can’t be complete without some links to keep you occupied. So here they are!

  • Do Christians suffer a case of circular reasoning by saying that we believe in the Bible to be God’s Word because it says so? Dan DeWitt explains why this isn’t as bad as you may think, and that everyone actually has to deal with the same issue.
  • Will there ever be common ground between those who are pro-life and pro-choice on the matter of abortion? Baylor University Classics professor Julia Hejduk believes so, arguing for gift-motherhood, and providing some potential incentives and answering possible objections from both sides. There is much here to ponder, of which I am personally thankful to have read through.
  • Joe Rigney recently spoke in a chapel address at Bethlehem College on the relationship between Scripture, natural law, and sexual ethics. There is much to commend in this lecture, and I learned a lot from it. I hope you do, too.
  • Al Mohler has begun a series of messages on apologetics for chapel at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and it’s been quite timely. He takes an essential belief and asks the question, “Do you believe what you believe you believe?” This week, he focuses on the belief that Jesus is the Son of God. Your mind will expand as you listen.
  • With all the talk about sexual identity and the culture’s trend away from biblical authority, different issues keep coming up for discussion and compromise in the church. CBMW highlights a Christian response to polyamory, or “open marriages.” May God bring about repentance for anyone who espouses this view.
  • 9Marks came out with a new journal for the Fall on the reformation and your church. Great material to read on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Desiring God is also starting Here We Stand, a 31-day podcast that will highlight biographies of many of the heroes of the Reformation, both known and unknown. Stephen Nichols writes a brief article chronicling the life and influence of John Wycliffe.
  • What does John Piper see as the great marriage killer? His most recent podcast deals with that topic, and more.

That’s all for this week! Please keep the youth and collegians in prayer, as they meet tonight in their respective Bible studies. Don’t forget, we have now moved to two services, at 8:30am and 10:45am. See you all then!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (9/22/2017)

“Young Theologs, if your main activity is discussing theology but it does not result in a deep love and concern for people, you are no heir of the Reformation, regardless of your theological positions. Pastors and those who desire to be pastors, if your idea of pastoral ministry is limited to the pulpit, then you are no heir of the Reformation regardless of the length or theological weight of your sermons. The Reformers, mirroring Christ and the apostles, were deeply involved in the lives of their people, aware that they would be called to account for the oversight of their souls (Heb 13:17). A passion for souls requires the knowledge of specific souls and involvement in the messiness of their everyday lives.” (Ray Van Neste, “The Care of Souls: The Heart of the Reformation,” Themelios 39.1)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Here are this week’s links! Enjoy!

  • If you haven’t heard already, former Muslim and now Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi died this past Saturday after battling stomach cancer for about a year. Ravi Zacharias posted a tribute to him and spoke at his memorial service. Please be in prayer for his wife Michelle and daughter Ayah, as he was a faithful spokesman for the cause of the gospel to Muslims and all who would hear him tell others about our Savior.
  • Biblical counselor Stuart Scott continues his study of the Reformers and their relationship to the care of souls in their private ministry of the Word. We cannot divorce their profound theological impact from their profound care for the flock of God entrusted to them. May we all, not just our pastors, grow in our love for those who are in need of counsel.
  • Church historian Stephen Nichols gives a four-minute recounting of the life and ministry of John Calvin. Fascinating, especially if hearing about his life for the first time.
  • Are there bad reasons to leave a church? You bet, and Brett McCracken gives seven of them.
  • How can you remind yourself of the gospel? Paul Tautges gives you four ways to do so. We need to remember the gospel in our daily lives. May this lead to that end.

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for the upcoming two services beginning this Sunday! See you all then!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (9/15/2017)

“Real repentance is a new worship. It looks like a changed life, but that changed behavior results from a change of worship, not the other way around. Repentance is being convicted by the Holy Spirit of the sinfulness of our sin— not the badness of our deeds but the treachery of our hearts toward   God. Repentance means hating what we formerly loved and served— our idols— and turning away from   them. Repentance means turning to love God, whom we formerly hated, and serving him instead. It’s a new deepest loyalty of the heart.” (Michael Lawrence, Conversion: How God Creates a People)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Another week has come and gone, and yet the links are new and fresh! Here we go!

