Author Archives: Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Weekly Links (3/17/2017)

“Every true man is resentful of slanders against a human friend. Should we not be grieved ten times more by slanders against our God? How can we possibly listen with polite complacency, then, when men break down the distinction between God and man, and drag God down to man’s level? How can we possibly say, as in one way or another is so often said, that orthodoxy makes little difference. We should never talk in any such way about a human friend. We should never say with regard to a human friend that it makes no difference whether our view of him is right or wrong. How, then, can we say that absurd thing with regard to God?” (J. Gresham Machen, The Person of Jesus: Radio Addresses on the Deity of the Savior)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! I hope this week has been full of opportunities of glorifying our God and loving one another! I also hope these links will continue to further those goals for you all! So here we go!

  • Pastor Dan Phillips (of PyroManiacs fame) has been writing on the PJ Media platform as of late, and has written a stellar article on how Christians try to be nice to the point of wanting the world to like them. He thoroughly exposes the foolishness of such an idea. I’d say this was the article of the week.
  • Well, today is St. Patrick’s Day, and you may have never looked into the life of Patrick. Stephen Nichols will be a source of help in that, while church historian Michael Haykin writes of 10 things you should know about this man of God. Seems like someone who practiced the MVP.
  • Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, co-authors of The Trellis and the Vine, have a follow-up book called The Vine Project: Shaping Your Ministry Culture around Disciple-Making. Justin Taylor posted their summary answers to the five convictions they maintain and expand upon in the book. This is a great picture of faithful ministry that every Christian should get behind!
  • The Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam, a center of study in Southern Seminary, recently sponsored a mission trip to Dearborn, Michigan, home of the largest concentration of Arab-Americans in the US. They report on the efforts of students from both the seminary and Boyce College to go and get the gospel to Muslims. May this news give you more boldness to share Christ with those around you.
  • Dan DeWitt sought to answer the question, ‘Can Christian students thrive at Harvard, Yale and Oxford?‘ by inviting Christian professors who have studied at those universities at a recent conference to give their experiences and insights to have flourishing faith in those secular settings.
  • What would be some strategies for building a case for inerrancy? Steve Hays gives some pointers.
  • Ligonier Ministries recently had their National Conference entitled, ‘The Next 500 Years,’ in light of the upcoming celebration of the Protestant Reformation. All the sessions have been posted online, so take advantage of what’s available there!
  • CBMW just posted their new issue of the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which looks to be a great resource of articles and book reviews. Happy reading!
  • Rod Dreher’s new book, The Benedict Option, has become a very popular topic amongst conservatives, yet some may not know what the hubbub is about. One post I found helpful is from Wyatt Graham’s brief explanation of Dreher’s thesis. This looks to be part one of two, so be on the lookout for his next post regarding the success of this book.
  • CCEF’s On the Go podcast this week focuses on an interview with CCEF faculty Julie Lowe on attachment theory. This will always be a great resource to get a biblical perspective on psychological concepts, so don’t miss out on this one!

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for the youth and collegians, who will be meeting tonight at church. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (2/24/2017)

“God chooses to glorify himself in and through human beings, first and foremost through his own Son become man, but also through his chosen people called to share his glory in union with Christ.” [(David VanDrunen, God’s Glory Alone—The Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life: What the Reformers Taught…and Why It Still Matters (The Five Solas Series)]

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! All thanks be to God for sustaining us this week to worship Him in spirit and in truth. I found some great links for you, so make sure you grab a seat and enjoy what’s coming your way!

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for flocks this week, as we will be reviewing this past Sunday’s message, as well as the upcoming Care in Action event tomorrow. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (2/17/2017)

There is no shame in being hurt and hopeless. The hopeless and needy are the ones who are welcomed into the tender, understanding arms of a God of eternal love. (Dave Harvey, Paul Gilbert, Letting Go: Rugged Love for Wayward Souls)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Another week filled with God’s sustaining grace, and lovingkindness. I hope this week’s links will be an extension of that to you, so here they are:

