Saturday Sampler: August 2 — August 8

Three Ice Cream Cones

Writing for Knowable Word, Ryan Higginbottom warns that Ignoring Context Can Lead to Heresy as he cites two instances of Jehovah’s Witnesses misusing God’s Word. Pay attention to his warning — it could protect you from falling into false teaching.

I love how Michelle Lesley uses Scripture to support everything she writes. In The Mailbag: Masks in church — Do I submit to my husband or my pastor? she answers a woman with clarity and gentleness. She gives the correct answer, by the way.

Gavin Ortlund recently wrote a blog post criticizing John MacArthur’s defiance against the governor of California. I appreciate Phil Johnson’s respectful, yet firm. response. Not Forsaking the Assembling of Ourselves Together appears in Pyromaniacs, and links to Ortlund’s post in the first paragraph. Thankfully, it corrects a misunderstanding about one of MacArthur’s remarks, giving clarity to the matter.

Math is Not Relative But Critical Theory is, explains Chris Hohnholz of Slave to the King. If you’re confused about what Critical Race Theory is and why it contradicts the teachings of the Bible, you really need to read this piece. Hopefully Chris and his friend Rich Story will follow up on this issue in their Voice of Reason podcast.

As usual, Elizabeth Prata offers a well-documented presentation entitled Mourning the lost — Catholics on The End Time this week. You’ll appreciate her tips and resources for helping Roman Catholic loved ones understand the true Gospel.

HT to Tim Challies for linking to a Reformation 21 article that I somehow missed. Stand in the Day of Trouble by Jeffery Stivason doesn’t whitewash the threats we face as Western civilization dissolves into outright rebellion against God, but he does remind us of our responsibility. This article, ladies, is exactly what I try to communicate through The Outspoken TULIP.

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Saturday Sampler: July 26 — August 1

Tom of excatholic4christ starts off this week’s Sampler by Reevaluating “saint” Thomas More, terrorizer of Protestants. His post reminds us to acquaint ourselves with church history. Knowing what happened in the past sharpens our understanding of the Church today.

Writing for The Cripplegate, Clint Archer bemoans The Chimera of Cancel Culture that has overtaken society. We should probably think through his points to decide whom we want to boycott.

Being childless (never even having been pregnant), I can’t offer you tips on Talking to Kids About Miscarriage. But Melissa at Your Mom Has a Blog sadly has been in the position of telling her children about their siblings who never experienced life outside the womb. I thought some of you might find this post helpful.

It’s good to see support for the stand John MacArthur took last Sunday. So I love Our Galvanizing Grandfather by Doug Wilson in Blog & Mablog affirming MacArthur’s stance. Too bad more people don’t admire MacArthur for his courage to obey God and not man.

Allen Nelson IV, writing for Things Above Us, provides A Primer on Jacob Arminius, John Wesley, and Charles Finney to give us a better understanding of how evangelical evangelism has developed. He briefly shows why their theology on free will deviates from Scripture.

Of Masks And The Weaker Brothers, which R. Scott Clark posts on The Heidelblog, pretty much reaches the same conclusions that I reached several weeks ago. You may disagree (on either side of the matter) with this conclusion, but I hope you’ll at least give it a fair hearing.

Have you read Elizabeth Prata’s essay on Prophecy and current days in The End Time yet? It may surprise you. I guarantee that it will encourage you. Or your money back!

I’ve been saying for years that teenagers need solid Bible teaching more than they need fun and games. So I love Costi Hinn’s 3 Proven Ways to “Grow” Your Youth Ministry in For the Gospel. I realize that he primarily targets youth pastors, but I think Christians as a whole should consider how we minister to our young people.

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Saturday Sampler: July 19 — July 25

Does it bother you when people quote a Bible verse without any concern for context? Or, like me, do you struggle with quoting Scripture out of fear that people will take it out of context? If so, How to Share Scripture While Respecting Context by Ryan Higginbottom of Knowable Word is for you! I’m looking forward to his follow up blog post.

John and I can’t attend church right now due to our disabilities and age. We hate this separation from our church family, and desperately wish we could join our brothers and sisters who have been able to attend services. As Michelle Lesley says in The Mailbag: Is it Time to Go Back to Church After COVID Quarantine? each family has different circumstances to weigh as they make this decision. Her use of Scripture may offer you help in determining what to do.

