Saturday Sampler: October 27 — November 2

Does your church view its Pastor as CEO? Mark Mclntyre explains, in an article for Attempts at Honesty, why this unbiblical model of church leadership poses so much danger. It never pays to structure God’s church according to worldly ideas and patterns.

Enriching our understanding of the Protestant heritage that we have as evangelicals, Sinclair Ferguson contributes Four Implications of Martin Luther’s Theology to the Ligonier blog. This rather intimate peek into Luther’s life make the basic tenets of Reformed Theology easier to apply to our 21st Century experience.

In celebration of Reformation Day, Michelle Lesley reprises her article, 8 Theses for Women of the Modern-Day Reformation. You may have read this piece in past years, but I promise you that you won’t regret going through it again.

Eric Davis posts Reformation: Can the Roman Catholic Gospel Get You into Heaven? for The Cripplegate in honor of Reformation Day. Contrasting quotes from the Council of Trent with Scripture, he walks us through the primary issues, teaching us to discern the fundamental Gospel message.

Visit Logos Talk to take their Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Protestant Reformation? C’mon — it’s fun, and you might learn a few things in the process.

I appreciate Michael Coughlin of Things Above Us for sharing From the Mailbag: “Judge Not” as a demonstration of how to respond to critics respectfully without compromising the truth. As a bonus, he shows how to handle claims of healing that people attribute to false teachers.

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Saturday Sampler: October 20 — October 26

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Do you see yourself as a beggar? A writer for the Logos Blog writes What Luther’s Last Words Teach Us about Prayer to remind us of a basic premise in Scripture.

Please take heed of the warning about The Homosexual Tension In the Church Cannot Hold that Stephen McAlpine gives. The same problems he sees in Australia happen throughout western culture, and Christians must face the ramifications. I know it’s an unpleasant topic, but we dare not ignore it.

Whenever Leslie A publishes something in Growing 4 Life, I can pretty much count on being nurtured with good teaching. Read Three Mortal Enemies of Spiritual Growth to see her wise application of Biblical truth to daily life.

Zach Putthoff of Parking Space 23 offers wonderful encouragement in his post On Faith, Works, the Lordship of Christ, and Assurance. Don’t assume from the first few paragraphs that you know where his argument is going. I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by his conclusion.

Don’t miss A Restless Evil by The End Time proprietress Elizabeth Prata. And please, apply the Scriptures she shares to your keyboards as well as to your tongues.

In his article for Gentle Reformation, Richard Holdeman uses the opening chapters of Revelation to explain how Your Church is a Lampstand for God’s glory. His view is fascinating, and should help you appreciate your local church.

Thanks to Erin Benziger, Diane Severance’s post entitled Women of the Reformation: Anne Askew in Credo Magazine crossed my desk. Severance wonderfully shows God’s grace and power in standing firm on God’s Word, even though it meant martyrdom. Will we be as faithful to defend Biblical doctrine?

As an alternative to celebrating Halloween this coming Thursday, why not celebrate Reformation Day? Stephen Nichols, writing for Ligonier, answers the question, What Is Reformation Day? If you’re an evangelical, you need to understand this part of your Christian heritage.

As a result of taking his wife on a cruise, Tim Fererra of Discerning Dad comments about things that are More Precious than Gold as a beautiful reminder of where we need to keep our attention.

Elizabeth Prata writes a second essay that warrants mention. The train is still coming down the tracks makes me want to stand up and cheer! For those who complain that we spend far too much time and energy warning people against Beth Moore, this post should be mandatory reading!

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Saturday Sampler: October 13 –October 19

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I dearly hope that you’re tired of the fluffy things being passed off as women’s Bible Studies these days. If so, read this Introduction to A Zero Fluff Bible Study on the Deity of Christ by Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries. Sounds like a helpful study, ladies!

On the Ligonier blog, Nathan W. Bingham presents a video clip of Robert Godfrey explaining why the 16th Century Reformers considered the Roman Catholic Church to be A False Church.

Why should we avoid telling people ‘God has big plans for you!’ in our evangelism? Visit The End Time for Elizabeth Prata’s well-reasoned argument against that unscriptural and misleading assertion.

Erin Benziger, writing in Do Not Be Surprised, cautions us to Employ Wisdom Wisely.

If you’re new to Reformed Theology (or even to Christianity in general), you may wonder what salvation entails and how it happens. Eric Davis of The Cripplegate outlines the entire  process in So Great a Salvation — an easily read description of the various components. And those of you who are familiar with Reformed teaching will still appreciate this concise reference tool.

Charismatics don’t have a corner on mysticism. In Throwback Thursday: Flying nuns and flying priests, Tom of excatholic4christ walks us through Roman Catholic history to demonstrate the mystical bent of that religion.

