Author Archives: Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Missions Monday #12 – AR Testimonies

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz (and other contributors)

Over the years, many people from our church have been a part of the Argentina missions trips, and have been very appreciative of their time there. I personally have benefitted greatly from the multiple conversations I’ve had with Pastor Jorge Ahualle, Eduaro Buldain, and many of the leaders and members of IBM Tucuman. They have been a joy and a model of how to do ministry, wherever you are. Here are some other members from previous trips who have some experiences to share with you. We hope you enjoy them!

Hwa and Suzie Park (LBCSD)

I think Suzie and I were recently married when we went together to Tucuman to share the Gospel to the beautiful people of Argentina. Looking back it was an amazing experience we both shared that set the foundation for our marriage of what it means to make disciples of Christ. Going door to door, sharing matte with complete strangers all while avoiding wild dogs were both exciting and adventurous. We still talk about Tucuman  from time to time and would love the opportunity to go back one day for sweet fellowship with fellow brothers and sisters in Tucuman.

Ryan McAdams (LBCSD)

The Argentina Missions Trips have a very special place in the story of our family. My wife and I essentially met preparing for the 2007 trip, and after both also going on the 2008 trip, we returned on the 2011 trip for the first time as a married couple! We also took our baby daughter with us when we returned on the 2013 trip. Though we haven’t been able to return since then, the trips have still helped to shape the very core of our family, inside our home and out.

Every trip emphasizes the M of Lighthouse’s MVP statement, the fact that the Lord Jesus has called us to make disciples of all nations. Every trip demonstrates the difference between coercing an individual to answer Yes (or , as the case may be) to a series of questions and the implantation and germination of the seed of God’s word into a person’s very being, that making of a disciple that results in a true follower of Jesus Christ. While these truths drive our planning and execution of the mission trip, they also affect our family’s home life, even in the shepherding and development of our children. Rather than force an insincere confession of faith from them before they understand the truth, we want to trust God with the regeneration of their hearts, and will work to provide an environment that will present the truth of God to them in its fullness and majesty.

The trips have also reinforced the idea that missions doesn’t just take place overseas. Perhaps, by definition, missions happen somewhere else, but then the work of missions should not differ much, if at all, from the work of our own church. This idea has anchored our family as well, as we have sought to avoid compartmentalizing the church, and including it as a vital part of our family life instead. During our time in Tucumán, the church would have almost every meal together, and while they certainly meet together more often during our visitation, the principle of community as a platform for ministry drives our family’s willingness to spend time together with the rest of our church body. Even this serves the goal of disciple-making, since those among the family of God minister internally by helping each other grow further in obedience to all of God’s commands.

Even though we miss dearly our brothers and sisters in Tucumán because of our absence from them, God has used our times there to draw us closer to him individually and as a family even to the present.

Josue Ahualle (son of Pastor Jorge Ahualle, Iglesia Biblica Misionera)

Hello! I am pleased to be able to share with you some of my experience with the LBC visits to our church in Argentina.

The first time we visited I particularly was very small but I will never forget the joy and the unity that was produced in our congregation. It was beautiful to see how we struggled to communicate, the funny signs and gestures that harmonized an atmosphere of happiness and love between brothers and sisters. Each year we were able to make new friends and even though we do not share a lot of time together, each one of these brothers who came won a place in our hearts.

Today I can understand what it means to be part of a missions trip… Sacrifice, time, preparation… that’s why I give thanks to God for each and every one of you! Without a doubt God used you all greatly in our lives. It’s been a great encouragement and help each year you have visited us, many brothers and sisters who are attending today, are the result of the evangelistic campaigns that we have done together. There are many experiences that God has allowed us to enjoy together and I hope there are many more.

Once again I want you to know that I am very happy to have known you and I very much admire the love you have toward God and his work.

God bless you!

Weekly Links (6/23/2017)

“Worry begins when a person is trying to love equally both the Creator and something in creation (or when they are not trying to love the Creator at all, having replaced him with something in his creation). That something may be ourselves, of course. And to love Creator and created equally is impossible.” (Timothy Lane, Living without Worry: How to replace anxiety with peace)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Praise God for those who have been blessed with a summer off! Hopefully, that translates to more undistracted devotion to Christ! Here are this week’s links to get you all started!

  • Paul Tautges examines Scripture’s call to the older and younger men in the church. May we never get tired of hearing what God calls us, both young and old, to be.
  • Not to leave the ladies behind, over at the True Woman blog, Laura Elliot provides some great encouragement to anyone who may not see themselves as teachers to see their calling within the church to bless those who are younger. Please take this to heart, ladies!
  • What in the world is a worldview, and what does it consist of? RTS professor James N. Anderson gives a concise overview of the topic, while mentioning some of the predominant contenders in opposition to Christianity. If this is your first foray into the subject, Anderson is a great guide.
  • After the showing of the documentary Is Genesis History? some of the people behind it have created a conference for students, ministers and educators going into more detail about the many topics covered in the film. A schedule with names of all presentations can be found on their website, while the videos of all presentations are currently on their Facebook page. This will definitely be an in-depth introduction to young-earth creationism, if you are looking for a good place to start studying the topic.
  • Tim and Michael Keller have been doing a series of posts on evangelism at the university that should be a source of interest of anyone who knows college students. It’s been a great read thus far. Here are the posts: “The Uniqueness of University Evangelism,” “The Challenge of University Evangelism,” “4 Promising Opportunities in University Evangelism,” and “5 Principles for University Evangelism.”

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for youth group, as they have their Grad Night/Lock-In today and tomorrow. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Weekly Links (6/9/2017)

“The only way we are going to know Christ as our supreme treasure is if we diminish the value of competing treasure. Anything— even good things— must go if they hinder Christ’s lordship in our lives and hearts. If we cherish and cling to competing treasures, our affection for God will grow sluggish and our loneliness will only increase.” (Lydia Brownback, Finding God in My Loneliness)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! It’s time for reading, and listening(!), to what has been happening this week. So let’s get to it!

  • Biblical counselors Alasdair Groves and Mike Emlet, who is also a physician, talks about what OCD is from a biblical perspective. This is part one of a two-part series.
  • Recently, a Christian nominated to office was grilled by two U.S. Senators on his views of Islam. Many have called foul on the religious litmus test that has been decried by the political climate whenever a Christian seems to administer it to those who aren’t believers, yet will not do the same when applied to Christians. Joe Carter gives an analysis of what happened, as well as why it matters.
  • Should you give up on the church? Well, obviously, our answer would be, “No,” but how would you counsel someone who is tempted to think this way? Hayley Mullins gives us eight reasons not to abandon Christ’s bride. It’s a great read, and would be wise to heed, too.
  • How can you share Christ with ease and impact? Greg Koukl answers in this month’s mentoring letter.
  • Mathematician Granville Sewell presents his two main concerns with current evolutionary theory, and that without giving specifics of the theory itself. Though it may seem counterintuitive for him to do so, Sewell presents his case, giving us non-scientists hope that we can still bring our disagreements to the table and gain a hearing.
  • Well, summer is coming, which requires the seasonal talk about purity and modesty. Biblical counselor Heath Lambert covers purity at the pool, while Martha Peace covers modesty for girls at the pool, both on the Truth in Love podcast.
  • When we encounter gossip that is being spoken of us or of others, how should we respond or advise those who are being gossiped? Paul Tautges gives two suggestions that will be sure to distinguish believers from the world. May we all grow in Christlike love towards those who choose to speak ill of us behind our backs.
  • Do kids who grow up in the church really understand the gospel? Sean McDowell suggests that, without a real distinction between subjective and objective truth, there is no need for the gospel. When we live in a culture that seeks to blur the lines, we need to teach our children and youth that the gospel is objectively true. Their lives truly do depend on it being so.
  • From this month’s issue of Tabletalk, Covenant College president Derek Halvorson writes to collegians and post-collegians to invest in each others’ lives for the sake of maturity, and as part of entering adulthood.

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for the youth and collegians, as they will be finishing with their respective ministry Bible study tonight. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria

Missions Monday #10 – AR Multimedia

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

You may be unaware of this, but there are a good number of resources related to our Argentina trips over the past 12 years. If you have ever wanted to become familiar with our missions trips to Argentina, especially what we do and what we’ve learned, then you’ve come to the right place! Please peruse what we have collected over the years. We hope it will be a blessing!

TEXT

  • Our articles related to Argentina missions give many details from various trips over the years, from many different team members, past and present. I even have a number of entries from 2012 on my personal blog, if anyone is interested.

AUDIO

PHOTO

  • Check out all our photos from previous trips: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 (days 1-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, final), 2012, and 2016.
  • Pastor Jorge, his wife Norma, and son Josue came to visit us in 2010, in lieu of a missions trip that year. We had a very special night welcoming them to our church family, and a potluck before their departure.

Weekly Links (5/26/2017)

“Put simply, works are not the means of salvation; they are the fruit of salvation…Good works do not make a person good, but a good person will do good works.” (Erwin Lutzer, Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Not as many links this week, but I hope this will keep you busy over the three-day weekend! Plenty of time to catch up on previous weeks as well!

  • Pastor Mark Dever recently gave a few talks on some of the nine marks he has written and spoken about for years. If you’re looking for a good introduction to these issues, you would do well to start here.
  • How do you forgive someone who refuses to say sorry? Pastor Jeremy Pierre gives a succinct answer to that question. Don’t miss out on Pastor Chris Brauns’ links to other articles on the issue of forgiveness, and even the quiz on forgiveness to get you thinking about this topic. Also, if you are in need of some instruction in how to handle personal conflict, Pastor Steven Cole has been preaching a series of messages on the church, with his most recent on how to resolve personal conflict in the church.
  • Tim Challies notes a musician’s observations that technology seems to have the (un)intended consequence of removing human interaction altogether. After reading this, you may want to talk to someone about it. In person.
  • Is regeneration monergistic or synergistic? If you aren’t sure of the answer, or even what any of those words mean, Steve Lawson may be of some help here.
  • What is the role of the believer in the local church? Well, according to Scripture, every Christian is to be involved in ministry. Pastor Eric Davis, in what I would deem the article of the week (and month, for that matter), lays out the biblical case and importance of being equipped by your church for the sake of ministering to others.
  • Fred Butler, a self-identified young-earth creationist, has been reviewing old-earth creationist Hugh Ross’ book Navigating Genesis, and pointing out some of the issues that arise from his reading of the book. This week’s post is part 5, so you’re going to want to catch up, which he provides links to.
  • Pastor David Prince gives some good reasons not to trust what you normally hear in graduation speeches, specifically in reference to following your passions outside of God’s glory and His church. So don’t be too quick in heeding Will Ferrell’s advice, even if his speech is trending!
  • Kermit Gosnell, the abortionist who was sentenced to life in prison for the first-degree murder of seven babies and third-degree murder of a woman, had written a justification for his practice with five Bible verses, since he claims to be a Christian. Pastor Jesse Johnson reviews Gosnell’s “inspired” list of Bible verses and responds to each of them.

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

Soli Deo Gloria

Missions Monday #8 – Door to Door Evangelism

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

One of the unique aspects of an LBC missions trip to Argentina is the opportunity for the team members to share the gospel by going door-to-door in the different neighborhoods in Tucuman. In a culture that is very receptive towards family, friends, and visitors entering into homes, Iglesia Biblica Misionera (Missionary Bible Church) has taken advantage of this great opportunity to get a foot in the door, literally, to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to all who would hear. We have been blessed to be able to partner with IBM to declare the saving truth of Christ to children, youth, university students, mothers, fathers, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, blue-collar and white-collar workers.

When a team of LBC members travel to Tucuman, Pastor Jorge Ahualle, along with the leadership, plan an evangelistic campaign composed of members of IBM, LBC, and translators, who will be sent to a neighborhood for the purpose of going door to door and evangelizing the people there. Past trips have been such an ordeal, that half the team would go to one neighborhood, while the other half will visit a different one. Every neighborhood has a home base, of which one of the members of the church will open their home to prepare for the day’s schedule. Any tracts that are to be passed out, meeting with the entire group for fellowship and prayer, and instructions on where to go happen every day. Each LBC team member will have a translator and a member from IBM to give more details about the regular events at IBM.

As we go out, each small group would walk around the block, clapping our hands to get the attention of the residents, and ask if they have a few moments to spare. Sometimes they come out to the gate to hear what we have to say, other times they invite us in and even provide mate (tea leaves steeped in hot water) to share with one another. Even in the midst of family life, many are willing and eager to listen to what people from America have come all the way to say. While we tell them what Christ has done here on earth to deal with our sins, many nod in agreement, as if they understand or are familiar with what we are telling them. This can seem encouraging, but many times, it is part of the culture to not offend strangers who enter their homes.

Upon returning to the church, we usually eat and spend time with one another for a brief period of time, then spend some time back at our hotel for a nap. This is to prepare for the evening program where we return to the same neighborhood to invite the people to. We will have music, a skit for the children to watch, and a gospel presentation to the crowd. We then stay and try to speak with those who have come and continue the conversation. Any questions they may have, we seek to answer with the Scriptures, which has promised to be sufficient for every good work.

Some of you may wonder what effect these door-to-door evangelism campaigns have on the people of Tucuman. The first is the fact that every year, more and more people in these neighborhoods hear the gospel of God’s amazing grace, some for the very first time. Second, many grew up going to the Catholic church, yet never understood why Christ came to die on the cross. They were completely mystified as to the need for a perfect sacrifice, and what that means for everyone today. Parents and children are exposed to where in Scripture God calls all men everywhere to repent, how the death of Christ provides a way of escape from sin and God’s wrath, and how they can have a new way of life in Christ.

Third, LBC and IBM members work side-by-side in the fellowship of the gospel. This has solidified some of the friendships between churches, as we have come to be gripped by the same gospel that saved each of us, and now we unite together to proclaim that same truth to others. We embolden one another to call people to lay aside their sin, and to lay hold of Christ as the One who is worth living and dying for. As we continue this partnership, spiritual conversations concerning the day’s events, as well as what we are learning and growing in come to the fore. It becomes easier to talk of spiritual matters when engaged in ministry together.

We pray that as we return to Argentina this summer, the Lord would see fit to use His Word to bring about the salvation of many to Christ. We pray that He will use our feeble efforts to make us faithful to the task of making disciples, primarily by supporting Pastor Jorge Ahualle and his family. We also ask to be faithful in the task by working with those who are there full-time to make disciples of Christ in their respective neighborhoods, whether amongst their own neighbors, or within their own families. We have much to look forward to, and hope you will be with us in prayer! To God be the glory!

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

Missions Monday #5 – Introducing the Argentina Team

Josh Liu

Hi! I currently serve on pastoral staff at LBCSD, overseeing College Life. I have learned so much in my 10 years at LBCSD–coming in as a freshman at UCSD to now serving on pastoral staff. It’s been an incredible journey! Part of that journey has led me to participate in our short-term missions trips to Argentina, which has continued to develop my theology and passion for evangelism and global missions. This year will be my sixth trip to Argentina with LBCSD! I’ve had the opportunity to build deep relationships with many of the members and leaders at Iglesia Biblica Misionera Tucuman. I look forward to serving, equipping, and edifying IBM Tucuman, and to be a source of refreshment and encouragement to Pastor Jorge and the other leaders.

Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Hello, everyone! I am husband to Andrea, on staff with Sonlight Ministry and Youth Group Ministry, and am also a Math TA at a non-public middle and high school. I have been a member at LBCSD since 2006, and have grown in my understanding of the Word and its application ever since. I became involved with LBC missions upon hearing the work this church has done with IBM Tucuman, and thought I could be of service. I do speak Spanish, and have come to embrace LBC’s vision of missions to assist churches in helping fulfill the Great Commission. Growing up, I have always had a strong desire to assist thriving Spanish-speaking churches where the pastor preaches the Bible, and men and women grow in their understanding of the Word, in their Christlikeness, and in their boldness by getting the gospel out to those around them. This will be my seventh trip to Argentina with LBCSD, and I am truly excited to see what God has in store for this trip! My prayer has always been that God be glorified on every trip, that I do my part to serve those in leadership, and to always be ready to tell, expound, defend, and unashamedly proclaim the gospel to all who will hear. One interesting fact about me is I was on television once in high school as part of the Academic Decathlon team, where I gave a few incorrect answers, but did get one right answer during the competition.

Andrea Vigil-Ruiz

Hi, I’ve been a part of the Grace Life Ministry for about two and a half years now. I currently teach a high energy, but very sweet and kind, class of 31 fourth graders that keep me on my toes! Since becoming a member at Lighthouse back in 2009, I have heard Pastor John Kim describe short-term missions as “doing church somewhere else.” My first trip to Argentina in 2012 helped me understand what Pastor John meant by that. Since that trip, my love for missions and being able to actually physically be present to help other missionaries has continued to grow! I am so excited and thankful that I can be a part of the team this year! One interesting fact about me is usually I don’t like bright colors, especially when it comes to my wardrobe. My closet currently has mostly neutral tones of grey, black, navy blue, and beige, except for this one very bright yellow cardigan that my small group gave me for my birthday one year. The girls wanted to help me branch out!

Brian Wong

Hello church! I am currently a graduating senior at UCSD. There isn’t too much to explain or a complicated reason as to why I’m going on missions this summer. When thinking about our missions teams, I considered supporting through prayer and finances, but then it dawned on me; why don’t I just physically be a part of the team? And thus, since I’m physically able to and have the availability to do so, I will be going for the sake of making disciples of all nations.

One fun, unique, or interesting thing about me is I love potato chips, and have a habit of sometimes replacing meals with a family-sized bag of chips. It’s pretty bad.

Randy Sarmiento

Hello Church Family!!! For those of you who do not know me, I serve as one of the deacons here at Lighthouse Bible Church, San Diego. I was born and raised in Houston, TX for most of my life, but due to joining the military (US Navy) I was deployed and stationed in various parts of the world. Eventually, by God’s design, and definitely not mine, I was stationed here in San Diego where I found out about the church and have been a member since 2006. Again by God’s grace, in 2008 I met my amazing wife Elaine through the church and got married in December of 2009. We are overly blessed with 3 rambunctious, fun loving, and social little girls, Charlotte (6), Isabel (4), and Estella (2). Overall I am so thankful for God’s continual grace, and I am so very humbled, honored, and blessed to get to serve His church.

In going to Argentina, I greatly hope to faithfully serve the church there, invest in others, counsel, and present the Gospel to the lost. Just as many before me have passed on the torch of Christ and His Word to people around the world, I too hope to pass on the His greatness to those in Argentina. Secondarily, since I was formerly a medical logistics coordinator for the military, and truly have a heart for medical missions, I hope to make contact with local government officials and medical providers in hope to someday collaborate with them in serving the church and community with a medical missions team of our own. I truly look forward to meeting and encouraging the our fellow brothers and sisters in IBM Tucuman.

A fun fact about me: I love to barbecue … So I’m a master chef on the grill. Just ask my wife 😉

Wesley Wong

Hi, I’m a full time evangelist disguised as a Computer Science major at UCSD. My salvation with the Lord started since eternity past when God predestined me for adoption as his son, but it wasn’t until freshman year of high school that I responded to his saving call by faith and repentance. Since then, the Lord has been tremendously faithful to grow me. That being said, I’ve wanted to go on overseas missions for a while, but summer internships have kept me busy. As I transition into full time work, God slipped in a couple weeks of down time for me to go to Argentina. As for a fun fact, I tried street preaching at UCSD!

Kristen Chan

Hello, church family! I’m a student graduating this June. At first, I dismissed the idea of going on missions because I thought missions wasn’t for me. When Mr. Mellwig came and I heard his testimony of how people in the Czech Republic have never heard of Jesus, God softened my heart to consider going. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my sinful attitude in brushing off the call to obedience and putting it on others. God provided me with availability and no obligations for the summer, so I applied (late) to Argentina! I’m so thankful that God has placed this opportunity in my life as I have already been sanctified through the preparations. Please be praying for our team and that God would further his kingdom in Argentina!

Nathalie Paucar

Hello! I am a UCSD graduate, currently working as a Research Associate at a biotech company, and am a part of the Salt and Light Ministry here at Lighthouse.

For a while, since coming out to Lighthouse, and becoming a member, I’ve felt God has given me a desire to go to Argentina, since I am a Spanish-speaking native and have a desire to go on missions. Having interacted with Grace Alcaraz and Andrea Vigil-Ruiz, with their Spanish preparation last year for Argentina, it drew my heart to pray for the possibility of going when asked. So, when asked if I would go this year, God answered my prayer, by setting all things straight and perfectly that I may go on Summer Missions this year.

An interesting thing about me: I have visited more countries than I have states of the United States.

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