Although Biblical discernment is about more than warning against false teachers, it’s not about less. In The End Time, Elizabeth Prata explains how False Doctrine is like John Prine’s song Bruised Orange to remind us why we must keep telling people the very real dangers of doctrinal error. Elizabeth writes this essay with amazing humility and compassion without compromising her convictions.

Can the Church be Perfected by social justice? Mark McIntyre of Attempts at Honesty gives a brief, but insightful answer to that question. His post primarily addresses church leaders, but all of us need to hear this reminder of our true mission as Christians.

Writing for The Ploughman’s Rest, Chris Thomas offers Advice To A Keyboard Crusader that could save us a lot of grief on social media. I’m glad he tempers his overall counsel by recognizing that there are times when Christians do need to speak up. Still, I think his perspective warrants attention. HT to Tim Challies for leading me to this one.

I’m only now seeing Warfare Worship & Unbothered Christianity by Summer Jaeger of Sheologians, but it’s well worth posting this two week old article. It reinforces my conviction that most of the old hymns are preferable to much of contemporary praise music because they help us learn Biblical doctrine. This blog post is definitely my pick of today’s Saturday Sampler — please don’t ignore it.

On the Ligonier blog, John MacArthur writes an unusually illustrative explanation of why we should Pursue Integrity Relentlessly as Christians. And integrity demands that I acknowledge Tim Challies for posting this item on his blog for me to find.

Speaking of John MacArthur, his statement entitled Christ, not Caesar, is Head of the Church addresses extremely serious encroachments that California’s governor is making on churches in that state. You may think, “Well, that’s California — it’s always been a little whacky.” But California tends to be a leader in policies that come to the rest of the country. This post on the Grace to You blog is essential reading to anyone serious about the future of the Church in America.

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Saturday Sampler: July 5 — July 11

I’m delighted that Ryan Higginbottom explains The Dangerous Consequences of Ignoring Context for Knowable Word. His article provides great insights that few Christians ever consider.

Life is ticklish for Christians these days. In The Mailbag: Guess who’s coming to (the women’s ministry) dinner?, Michelle Lesley tackles a difficult question that wouldn’t have occurred to anyone even five years ago. Did I say difficult? Michelle helps us see that the Bible makes the answer uncomfortably simple.

Sometimes Leslie A gets under my skin! She irritates me because I know she’s absolutely right in the articles she writes in Growing 4 Life. For example, Christian, How Are You Responding? nails wrong reactions I’ve been having to various upheavals in my personal life. My flesh doesn’t like much of what Leslie says in this blog post, but I praise God for her refreshing conclusion! Ladies, you won’t regret letting her get under your skin.

The Ligonier blog features How Do We Become Spiritually Mature? by John MacArthur. None of us is so advanced in the faith that we can’t benefit from this article.

Evangelism can discourage and frustrate even the best of us. Mike Ratliff, who blogs at Possessing the Treasure, writes God Will Judge the Ungodly as an encouraging reminder that the Lord reaches those He calls to salvation, asking only for our faithfulness.

Responding to a recent New York Times article, Tim Challies examines the question, Are Churches “A Major Source of Coronavirus Cases?” Usually I try not to share posts of this nature — even though I tend to agree with them. But Challies raises points that I strongly believe we must consider. If you disagree with him, okay. I’ll not think less of you. But at least hear him out. It’s important to think about his perspective.

Elizabeth Prata asks, How do I know if I lack spiritual discernment? in The End Time. She answers this question by reviewing five common objections to discernment ministry and refuting those objections from Scripture.

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Saturday Sampler: June 21 — June 27

Discussing The Surprising Transformation of the Disciples of Jesus for Knowable Word, Ryan Higginbottom takes us through the final chapter of Luke’s gospel. He concludes with an encouraging practical application.

Are you “just” a wife and mother? I know society pressures you to want more for yourself. Elizabeth Prata understands that pressure, and she also understands how that pressure can lead us into the sin of discontentment. She writes Womanly contentment vs. discontentment, advice from 1896 in The End Time to draw us back to a Biblical perspective.

