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A Monument for Himself

H - "And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, 'Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.'" - 1 Samuel 15:12E - God commanded Saul to wipe out the Amalekites, but Saul has kept alive Agag, the king of the Amalekites, as well as the best of the Amalekites' sheep and cattle. On the way back from battle, Saul sets up a monument. It is difficult to know whether the monument is to himself or to ...

May 13, 2021

Your Kingdom Shall Not Continue

H - "And Samuel said to Saul, 'You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of Yahweh your God, with which he commanded you. For then Yahweh would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. Yahweh has sought out a man after his own heart, and Yahweh has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what Yahweh commanded you.'" - 1 Samuel 13:13-14E - Saul is winning some battles but he is not fully obeying the Lord...

May 9, 2021

The Rights and Duties of the Kingship

H - "Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before Yahweh." - 1 Samuel 10:25E - Samuel has just anointed Saul as Israel's first king. The nation is now gathered at Mizpah, and Saul is recognised as king by the people. Immediately Samuel informs the people about the rights and duties of the kingship. He then writes these rights and duties in a book and lays up the book before Yahweh.A - Father, why do you care about the relati...

May 8, 2021

So Samuel Hid Nothing from Eli

H - "And Eli said, 'What was it that [Yahweh] told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.' 18 So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him.” - 1 Samuel 3:17-18 E - This is Samuel's test. Will he speak exactly what God told him to say, or will he give into pressure to say what he thinks Eli will want to hear? This is the test of all who would speak for God, in every generation including our own. A - Fa...

May 7, 2021

What Is in My Heart and in My Mind

H - "'And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my Messiah forever.'" - 1 Samuel 2:35 E - In this passage, God fires Eli and his sons from being priests over Israel because they are abusing their position of responsibility for their own gain. They are making a mockery of Yahweh and his tabernacle of worship. God promises to raise up a new, faithful priest who...

May 6, 2021

Gain All You Can, Save All You Can, Give All You Can

Money is a huge part of our lives, but in the Church we don’t talk very much about it. It tends to be an embarrassing topic. We may feel guilty we’re not giving enough or that the pastor is just in it for the money. We may be living paycheque to paycheque and not have a lot of space to consider how we should be spending our money. We may have lost a job recently, and our monthly cash flow may be way down. We may be fine living off government welfare or receiving the Working for Families tax ...

May 4, 2021

Huxley's Playbook

Aldous Huxley published his dystopian novel Brave New World in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression and just before Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. As Neal Postman pointed out in Amusing Ourselves Ourselves to Death (1985), Huxley’s novel differs significantly from another famous dystopian novel, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four, published in 1949. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the state dominates through the threat of pain. In Brave New World, the state dominates through the inf...

March 23, 2021

Dallas Theological Seminary's First Black Student

In 1966, Michael Kenneth Frank became the first African-American student admitted to Dallas Theological Seminary, 42 years after the seminary was founded in 1924. Dr. John Walvoord was president of DTS at the time. When DTS had been probed on the admission of blacks in 1951, Walvoord explained the absence of black students in three ways. First, until recently the admission of blacks to white schools was considered illegal in Texas. Second, no black man had ever applied to the seminary. And third...

December 23, 2020

Is There Life on Other Planets? A Review of C. S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet

In C. S. Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet (1938), the main character, Ransom, a philologist, is drugged and kidnapped by Devine, an old schoolmate, and Weston, a great physicist, and transported in a spaceship from Earth to Malacandra, which we later learn is Mars. Once arrived to Malacandra, Ransom escapes Weston and Devine, wanders the landscape, and is rescued by a hross named Hyoi, who leads him to a village of the hrossa. Ransom is guest with the hrossa for several months, begins to learn...

November 16, 2020

Averil on Homeschooling and Socialization

A representative from New Zealand's education department expressed concern that our six-year old, Abraham, would be improperly socialized as a homeschooler. Averil's response was great: We definitely agree that social interaction with a range of people is important. May I share with you what attracted me to homeschooling my own children the most? As a teacher abroad in Thailand, I had the privilege of meeting a number of homeschool families, who came to assist at the orphanage where I was teachi...

August 19, 2019

Israel Folau's Freedom of Conscience and Expression

The Otago Daily Times editorial on Israel Folau is puzzling in a nation and city that prides itself on democracy, liberalism, and tolerance. Foundational principles of the Western civil experiment of which Australia and New Zealand are a part include individual freedom of conscience, freedom of deeply-held religious belief, freedom to convince others of one’s point of view, freedom of speech as long as one doesn’t incite violence, and the freedom of an employee to express him or herself...

June 28, 2019

War: 10 Biblical Principles

Just a few days ago, I (Jeff) was privileged to deliver a short address during the 2018 ANZAC Day memorial service at St. Andrews, a small town in the Waitaki district of New Zealand. Below are the ten points I shared. It is important for us to have a right perspective about war, including during times of peace. Because we live in a fallen world, war is inevitable. Free nations must always be ready to fight and defend their freedom, if necessary. We honor warfighters of the past and present who ...

April 28, 2018

Response to John Piper's Article about President Trump, "How to Live Under an Unqualified President"

John Piper’s article, “How to Live under an Unqualified President” (January 20, 2017) was sent to me this week by a friend here in New Zealand. He wanted to know my opinion about it. Here's what I wrote:  I have three thoughts. First, I think American believers should live basically in the same way under President Trump as they have lived under Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Whether Trump is “morally qualified” in Piper’s opinion really isn’t an issue at this point. He i...

September 29, 2017 Posts 1-13 of 13 | Page
 

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