I love just about everything Michelle Lesley writes.  My regular readers know I do. But sometimes she’ll surprise me by writing an especially exceptional blog post like Putting on the “You Can!” of Complementarianism. Ladies, if you need encouragement to see value in serving the Lord apart from pulpit ministry, Michelle’s article is for you!

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Saturday Sampler: October 6 — October 12

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In Blog & Mablog, Doug Wilson often transcribes messages he gives at weddings. His message to Kip and Karis expresses the beautiful way that a Christian marriage reflects the Gospel. I’ve been married for 17 years, and I still need this basic teaching.

On October 6, 1536 William Tyndale died of strangulation before being burned at the stake. Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised writes Strangled and Burned: Remembering William Tyndale to show us the significance of Tyndale’s execution.

Tim Challies tells us about The Servers and Servicers in Every Church as an encouragement for us to understand people who differ from us. Interesting perspective!

As we go through Pastor Appreciation Month, it helps to know how we can minister to the men who shepherd us. Melissa at Your Mom Has A Blog draws on her experience as a pastor’s wife in Want to Tend to Your Pastor’s Heart? Show up. This short post gives one of the most compelling reasons for faithful church attendance I’ve ever read.

In He Will Light Up our Path: The Truth about Feelings and Emotions, Lara D’Entremont’s guest post in Morning by Morning uses Psalm 19 to help us discern when feelings deceive us. Ladies, we constantly need this reminder!

Sarah Ascol, as a survivor of sexual abuse, explains What was Missing from Caring Well in her report for the Founders Ministries website. I love her firm conviction regarding the sufficiency of Scripture.

Sometimes we  stray from the actual Gospel, as R. Scott Clark demonstrates in When the Good News Becomes Bad for The Heidelblog. Maybe his insights aren’t terribly fresh, but we constantly need to come back to the basic message of the Gospel, don’t we?

Please don’t neglect Why the Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves, which appears in the Ligonier blog. It’s an excellent companion to R. Scott Clark’s piece.

Why does Paul forbid women to preach to men? Elizabeth Prata takes on this hot-button issue in an essay for The End Time as she elaborates on a video addressing the subject. Please make time for her post.

If you’ve been starting to think about your Bible reading plan for 2020, Michelle Lesley offers an interesting reason to try reading the Bible chronologically. A Weeping Profit invites you to experience Bible history as something that lets you feel the heart of God.

Prioritize Love, says Jason Vaughn in his article for Parking Space 23. As he shows us Romans 12 in context, he helps us understand why renewing our minds leads us to actively love each other.

I take no joy in including Presidential candidate promises draconian crackdown on religious liberty by Denny Burk in this week’s collection of posts. But the matter Burk reports mustn’t be ignored. The time for political action is long passed; now Christians must brace for inevitable persecution.

Let’s close with Michael Coughlin’s Psalm 119:121-124 — Deliverance in Things Above Us as an encouragement of God’s grace and faithfulness.

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Look Who I Hung Out With All Weekend

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My pastors invited Justin Peters to come to First Baptist Church Weymouth this past weekend to give his Clouds Without Water seminar. This seminar looks at the many deceptions of Charismatic theology, showing Christians how to be more discerning as these teachings creep in to mainstream evangelical churches.

But I’m not here to review the seminar (you can watch most of the sessions on YouTube or order DVDs of it from his website). As worthy as it is of review, I’d like to write a more personal account of the weekend.

Although Justin and I have been friends on Twitter for a couple of years, I went to bed feeling star-struck Friday night. Meeting Michelle Lesley two years ago  was exciting, but she’s more on par with me. But Justin Peters? He shares the  stage with John MacArthur and gets under the skin of Michael Brown! He’s preached all over the world! He’s (gulp) famous!

John and I arrived at the church just as Justin was concluding his introductory session. I felt shy, so I eased into things by asking to meet his wife Kathy. I adored her instantly (we ended up sitting together throughout the afternoon and again during the Sunday morning service). If she lived here, I’m certain we’d be close friends. I did say hi to Justin toward the end of the break.

After Session I ended, Justin came off the platform on his crutches and greeted me with a hug. Pastor Jeremy wasted no time taking a photo — which (ahem, Jeremy) I still haven’t seen. He and Pastor Alan escorted John, Justin, Kathy and I to the Fellowship Room where the four of us had a private lunch. What a privilege!

We chatted about my journey out of Charismatic theology, about Paul Revere’s house, about how he met Kathy and how I met John. We talked about Beth Moore, and other evangelical celebrities. I can’t remember what else, but it was good fellowship. Pastor Alan returned, and he joined Kathy in taking photos (Kathy prefers being behind a camera).

The afternoon flew by. During breaks I said a few things to Justin, but got really excited to meet Julia, a new Outspoken TULIP reader. She’s the first reader (other than people I already know and Kathy) that I’ve ever met. Pretty cool.