  • Ever wondered where the Bible predicts the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in A.D. 70? TMS professor Dr. Michael Vlach presents his list of passages that he believes does this very thing. This may be a good resource for future reference, especially when talking to others about prophecy in the Bible.
  • Over at the Gospel Coalition blog, Aaron Wilson writes about the concept of embryo adoption and the importance of Christians learning and engaging in it, while Russell Moore deals with the false dilemma some Christians may have: whether to adopt or have children of their own.
  • It seems some of the bloggers over at The Cripplegate are getting back into the issue of cessationism vs. continuationism. This week, Eric Davis addresses continuationist arguments made from 1 Corinthians 14. You may want to go over this a few times for that next conversation with your brother or sister with whom you disagree with.
  • Jason Helopoulos spends a little bit of time on the issue of assurance in a believer’s life and when it seems to be fleeting.
  • Simonetta Carr, author of Christian biographies for children, dedicates a post to a reformer that you may have never heard of: Peter Martyr Vermigli. Doesn’t ring a bell? Then you check it out!
  • Is there joy in discipling others? Not surprisingly, David Mathis at Desiring God thinks so, and points out that God thinks so, too.
  • Justin Taylor recently interviewed Lydia Brownback about her new book, Finding God in My Loneliness. She was the first female Christian author I read, and I absolutely loved her writing, so take it for what it’s worth, but this may be something to consider watching (and reading!).
  • Mark Dever recently preached at Bethlehem College & Seminary’s PasCon 2017 (conference for pastors) on evangelism. Enough said.
  • Common in culture today is the idea that abortion is an act of women’s rights. However, as Brian Fisher argues over at Public Discourse, abortion has historically (and still is) a reflection of male dominance.

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for both the collegians and youth as this weekend, both groups will be at Pine Valley for their respective retreats. See you Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (2/10/2017)

“A man who loves his wife will love her letters and her photographs because they speak to him of her. So if we love the Lord Jesus we shall love the Bible because it speaks to us of him. The husband is not so stupid as to prefer his wife’s letters to her voice, or her photographs to herself. He simply loves them because of her. So, too, we love the Bible because of Christ. It is his portrait. It is his love-letter.” (John Stott, Fundamentalism and Evangelism)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Praise God for another week of blessings and opportunities of trusting in Him! I hope these links will further your love and trust in Him this weekend. Here are this week’s links:

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for Youth and College Life, as they meet tonight, and for those playing in Mission Bowl to avoid injuries and enjoy fellowship with one another! See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (1/27/2017)

“Christianity is the Story of how the world began, why the world is the way it is, what role we play in the drama, and how all the plotlines of the Story are resolved in the end.” (Greg Koukl, The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! A new year to point you to great content online, and to draw you closer to Christ with each new link. May the tradition continue with these week’s links!

That’s all for this week! Hope you all get to spend time with one another during flocks! See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (12/23/2016)

“Everything in the Hebrew worldview militated against the idea that a human being could be God. Jews would not even pronounce the name ‘Yahweh’ nor spell it. And yet Jesus Christ—by his life, by his claims, and by his resurrection—convinced his closest Jewish followers that he was not just a prophet telling them how to find God, but God himself come to find us.” (Tim Keller, Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! As we are two days away from celebrating the greatest birthday ever, I have sought to bring links that direct us upward in focusing our thoughts to the one birth that will matter for all eternity. Merry Christmas!

  • As Christmas is quickly approaching, the media continues their consistent reporting bias against the reality of Christ’s birth, as Jason Engwer points out. Last month, he collected all that he and the Triabloggers wrote on the issue of Christmas this year, which you can access here. I hope this can be a source of great conversations this Christmas!
  • Christian apologist and detective J. Warner Wallace reminds us that the reason Christmas is Christmas is because Jesus is God.
  • Al Mohler discusses the persistence of Christmas with historian Gerry Bowler. You will learn a lot about our cherished holiday!
  • Pastor Conrad Mbewe ponders why missionaries take such embarrassing photos in Africa. It’s worth reading, especially if you ever decide to take photos on your next missionary trip.
  • Ravi Zacharias writes on Oxford Dictionary’s 2016 word of the year, and the importance of it in proclaiming Christ today.
  • As the day draws near, there’s at least 10 things you should know about Christmas, and 10 things you should know about the Incarnation.
  • James Anderson simply lays out the three mysteries of Christmas that we are quick to forget or ignore out of familiarity. May it never be!

That’s all for this week! We hope you enjoy this Christmas holiday remembering the glorious, yet humble birth of our Lord and Savior! See you at church this Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (12/16/2016)

“A local church is a gathering of baptized, born-again Christians who covenant together in love to meet regularly under the authority of the Scriptures and the leadership of the elders to worship God, be a visible image of the gospel, and, ultimately, to give God glory (John 3:1–8; 13:34–35; Acts 2:41; 14:23; Eph. 3:10; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; Heb. 10:24–25).” (Mack Stiles, Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! For many, Christmas season has led to break, but there is much to still learn and grow in our understanding of our Lord and Savior, even during the holidays. With that said, I hope this week’s links will be of service to you!