I still consider myself a discernment blogger, but I agree with Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised on her Lessons Learned: On Speech and Tone. I’ve been praying about my own tone in blogging when I call out false teachers, so this article gives me some guidance on how to accomplish that attitude. My only concern is that we must allow for people who have more passionate temperaments — Martin Luther, for example. All the same, Erin makes some important points that we shouldn’t easily dismiss.

Interestingly, Jordan Standridge writes Why You Should Never Take the Mass in a post for The Cripplegate that he himself describes as strongly worded. In this instance, strong words are most appropriate; taking the Roman Catholic mass has serious implications that Biblical Christians need to understand.

I always come to Growing 4 Life with confidence that Leslie A will dispense sound, Biblical wisdom. For one of the finest examples of this wisdom, check out If I Shout Louder Than You, Does That Mean I’m Right? Her thoughts are greatly needed as we face the chaos of 2020.

On January 11, 2019 I was laid up with hairline fractures in my lower vertebrae, so I missed 6 Ways Your Credibility is Crushed When You Defend a False Teacher by Michelle Lesley. I’m glad a loss of power in her area kept her from writing a new article and forced her to share this one again! Please make it a priority — it’s really that important!

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Saturday Sampler: June 14 — June 20

People have a lot of misconceptions about Calvinists. Tim Challies demonstrates why some of us reinforce The One About Calvinism and Evangelism through our disobedient behavior. He encourages us to practice what we preach.

Elizabeth Prata reminds readers of The End Time You’re not wonderful in an effort to correct popular evangelical teachings. Oh how we need more people to stand up for the truth as boldly as she does!

Some of you may object to God Doesn’t Listen to Them by Jordan Standridge, which he contributes to The Cripplegate this week. Please read it anyway. And test it against Scripture. You might find that Standridge has a Biblical foundation for what he says.

Leslie A asks Christian, Why Are You Joining the World? Her Growing 4 Life blog often challenges worldliness in believers, and this latest piece is a timely addition to her body of work.

The Grace to You blog reprises One Race, One Remedy by Darrell B. Harrison and Cameron Buettel, which first appeared on the blog on May 9, 2019. Their remarks take us back to God’s Word, which is always the best place to find answers.

Over on Into the Foolishness of God, SharaC reminds us that The Gospel Isn’t Patronizing as she analyzes the evangelical response to the current political climate. I applaud her courage to stand against efforts to modify Christianity.

For a refresher on Discerning false teachers, visit Femina Sola Gratia Theology for excellent guidelines from Anna Wood. You might want to bookmark it as a reference tool.

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Saturday Sampler: June 7 — June 13

You’ll like Ryan Higginbottom’s article for Knowable Word this week, I think. Context Matters: Perfect Love Casts Out Fear not only explains a difficult (and often misused) verse, but it encourages those of us who struggle with assurance of salvation. If you’d like to read something that builds your confidence, this will certainly fit the bill.

Looking at recent events, Clint Archer of The Cripplegate uses God’s Word to show us Why Looters Loot during riots. I don’t think many people have this understanding (I certainly didn’t), but once you read his post, it seems obvious.

It’s a popular notion that God is the God of second chances. But Lessons Learned: You Don’t Always Get a Second Chance by Erin Benziger questions that idea, using an example from Scripture to substantiate her premise. She’s currently writing a series on lessons she’s learned in her blog, Do Not Be Surprised.

Each of the guys who blog for The Cripplegate is worth reading, but I especially like the stuff by Jordan Standridge. This week he issues A Plea to Christians who Protest that contains rather unexpected counsel. Unexpected, but highly important!

With compelling honesty, Elizabeth Prata writes My silly reluctance to read the Bible in The End Time. Don’t mistake her essay for a cathartic exercise on her part, though. She makes a point that works to encourage and benefit all of us.

Three Things Christians need for Social Media Today by SlimJim of The Domain for Truth is just a few short paragraphs long, but those few short paragraphs say quite a lot.

SlimJim also writes Officer Chauvin and the belief that morals are up to the individual as a challenge to postmodern thinking. He asks insightful questions that maybe more of us should ask in our evangelistic conversations with unbelievers.

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Saturday Sampler: May 24 – May 30

In her Sunday series for The End Time, Elizabeth Prata turns to one of the pre-Reformers. Her post, Sunday Martyr Moment: John Huss, ‘The goose is cooked”, reminds us how costly — and how necessary — it is to firmly stand for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s hear it for Michelle Lesley and her continued ability to combine common sense with Scriptural direction! She presents The Mailbag: Why no COVID weigh-in? with grace and strength, guiding her readers to respond Biblically. Her reasons for not blogging about this topic pretty much resemble my own.

Jordan Standridge reflects on The Dumbest Conspiracy Theory in History for The Cripplegate this week. His appeal to sound reason only supports the reliability of Scripture.

I appreciate Leslie A for using Growing 4 Life to help me examine myself before the Lord. Swimming Up a Waterfall provides another such opportunity. If you want to do some spiritual inventory, this blog post is for you!

This second essay by Elizabeth Prata may be difficult for some of you to read. It’s the 1960s all over again. I hated the ’60s demands our attention though, perhaps precisely because Elizabeth says difficult things that we need to hear. She also reminds us of the hope we have as Christians.

J.K. Wall shows us that We Are All Exiles Now in his article for Gentle Reformation. His devotional raises some interesting ideas that you may want to ponder.

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Saturday Sampler May 18 — May 30

Not that I recommend the practice of women attending seminary, but I certainly approve of women reading and studying theology  on our own. Kim Shay of Out of the Ordinary reviews a book she read for one of her seminary classes, and I believe her review merits attention. Please read The Theocentric Nature of Revelation with your focus on the message itself. I pray more and more Christians will understand the book of Revelation from this perspective.

I definitely wholeheartedly recommend Growing 4 Life, the blog by Leslie A. Her  observations on The Nature of the Promises of God convict me, even as they encourage me and remind me to take a broader view of the Lord’s purposes in His promises. Don’t neglect this article.

Using her autism as an introduction, Elizabeth Prata writes Faces: Fallen, and angelic in The End Time to remind us how powerfully our faces reveal our hearts. Elizabeth’s writing gets more beautiful all the time, and this essay provides a particular example of that beauty. It also challenges me to watch my heart, lest my sin disfigure my face.

Being over 65, I eagerly read How Senior Adults Can Love the Church During COVID-19. Melissa in Your Mom Has a Blog. She does understand the frustrations I feel as people of my generation don’t get to enjoy the new freedoms afforded to the rest of the country, but she wonderfully explains how we can show love to the rest of the church by adhering to the restrictions placed on us.

Jesse Johnson exposes The real problem with Be Kind, Please Rewind theology for The Cripplegate in order to examine a fundamental problem with objecting to the doctrine of election. Before you dismiss his article as dry and academic, why don’t you give it a chance? It could be that — like me — you’ve never looked at this particular angle.

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Saturday Sampler: May 10 –May 16

Symetry Sampler 03

In Knowable Word, Ryan Higginbottom explains why We Need Humility to Study the Bible. He raises some points that I’ve never considered. Why don’t you see if he says anything that surprises you?

COVID-19 frustrates all of us, I think. Bryan Schneider provides helpful insight into our frustrations by writing Covid-19 and Biblical Balance for Gentle Reformation. No matter which side of the debate on the lockdown you’ve adopted, his article will challenge you to think Biblically.

What would Saturday Sampler be without a link to a post by Leslie A? This week in Growing 4 Life, she demonstrates that Attacking Messengers, Crucifying Dissenters, and Belittling Questioners has no place in Christian conversation on social media. I’ve been guilty of some of the behaviors  she discusses. Have you?

In TBT – A Second Opinion Tim Ferrera of Discerning Dad notes how eagerly we embrace what we want to hear, and yet how quickly we question anything that doesn’t appeal to us. I think his post deserves our attention and consideration. What’s your opinion?

Don’t miss Without Apology: 7 Reasons Not to Be Ashamed of the Hard Parts of the Gospel by Michelle Lesley. I love the way she encourages us to trust even the parts of Scripture that seem offensive to 21st Century sensibilities.

What Saturday Sampler would be complete without a post by Elizabeth Prata?  In  The End Time she writes Encouragement, Listen! Ladies, if ever we needed this message, it’s most definitely now!

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