Before and after church yesterday John and I had more time with Justin and Kathy. We were supposed to join them, the pastors and the pastors’ wives for lunch, but the RIDE (which is usually late) arrived early, and the pizza arrived late. John and Jeremy persuaded the driver to give us ten minutes, so everyone graciously let me hog Justin for those final moments.

I have the most generous pastors ever! I hope they know how much I appreciated this weekend. And I hope we honored the Lord.

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Saturday Sampler: September 23 — September 28

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Everything you need to know about social media memes  can be learned from Michelle Lesley in her post, Memeology 101. It’s somewhat lighthearted, yet it offers helpful guidelines for reading and sharing memes.

In her blog, Growing 4 Life, Leslie A contrasts Real Christianity with cultural Christianity. I love the way she bases everything on the Word of God.

Women, as well as men, gave their lives as martyrs as a result of the Reformation. Lady Jane Grey, for example, was beheaded for refusing to participate in the Roman Catholic Mass. Christina of Heavenly Springs shares Lady Jane Grey’s Letter to Her Sister on the Eve of Her Execution as a tribute to the Word of God. You might also read Encouragement from a Reformers Wife. The ladies of the 16th Century were definitely not wimps!

Writing for Parking Space 23,  Zach Putthoff lists 8 Truths About Speech & the Christian Life by drawing practical principles from James 2:2-12.

John Ellis often uses adayinhiscourt to say things that Christian adults don’t want to hear — but need to know. Youth Group Lock-Ins: Proof of Adults’ Naivety (or Their Bad Memory) isn’t a  comforting article, but parents really ought to read it.

Let’s have a second post from Michelle Lesley. Throwback Thursday – Wise to the Ways of the Worldly: 4 Ways Worldliness Sneaks In, and the Scriptures to Slay It may not be  as fun as Memeology 101, but every one of us needs its message.

As a contributor to The Cripplegate, Jesse Johnson walks us through 3 steps to understanding a tricky passage (cf. John 20:23). Employing these steps might help you develop godly discernment, thereby strengthening you against false teaching.

Do you know How to hear God’s voice 100% of the time? If  not, consider Elizabeth Prata’s essay in The End Time as a helpful guide to discerning when He is speaking. I can guarantee that, if you follow her counsel — which she borrows from Chris Rosebrough — you’ll never struggle to discern God’s voice again.

Note: next Saturday Justin Peters will be at First Baptist Church Weymouth (where John and I are members) leading a Discernment Conference. Because of this conference, I won’t be posting either a Saturday Sampler or a Sunday Hymn next weekend. I apologize for any inconvenience.

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Saturday Sampler: September 15 — September 21

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Normally, I shy away from recommending reviews of books I haven’t personally read. Clay Kannard’s post, 167. Why Do They Cross the Tiber? Stories of Evangelical Conversions to Rome in Vatican Files is a worthy exception. And no, this article does not support evangelical to Catholic conversions.

Using a fascinating piece of church history, Barry York writes Learning a Lesson from the Duplicity of James Arminius and the Remonstrants for Gentle Reformation.

We’ve all heard the caricature of Reformed Christians not believing that God heals people today. Josh Buice of Delivered By Grace writes Yes, God Still Performs Miracles to correct Charismatics who misunderstand our beliefs on this matter.

Christina at Heavenly Springs shares an excerpt from Joel Beeke as he comments on a passage Calvin wrote regarding Finding Safety in the Church. What an intriguing take on the relationship between church membership and discernment!

Offering a chilling report of how leftist ideology walks hand in hand with the Australian Psychological Association, Stephen McAlpine writes InPsych Magazine: Telescoping the Future of Gender as a clear, if not disturbing, warning to Christians tempted towards a career in psychology. And please don’t assume that these dangers confine themselves to Australia. If you have any interest in psychology, I implore you to read this post.

Does anyone care if you skip church? Things Above Us contributor Allen Nelson IV thinks so. In When You Miss, You’re Missed, he explains how our absences — legitimate or illegitimate — affect the rest of our church family.

The debate pitting human free will against God’s sovereignty often flattens the two positions into a false dichotomy, as John Ellis demonstrates in Discovering the Real Meaning of Free Will and Divine Freedom for Servants of Grace.

In the mood for something short but thought provoking? Throwback Thursday: He Knows My Name by Michelle Lesley should do it for you.

Maybe Melissa at Your Mom Has A Blog states the obvious in Marriage as a Ministry, but don’t pass by her piece simply because you already agree with the title. Sometimes we neglect — or even forget — the most obvious spiritual principles.

Like Elizabeth Prata, I know when real climate change will happen. Visit The End Time to read The Earth without Water to learn about God’s sovereignty in the most cataclysmic climate change event in history.

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