  • Tim Challies has been working through a series on what he calls the forgotten commandment of honoring your parents. Though he’s a few posts in, he recently wrote an article highlighting two kinds of cultures that seem prevalent not only in our country, but also in our church. This may make you go back and start at the beginning!
  • This week is the week of new journal issues! Make sure you check out the fall issue The Masters Seminary Journal on “Christ-Centered Preaching,” 9Marks journal on the state of nations regarding healthy churches, and Credo’s issue on Sola Scriptura.
  • How do we deal with bitterness in our hearts? Heath Lambert discusses overcoming bitterness in this week’s Truth in Love podcast. Earlier this week, Lambert spoke with Dr. Stuart Scott on how to deal with sadness during the Christmas season.
  • Last week, I mentioned Christian philosophy professor Tim McGrew’s interview on his contribution to the Four Views on Christianity and Philosophy. Now, Dr. Scott Oliphint provides a presuppositional perspective in the following broadcast, noting that Christianity trumps philosophy. As a philosophy major, I actually agree, so make sure you give some time for this interview.
  • Parents, how have you instructed your kids in listening to a sermon? If you haven’t, you may find some wisdom in David Prince’s piece on training your kids to listen to sermons well.
  • Andy Naselli highlights The Bible Project and their amazing work in summarizing each book of the Bible in a video or two. Click the link to find all videos of each book in one post! This could be a fun series of videos to watch with your roommates, friends, and family.
  • The Associates of Biblical Research blog created a fascinating video establishing the truth of Micah’s prophecy concerning Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem with amazing views of the location uncovered by archaeologists. Praise God, for His Word is true.
  • Alan Shlemon, of Stand to Reason, answers a question that calls the apostle Paul’s view of sexual ethics outdated. Greg Koukl interviewed Rosaria Butterfield on her conversion to Christ from her life of rebellion against God in her previous life as a lesbian and English professor at a secular university. Very helpful in learning how to be gracious and loving towards those who identify as LBGTQ.
  • It’s never tiring to hear testimony of how God brought a sinner to saving faith. This time, listen to Jean as she shares her life story, from abortion to Christ.

That’s all for this week! Please keep the SDSU collegians in prayer as they finish up finals and head home for Christmas break, and represent Christ to their families. Also pray for the youth, as they will be having their Christmas party tonight. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (12/9/2016)

“There is a legitimate sense in which the fear of God involves being afraid of God, being gripped with terror and dread. Though this is not the dominant thought in Scripture, it is there nonetheless. The second aspect of fear, which is peculiar to the true children of God, is the fear of veneration, honor, and awe with which we regard our God. It is a fear that leads us not to run from Him but to draw near to Him through Jesus Christ and gladly submit to Him in faith, love, and obedience.” (Albert N. Martin, The Forgotten Fear: Where Have All the God-Fearers Gone?)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! The Christmas season is now upon us, and we have much to celebrate. I just hope this week’s links will bring you more towards the truth of Christ and His birth. Here are this week’s links.

  • Missionary Helen Roseveare went to be with the Lord on Wednesday at the age of 91. Justin Taylor writes a quick summary of her life and experiences on the mission field. She truly should be considered a woman of whom the world was not worthy.
  • Michael Kruger continues his series on Christian cliches that should go the way of the do-do, this time on the saying “all sins are equal in God’s sight.” He wrote a follow-up post to give a sampling of how widespread this idea has become.
  • Paul Tripp reminds us that Christmas is all about a tree, but not the tree that we decorate. A powerful way to remember what we are truly celebrating.
  • Steve Hays compiled a list of articles, books, and other resources mounting a case for the existence of God, along with responses to objections. Earlier, he linked to another set of theistic arguments for God’s existence that includes a good bibliography that will keep you busy for the next year(s). These are the links to bookmark and visit often.
  • Christian philosopher Dr. Timothy McGrew was interviewed on the convergence of philosophy and Christianity, among other issues. A number of resources are linked along with the interview, which would be a great introduction to the writings of Dr. McGrew.
  • If you haven’t already read about it, the book The Shack is coming out soon as a movie, which means there may be some opportunities to discuss some of the issues that came as a result of the book. Stand to Reason highlights Tim Challies’ reviews of that book, which would be helpful to brush up on what were some of his concerns.
  • Pastor Brian Croft recently spoke at a conference called “Every Member Ministry” on the importance of member involvement in a local church. If you’re seeking to understand what your role in the life of the church is, this looks like a good place to start.
  • Every Christmas season, there’s some who will find the idea of the virgin birth of Christ as mythical. Many responses have come from these challenges, but the objections continue to be used past their expiration date. As believers, is the virgin birth essential to our faith? Pastor Kevin DeYoung thinks so, as should we.
  • The Gospel Coalition came out with their December issue of Themelios, which has a number of great articles, as well as about 50 book reviews, some of which may be very informative, even for Christmas shopping.