  • Professor David Murray posted a one-stop shop for various resources dealing with the issue of depression, placed under the ‘Know-Love-Speak-Do’ rubric of Paul Tripp. This will be one to bookmark for future reference.
  • RTS President Michael Kruger deals with a recent Pew study claiming Protestants are closer to being Catholic than Martin Luther. He deals with the issue of sola fide, and how true, saving faith is expressed in contrast to Roman Catholicism.
  • Pastor of Counseling Brad Hambrick at The Summit Church continues posting on his marriage seminar, this time on intimacy. If you want to watch the videos, go here.
  • Biblical counselor Stuart Scott writes on the pastoral side of the Reformers, noting the lack of emphasis, by many, on their private ministry in counseling their flock. There’s much to glean from, and it’s only part one!
  • Tim Challies writes on the duty of every Christian to be devoted to God, using Princeton theologian B.B. Warfield as a great example of devotion to his wife and, primarily, to God. May your life grow in deeper devotion to Christ and the gospel.
  • Speaking of Challies, he also began a new podcast, called ‘The Art of Godliness’ with Paul Martin, an elder at his church. The first episode focuses on dealing with conflict in the church. This looks very promising.
  • David Mathis considers the question, “Must elders be skilled in teaching?” Reading this will make you more thankful for our elders. Praise God for raising up leaders who teach the Word!
  • Denny Burk, one of the writers of the Nashville Statement, recently clarified the purpose of including the concept of ‘design’ in expressing God’s will for our lives as male and female. Randy Alcorn gives his reasons for signing the statement, and highlights others who have done the same.
  • Fred Butler posted his six-part (thus far) review of Hugh Ross’ book Navigating Genesis: A Scientist’s Journey through Genesis 1-11. Butler is a young-earth creationist, while Ross is a leading old-earth creationist speaker/writer. This can be a great conversation-starter with those in either camp.

That’s all for this week! Again, please be in prayer, as Youth and College Life will be back in their respective Bible studies tonight. Pray for the Spirit of God to open the eyes of those who do not know Christ, and that those who do will be renewed in their love for Him.

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (9/8/2017)

“As children of light, Christians do not reach those trapped in darkness by shrouding their light and acting like darkness; rather, they reach the world by shining brighter and brighter in holiness (Matthew 5: 14-16). The Bible is clear: The church has its greatest impact on the world not when it becomes like the world, but when it stands in counter-distinction to it.” (Nathan Busenitz, Right Thinking in a Church Gone Astray: Finding Our Way Back to Biblical Truth)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! May these links help bring you closer to our God and Savior!

  • Erik Raymond starts us off with a great reminder of how God can work in your life through the reading of His Word. Don’t neglect time spent reading what God says to you now…in Scripture.
  • As we come closer to celebrate the day Martin Luther posted his 95 theses (do you know what day that is?), biblical counselor and ACBC Executive Director Heath Lambert decided to follow suit and post his 95 theses, digitally, for an authentically Christian commitment to counseling. Speaking of Luther, Bob Kellemen created a resource page for his new book Counseling Under the Cross: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Daily Life. Included are a number of Luther quotes related to the issue of counseling, and how he related the gospel to sin, suffering, and sanctification. This is a hidden treasure of a post!
  • Continuing from last week, Pastor of Counseling Brad Hambrick continues to highlight his “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage” seminars by posting the one on decision-making. Included are overview sheets of some of the lessons they went over. If you prefer video, go here.
  • Tim Lane discusses the emotional intelligence of husbands and in what way Scripture touches on this subject. Tim Challies takes up the challenge of writing on how the wife ought to respect her husband, and what that really means.
  • Paul Tripp writes on the 14 gospel principles from Scripture for parents on how to raise their kids, and why strategies never work. If you don’t have his new book on parenting, this is a very concise summary. Over at the True Woman blog, Tessa Thompson offers some tips on how moms can have joy particularly on Sunday morning. This was a great reminder for me to pray for all the moms at our church. I hope this will be of help to you, moms.
  • In light of the upcoming Sunday School class on peacemaking, I thought I’d include this post on how to forgive a friend who hurt you. This is a great way to begin the conversation with those you may need to talk to, or a way to guide a younger brother or sister in the way of maturity.
  • What does it mean for God to be self-existent, and does it matter? Dr. William Barrick of TMS gives a brief answer. What a great God we serve and worship!

That’s all for this week! Please pray for the youth and collegians as their Bible studies begin tonight! See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria