Category Archives: Weekly Links

Weekly Links (5/19/2017)

“Part of the reason grace bothers us so much is because self-righteousness distorts our perception of reality. We see our goodness as far better than it really is, and we see others’ sins as worse than they really are. In the midst of such unclear vision, grace makes no sense at all.” (Randy Newman, Bringing the Gospel Home: Witnessing to Family Members, Close Friends, and Others Who Know You Well)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! We have a number of links for you to power through and enjoy, and so we hope you do!

  • A new book has been making its rounds in the abortion discussion from an abortionist who claims to be a Christian. Author Charles Bellinger reviews the book and gives an overall indictment of pro-choice literature in its lack of awareness of pro-life arguments. Very well-argued.
  • Pastor Ben Edwards gave a presentation on the Sunni Muslim worldview, addressing the top four elements and answering the main seven questions every worldview has to answer. This is a good summary of the largest Muslim group within Islam.
  • Joss Whedon, famous director of The Avengers movies, has created a short film in support of Planned Parenthood, that is on its way to going viral. Over at the Life Training Institute blog, Clinton Wilcox calls it a ‘propaganda piece,’ giving some context for what is really going on with Planned Parenthood. Don’t miss this testimony from a mom who just graduated college in response to Whedon’s video.
  • Pastor Brian Croft just posted video messages from the Sacramento Gospel Conference 2016, where he addresses the gospel in relation to the church, home/family, and sickness/death. Pastor Greg Gilbert was also a speaker there, and gave talks that addressed the components of the gospel. Here is the playlist that has all the talks from both, including a Q&A session with Croft and Gilbert.
  • At the True Woman blog is a story of a marriage tainted by sin, but renewed by God’s grace in forgiveness.
  • Our smartphones are changing us, and surprising remarks come from actor Denzel Washington about that. Author Tony Reinke gives us 12 gospel themes to address with others in relation to our smartphones. May it be a help and source of encouragement to be creative in your bridging the gospel in every conversation.
  • Amy Hall at Stand to Reason, gives some great advice, and links, to many resources for how a high schooler can get involved in Christian apologetics. Though we may not entirely agree on everything with regards to method, there is much value in learning from seasoned apologist who have been on the field for many years.
  • There is a horrifying new practice from an Australian jeweler to turn frozen embryos into jewelry for their parents. Abigail Dodds at Desiring God points out the wickedness of the practice, and the inconsistent labeling of the embryo as a baby from the practitioners of death. Pray that this ends ASAP.
  • What does true, Christian friendship look like? When Desiring God Ministries answers this question, you know it will be a very God-centered answer. Take a look, and pray you become that kind of friend for others.

That’s all for this week! Continue to be in prayer for the youth and collegians, as they meet tonight for Bible study. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (5/12/2017)

“Take away the Gospel from a Church and that Church is not worth preserving. A well without water, a scabbard without a sword, a steam-engine without a fire, a ship without compass and rudder, a watch without a mainspring, a stuffed carcase without life, all these are useless things. But there is nothing so useless as a Church without the Gospel.” (J. C. Ryle, Light from Old Times)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! I pray your weeks have been a blessing to others, and a pointer for others to Christ and His loving Lordship. May this week’s links be another encouragement towards that end. Here they are!

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for all the SDSU students who are graduating this weekend. Congrats! See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (5/5/2017)

by Stephen Rodgers

Alright…welcome to the first Friday in May! As is our custom, here’s a small pile of free resources that you can enjoy this month…

  • The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Steve Lawson (free audiobook) – You’re definitely going to want to pick this one up. It’s a combination of a good author and a good subject, which typically results in a great biography.
  • Live in Liberty: The Spiritual Message of Galatians (free Logos resource) – No clue about this one. It may be fantastic, or it may be abysmal. But it’s free in case you want to check it out.
  • “Why Are We Reformed?” (May Tabletalk) – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Tabletalk is probably the most under-rated free Christian resource out there. If you haven’t checked it out yet, there’s no time like the present.
  • Themelios 42.1 (free journal) – TGC’s journal is always an interesting read, if only for the book reviews. It can be a bit more academic than some people like, but it’s always worth skimming to see what you can find, even if you don’t read it cover to cover.

And since I always try to throw in at least one little bonus link, CredoMag has been doing a series of videos on the Reformers:

Enjoy!

Weekly Links (4/28/2017)

“Christianity is not a religion that has its primary source in nature, or in experience, or even in an individual’s salvation. The source for Christianity is the Revealer, Jesus himself, who has much to say about nature, experience, and salvation. Our salvation is not something we can earn through works or that we deserve. Christianity comes to us as a gift from God.” [K. Scott Oliphint, Know Why You Believe (KNOW Series)]

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Apologies for the late delay, but here are this week’s links!

  • Ligonier Ministries has produced a new album celebrating the Reformation called Post Tenebras, Lux, which is Latin for, “After Darkness, Light.” For a brief period, it’s free to download. Don’t miss out on this!
  • Do you know how to present the pro-life case for the unborn? Nathan Apodaca, from the Life Training Institute, gives three steps that has come to be called the ‘Ten Second Pro-Life Apologist.
  • Kevin DeYoung continues his theological primer series by giving a succinct summary of the term, ‘the 144,000‘ as found in Scripture. This is a crucial topic to spend some time on, especially if you talk with a Jehovah’s Witness about this area.
  • You may be surprised by this, but Netflix doesn’t consider Amazon or HBO to be its main competitor. Who are they truly competing against, they say? Sleep. We may need to rethink our priorities based on that sole observation, as Tim Challies does.
  • Professor David Murray tells 13 truths that a congregation needs to hear in light of their fallen pastor. This is worth reflecting, even if your pastor has not gone this route. This is also a reminder to pray for your pastor…right now.
  • What are the implications of the doctrine of definite (aka limited) atonement? Most think negatively of the teaching, but Jonathan Gibson gives two that can bring about godly change within the body of Christ. This is sound doctrine as it’s meant to be taught.
  • Randy Alcorn points us to an interview Tony Reinke did with Alastair Roberts, who offered 10 questions to evaluate the appropriate use of our smartphones. Chances are, you will not leave unscathed, so read carefully (especially if it’s on your smartphone!).
  • Is there a way to read the Bible in order to find God’s signature in it and through it? Sounds like a question John Piper is asking, which he has, and has an answer to. This can revolutionize your Bible reading. Let him help you see the implications of God’s purpose behind the reading of His Word.
  • Have you ever been told that you are a bad listener? That you talk too much? How can you grow in your listening skills? Timothy Brahm, of the Equal Rights Institute, gives a short answer that will train you to learn to allow space for the thinking pause. If you aren’t sure how this relates, watch or listen to his thoughts.
  • Sean McDowell (son of Josh McDowell, in case you were wondering) interviewed David Marshall on his newest bookJesus is No Myth! The Fingerprints of God on the Gospels. Whether you read the book or not, you will be fascinated with some of the questions he answers. Many of the topics he covers in his book is at the forefront of what you will hear whenever criticism of Christianity comes your way. You will not be disappointed.

That’s all for this week! Please pray for all the flocks that meet this week, and pray for God to be glorified in the lives of the saints this weekend. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (4/21/2017)

“We will never hunger or thirst if we are always coming and always believing in Christ. He is our sufficiency. Christ is the bread from heaven. We must feed on all of Christ, not just the parts that we happen to like. Christ is not the Savior of anyone unless He is their Lord as well.” (James R. White, Drawn By The Father)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Time has sure flown by, but not without some great links for your growth and benefit. Enjoy!

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for youth group and College Life, as both meet at church tonight for Bible study. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (4/14/2017)

“It was not nails that held Jesus to that wretched cross; it was his unqualified resolution, out of love for his Father, to do his Father’s will—and, within that framework, it was his love for sinners like me. He really could not save himself.” (D. A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Good Friday! In light of today’s observance of and remembrance of our Lord, Jesus Christ, dying on the cross, this week I want to bring to your attention some links that will focus our eyes on the One who gave His life voluntarily to redeem us from the consequences and power of sin. So, here they are:

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for tonight’s Good Friday service, and that the gospel be proclaimed to all who need it. Please come if you don’t have a church to visit tonight or on Resurrection Sunday. See you all there!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (4/7/2017)

by Stephen Rodgers

Alright…happy Friday once again. Since this particular happy Friday is the first of the month, that means it’s time for a postload of free stuff. So, in no particular order…

  • Know Why You Believe by Paul E. Little (audio book) – I’m not familiar with this particular book, but it’s free if anyone wants to check it out.
  • Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes by Randolph and O’Brien (Logos resource) – I’m familiar with the central thesis of this book (that “WEIRD”…Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) readers are prone to misunderstanding or failing to understanding cultural and social norms that are foreign to our experience. And up to a point, that’s a completely valid observation. What I don’t know is whether this book occupies the “responsible scholarship” end of the spectrum, or the “nut with an agenda” end of the spectrum. Again though, it’s free if someone wants to roll the dice or is a collector.
  • JBMW 21.2 (journal) – The latest edition of the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is out, and I have no problem recommending it. Apparently Denny Burk lays out his vision for its parent organization, so that will be interesting to see.
  • “Luther at 500” (magazine) – As I mentioned last time, CredoMag was advertising a year of Reformation-themed issues, and the first one has arrived! Again, this is a resource that I’m happy to recommend.
  • “The 17th Century” (magazine) – Of course, I’m MOST happy to recommend Tabletalk. (Although they can only milk this “xxth century” theme a few more times before they’ll either run out of centuries or have to start in on the BC ones). Still…a name Tabletalk is always a good thing.

Enjoy!

Weekly Links (3/31/2017)

“The difference between the true God and the gods of the nations is that the true God carries and the other gods must be carried. God serves; they must be served. God glorifies his might by showing mercy. They glorify theirs by gathering slaves. So the vision of God as one whose passion for his glory moves him to mercy impels missions because he is utterly unique among all the gods.” (John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! March is over, and April is right around the corner. I hope this week’s links will give you much to think about into next month. Here we go!

  • Have you ever wondered if there is any presence of Reformed theology in China? Well, you can wonder no more as the TGC blog highlights the awakening of Reformational Christianity there.
  • The Center for Medical Progress, who have become known as the organization exposing Planned Parenthood for illegally profiting from the selling of fetal parts, have uploaded a new video featuring a former Planned Parenthood implying she would engage in infanticide. The Equal Rights Institute gives some great analysis of this video. Unfortunately, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the ones behind CMP’s videos, have been charged with 15 felonies based on recording alleged ‘confidential communications’ between complete strangers and at public conferences and restaurants. David French points out the blatant hypocrisy in this charge made in CA.
  • With the new release of her new book This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years, Jacquelle Crowe writes of the important relationship that must exist between the church and teens. To that, I give a hearty ‘Amen!’
  • Kevin DeYoung continues his theological primer series by writing on God’s infinity. Well worth your time (which won’t take much of it)!
  • Pastor Jon MacDonald gives a biblical corrective to the ungodly (and overused) phrase, ‘Happy wife, happy life!’
  • How should Christians respond when confronted with the claim that faith in God is irrational or that scientists shouldn’t believe in the supernatural? Scientist and Christian apologist Neil Shenvi gives a great answer!
  • What would you say qualifies one to be a biblical counselor? Pastor Armand Tiffe gives a sound résumé.
  • Over at The Cripplegate, Wyatt Graham writes a response to Rod Dreher’s book The Benedict Option with the gospel option. Luma Simms writes of her own story of adopting the Benedict option before it was dubbed as such, and the consequences of its application.

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for the church, as they all meet in their various flocks. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (3/24/2017)

“For whenever we make the warrant to believe in Christ to any degree dependent upon our subjective condition, we distort it. Repentance, turning from sin, and degrees of conviction of sin do not constitute the grounds on which Christ is offered to us. They may constitute ways in which the Spirit works as the gospel makes its impact on us. But they never form the warrant for repentance and faith.” (Sinclair Ferguson, The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance–Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! The week has finally come to an end, so why not spend some time focused on Christ? Hopefully, these links will accomplish this end!

  • What is the best way to understand the Bible! Professor Leland Ryken believes it to be by becoming familiar with the literary forms of each book, and provides a summary list of each form for every book of the Bible. Take a look!
  • Ever wonder in what ways the new covenant is better than the old? Pastor Jesse Johnson gives a solid list of nine ways. Take heart, believer!
  • How can Intelligent Design help us understand physiology? South African anesthesiologist Philip Anderson gives some helpful examples. Read on!
  • Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland answers a very common objection to Christianity with wit and wisdom: “What caused God?”
  • Biblical counselor Ed Welch talks with Nancy Guthrie about how to teach those who struggle with shame, addiction or anxiety by introducing them to a Person.
  • Biblical counselor Ron Allchin provides a biblical answer to the question, “Marriage: good idea or God’s idea?”
  • How can we grow to bear much spiritual fruit? What does that even mean? Pastor Ed Fedor gives some much-needed counsel.
  • Professor David Murray gives four pieces of advice for those who are anxious, stressed or burned out. Make sure to read his previous posts from this week located at the end of the post.
  • Pastor Aaron Menikoff writes a great post on the comfort that the Father gives in adopting His children by way of Christ, through the power of the Spirit. Always a tremendous truth worth pondering and praising God for!
  • Learn from Pastor Paul Tautges on how to make best use of your time. I think this qualifies as the post of the week.

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for Salt and Light, as they will be at their retreat this weekend, as well as the youth, who are meeting at church tonight. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

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