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for the upcoming Christmas concert that will be taking place tomorrow at church! Hope to see you there! And on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (11/25/2016)

“God is in his Word. He is in it not only when the Bible is read, but also when it is truly preached, or witnessed to, or reflected on in the mind; we meet him in it, and so his Word brings both knowledge and fellowship.” (Broughton Knox, The Everlasting God)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Thanksgiving has come and gone, but giving thanks to God is a daily joy and responsibility! I pray these links will continue to point you to thank God for all He has done. With that said, here are this week’s links!

  • Earlier this week was the anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis. If you don’t know much about him, here’s at least nine things you should know. David Mathis at Desiring God writes some reflections on the influence he had on him, which is a good place to get a taste of Lewis’ writing.
  • With Thanksgiving Day having come and gone, there’s still some articles worth spending time on. First, Pastor Eric Davis shares memories with his grandfather, including an opportunity to share the gospel with him. Second, Kevin DeYoung gives a short meditation on thankfulness that extends past Thanksgiving.   Third, R.C. Sproul offers a two-part message on Thanksgiving for all to enjoy. Lastly, here is a great article to share with believer and non-believer alike: give thanks!
  • Professor and Christian philosopher James Anderson recently gave a talk on how to address the issue of transgender biblically, giving eight theses to build his case. This is definitely worth giving time and attention, for the sake of loving people.
  • Pastor and biblical counselor Paul Tautges offers us his notes on how to have a quiet time with God. If you have no idea how to start, or need a refresher, this will point you in the right direction!
  • Philosopher and homeschool mom Lydia McGrew writes of some of the current issues taking place within evangelicalism: IVCF vs. SBL, and the recent ETS meeting concerning four resolutions passed last year in response to the Obergefell ruling.
  • Justin Taylor seeks to think through the logic of abortion rights, which turns out to be quite informative. Whether pro-life or pro-choice, this will be a great push forward in dialoging with one another. Lives truly are at stake.
  • Why do kids who profess to be Christians later abandon the faith? Tim Challies discusses four reasons and possible solutions for parents and youth workers to consider. May we all seek to be faithful to faithfully point the next generation to Christ by teaching and example.
  • New Testament professor Thomas Schreiner explains commonly misunderstood phrases in Scripture: faith as a mustard seed, and faith that moves mountains. What do they mean, and can we actually move mountains by our faith? Schreiner is very helpful here in dealing with this.
  • How can we encourage one another, in season and out of season? Dane Ortlund provides some much-needed encouragement for us (see what I did there?).

That’s all for this week! Don’t forget that this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, so make sure you prepare to anticipate our celebration of Christ coming to earth! See you all then!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (11/18/2016)

“To be a good leader, you’ve got to know how to follow first. If you want others to submit to your leadership, you’ve got to learn how to submit to the authorities in your life…Biblically great people don’t want to draw attention to themselves, but want to lay down their own lives for other people. You should be willing to serve other people because you should really believe they’re more significant than you.” (Dan Dumas, Live Smart: Preparing for the Future God Wants for You)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! With Thanksgiving a week away, there’s already much to be thankful for, including this week’s links! Here they are!

  • The ’10 things you should know’ series continues, this time about physician assisted suicide.
  • Tim Challies gives a clear tactic in handling conflicts biblically: asking two specific questions that gets to the heart of forgiveness. For the sake of the unity of the church body, read this!
  • TMS Professor Dr. Greg Harris is coming out with a new book, The Bible Expositor’s Handbook sometime next year, but has made available of the first two chapters here. Enjoy!
  • ACBC has made available one of their sessions from this year’s annual conference. This one is titled, “The Doctrine of the Church and Biblical Counseling” by Steve Viars. Praise God for His faithfulness to His people in the care of souls!
  • Colleen Chao invites us into her life (and Joseph) to see the hand of God in bringing a proud person to compassion. Heath Lambert gives counsel on the Truth in Love podcast on how to break through to the heart of a prideful person.
  • Challies mentions and challenges three parenting myths we are all tempted to believe.
  • Professor David Murray, with assistance of his students in counseling, has created a counselor’s checklist, based on Paul Tripp’s Love-Know-Speak-Do structure, to gauge how one is doing in providing biblical counsel. I hope this is of help to everyone who offers counsel from the Scriptures.
  • What’s at stake in the creation-evolution debate? Center for Science and Culture associate director John West reports on a new study that quantifies the effects of evolutionary ideas on faith and ethics of the general public. There’s some valuable information, so take a look!
  • Pastor Jeremy Yong explains why grace seems hard for him as an Asian-American. Very appreciative of his perspective!

That’s all for this week! Please keep the youth and collegians in prayer, as they meet tonight. Hope to see you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria