Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Reformation Study Bible

In lieu of October 31st, i.e. Reformation Day, Ligonier Ministries is puting their Reformation Study Bible (Hardback) on sale for the low, low price of $15.17... haha... get it?... 1517 was the year that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Catholic church door and started the Protestant Reformation. What will R.C. Sproul think of next? ...Anyway, this Bible is a very good resource and would make a very good (and heavy) stocking stuffer for Christmas. Oh, and the sale is only on October 31st! I already have one, so if you get me one, it will definately become someone else's Christmas gift, so here's a "Thank you" in advance... from my Dad.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Costumes, Candy and Christians

How much or little should a Christian participate in Halloween? Should we stay home and turn our lights out? Should we go out and engage our culture? Should we stay home (lights on) and pass out tracts? Should we use it as an opportunity to get to know our neighbors? How about "tricking" everybody and having a "Fall Festival"? Would that be okay? Should all the Calvinists get together and celebrate "Reformation Day"? Where should we, as Christians, draw the line on how we handle October 31? I wonder about these things. Where did Halloween come from? Did Christians "steal/redeem" it from pagans and call it a Fall Festival, or did pagans "steal" it from Christians? What are its origins? I have believed for a long time that it was originally a pagan "holiday" and, therefore, should be off-limits for Christians. However, after reading an article on the origins of Halloween I am not so sure my beliefs were right. You can check out the article here. Also, for those of you who see Halloween as an opportunity to build relationships with your neighbors and thereby open doors for the Gospel, check out this post by Tim Challies (the comments are helpful too). Any thoughts? peace.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I saw this on Riddlebarger's blog and it fits with the Joel Osteen theme as of late so I thought I would share it. Apparently some guy who was really touched by one of Osteen's sermon's went out and bought his book and was motivated to create this four-letter logo: IWJO. What's it stand for... I Watch Joel Osteen. (insert awkward pause here.) You can check out the website here. Stocking stuffers anyone?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In Case You Missed It...

In case you missed the 60 Minutes special on Joel Osteen you can check it out here. It's a shade over 11.5 minutes long and kind of nauseating, but there is a short clip of an interview with Dr. Michael Horton that shows Horton calling Osteen's teaching heresy, so there was one high point of the special. I think the most uncomfortable part is when Osteen says that there are other people who can explain the Bible better than he can, but that's not his calling. What?... Dude, you're a pastor. That's kind of your job. Also, don't forget that Joel and Victoria Osteen will be on Larry King Live tonight on CNN. Hopefully I will hear Larry say the words, "And Chance from Big Spring, TX writes... " and then follow that with the question I emailed. That would be awesome. peace.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I really like President Bush. I think he is a great president and has handled very horrible circumstances pretty well. However, a recent press release from the White House has a quote from Pres. Bush that is shocking. Here it is:

“…I believe in an almighty God, and I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God... I believe there is a universal God. I believe the God that the Muslim prays to is the same God that I pray to. After all, we all came from Abraham. I believe in that universality.”
Besides the horrible logic of this quote, it is a very revealing statement. We need to pray for Mr. Bush. Christians need to understand the importance of just how exclusive Christianity is. EVERYTHING hinges on the fact that salvation is only found in Jesus Christ. The God of the Bible has graciously revealed Himself in His Word and has distinguished Himself from all other gods, including the god of Islam. Non-radical Muslims attempt to focus on similarities between Islam and Christianity (just like Mormons and Johovah's Witnesses) while downplaying the differences. This is a call for the Church to educate herself so that she can guard against the scheme of Pluralism. (You can read about Pluralism at Blake's blog.) Christianity is offensive to other religions, and that's okay... it should be.

Friday, October 12, 2007

¿Quick Question?

My dad and I were talking the other night and the following question came up: "How much influence does Satan and his demons have on the mind of a believer?" For example: A man is working in his office going about his normal day and all of a sudden a sinful thought enters his thinking. Is that a result of a sinful nature or is it the result of demonic influences? I have some ideas, but what are yours? peace.

Michael Horton on 60 Minutes

Recently Michael Horton, a professor at Westminster Seminary California was interviewed by 60 Minutes in regards to his take on the ministry of Joel Osteen. Usually the "scholars" that secular news/journalism shows like this one interview on topics of Christianity should not even be considered Christian enthusiasts, much less scholars, and some are probably not Christians at all. However, in this case, my hats off to 60 Minutes. Dr. Horton is most definately a Biblical scholar and I am very excited that he is scheduled to be on such a popular news show. The interview is scheduled to air Sunday, October 14th on CBS (check your local listings). You can check out a clip from the interview at the 60 Minutes website linked above. Also, if that isn't enough Joel for you, Larry King is having Joel and Victoria Osteen on Larry King Live on Tuesday, October 16th on CNN (check your local listings once again). You won't want to miss either event so make sure you set your DVRs, TiVo's, and/or VCRs. peace.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Go ahead... be blessed.

At the church Amber and I attend (Christian Life Center) in Midland, TX, Pastor Billy has really been "bringin' it" lately. The Holy Spirit has been using him greatly to stir the hearts of the congregation, and the fruit of faithful preparation and sensitivity to the Spirit has resulted in some excellent sermons. You can hear all of them by going to the website ( and clicking on 'Downloads'. I would especially encourage you to check out the sermon titled "Taking Hold of the One Who has Taken Hold of Us". Go ahead... be blessed.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Preterism, Revelation and A.D. 70

About three weeks ago (~ish) I said that I would give the internal and external evidence for a pre-70 date of Revelation as found in Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope by Keith Mathison. Well, today is your lucky day. For starters, nobody really knows for sure when Revelation was written. "So what", you may be saying. Well, it turns out that the date of Revelation is very important when it comes to how we interpret the book as a whole. The book of Revelation depicts God's judgment on unrighteous Israel, and in A.D. 70 Jerusalem (including the Jewish Temple) was completely destroyed by the Roman army. Now, if Revelation was written after A.D. 70 then the book is either depicting some future event (Futurism), it is symbolic of a continuous theme, viz., the pursecution of the Church by Satan and the victory of Christ (Idealism), or it is a chronological history of the Church (Historicism). However, if Revelation was written before A.D. 70, then it is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem (and its Temple) in A.D. 70 (Preterism). So how can we know what to do with the book of Revelation? How are we supposed to interpret it? What is the evidence that points toward a pre-70 date? I'm glad you asked. Mathison gives what I think is pretty compelling evidence that Revelation was in fact written before the destruction of Jerusalem. First the external (non-Biblical) evidence:

1. Mathison points out that the most important evidence for people that support a post-70 date of Revelation is found in a quotation by an early church father named Irenaeus (130-202) in his book Against Heresies.

"We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign."

Now, Mathison says that there are several reasons why this statement is inconclusive, but lists the major two:
1. When Irenaeus says, "For that was seen no very long time since,..." the greek word for "that was seen" (heorathe) could either mean "that was seen" or "he was seen". This means that Irenaeus could either be talking about the vision or John.
2. Irenaeus was not known for his historical accuracy. For example, he believed that Jesus' ministry lasted approximately fifteen years and that he lived to be almost fifty (Against Heresies, 2.22.5).

Mathison says that the remainder of witnesses are divided on the issue; some supported a pre-70 date and some a post-70 date. The conclusion is that there is no external evidence that can inconclusively prove the date of the book of Revelation. We must then search the internal evidence.

The internal evidence: (Mathison here quotes from Kenneth Gentry's Before Jerusalem Fell)
1. The Theme of Revelation. The theme of the book is one of coming judgment upon the Jews (Rev. 1:7; 2:5, 16, 25; 3:3, 11; 16:15; 22:7, 12, 20). This is the coming judgment that Jesus said would come upon the generation of Jews to whom he spoke (Mt. 24:34; Mk. 13:30; Lk. 21:32).
2. The Nearness of the Coming. John repeated states that this prophecy will be fulfilled very soon (see. 1:1, 3, 19; 2:16; 3:10-11; 22:6-7, 10, 12, 20). The coming of Christ predicted was not his physical second coming, but a coming of judgment in the form of the Roman army.
3. The Sixth King. Revelation 17:9-10 comes close to indicating the date when the book was written. It tells of "seven kings": "five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while." These kings are associated with "seven mountains" (v. 9), which surely refers to Rome, the city built on seven hills. The "kings" would therefore be the line of Roman emperors. If we begin with Julius Ceasar (as many contemoraries of John did), we have the following list:
1. Julius Caesar (49-44 B.C.)
2. Augustus (27 B.C.- A.D. 14)
3. Tiberius (14-37)
4. Gaius (37-41)
5. Claudius (41-54)
6. Nero (54-68)
7. Galba (68-69)
8. Otho (69)
9. Vitellius (69)
10. Vespasian (69-79)
The sixth king, the one who "is" when John is writing, would then be Nero. He was preceded by five kings who "have fallen," and was followed by a king who reigned only a very short time. By no calculation can the sixth king possibly refer to the emperor Domitian.
4. The Existence of the Temple. Revelation 11:1-2 describes John measuring the temple. While this language could conceivably refer to a symbolic temple, the statement that this temple will be tread upon by the nations for forty-two months seems to indicate that the Jewish temple is in view and that it had not yet been destroyed at the time of writing.
5. The Symbolic Descriptions of Nero. There seems to be a reference to Nero in Revelation 13:18, which speaks of a man whose number is 666. A strong case can be made that this number is a symbolic designation of Nero. While all of the evidence for and against this theory cannot be explained here, suffice it to say that the ancient Hebrew spelling of Nero Caesar has the numerical value of 666.
6. The Strong Presence of Jewish Christianity. The book of Revelation gives evidence that it was written during a time when there remained a strong Jewish and even Judaizing element in the church (2:9; 3:9; 7:4-8; 14:1; 21:12). The Jewish influence and threat dwindled rapidly after A.D. 70, and was hardly a factor in the late first century.
7. The Impending Jewish War. There are a number of passages in the book that seem to point to the catastrophe that was about to befall Jerusalem. Several references to time, for example, fit the actual course of events in the Jewish War:
a. Revelation 9:1-12. John sees a vision in which all those without the seal of God are tormented for five months. Significantly, the actual siege of Jerusalem by Titus lasted five months.
b. Revelation 11:2. The temple is given to the nations for forty-two months. Similarly, the time between the declaration of war by Rome until the fall of Jerusalem was almost exactly forty-two months.
c. Revelation 13:5-7. In John's vision of the beast, he is told that the beast makes war with the saints for forty-two months. Nero's persecution of Christians begain late in 64 and lasted until his death in June 68, a period again of almost exactly forty-two months.

"When all of the evidence is examined and weighed carefully, it points to an early date. We conclude, therefore, that the book of Revelation was written sometime during the Neronic persecution (64-68)."

Whew. Let me know what you think. peace.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Happy Birthday!

I was watching Fox News this morning and found out that today (October 5th) there will be more birthdays in the U.S. than any other day. I thought this was weird because for three days now I have been planning to post on today's date to celebrate the birthday of Jonathan Edwards. That's right folks, the man who has been regarded as being the greatest theologian that America has produced was born today in 1703. Were he still alive he would be 304yrs. old. You can check out John Piper's short biography of Edwards here. (Piper's ministry) is also putting all of Edwards' books on sell until October 7th. If you do not have any Jonathan Edwards titles I would encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity. Click here to see the very generous offers. peace.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mike Huckabee for President!

I don't know how many of you are keeping up with the Presidential nominees so I'm here to help. All you need to know is that you must vote for Mike Huckabee. I first found out about Mike from Jay's blog, and after seeing him this morning on Fox and Friends (Fox News) I thought it would be fitting to blog about him myself. If this man becomes the next President then Postmillennialism just might be true and Christ may indeed come back to a redeemed earth. Here's some background:

Huckabee was born in Hope, Arkansas, to Mae Elder and Dorsey W. Huckabee. He was elected Governor of Arkansas Boys State in 1972 and is a Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Alumnus. He graduated magna cum laude from Ouachita Baptist University, completing his bachelors degree in 2½ years before attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Prior to his political career, Huckabee was pastor of several Southern Baptist churches in Arkadelphia, Texarkana, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He served as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1989 to 1991 and as president of a religion-oriented television station.

And this quote from his website:

The First Amendment requires that expressions of faith be neither prohibited nor preferred. We should not banish religion from the public square, but should guarantee access to all voices and views. We should share and debate our faith, but never seek to impose it. When discussing faith and politics, we should honor the "candid" in candidate - I have much more respect for an honest atheist than a disingenuous believer.
My faith is my life - it defines me. My faith doesn't influence my decisions, it drives them. For example, when it comes to the environment, I believe in being a good steward of the earth. I don't separate my faith from my personal and professional lives.
Real faith makes us humble and mindful, not of the faults of others, but of our own. It makes us less judgmental, as we see others with the same frailties we have. Faith gives us strength in the face of injustice and motivates us to do our best for "the least of us."
Our nation was birthed in a spirit of faith - not a prescriptive one telling us whether to believe, but one acknowledging that a providence pervades our world.

He also has brilliant ideas in regards to Health Care, Taxes, Education and everything else (oh, and he's written 5 books). Check out his website here, look for clips on YouTube and VOTE FOR MIKE!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Bringin' it Back

My wife, Amber, and I have recently decided that it would be funny to start using certain words in our everyday vocabulary that were only used by previous generations. When was the last time you heard someone say, "Well golly mister!" Exactly. "Golly" is now a common word at the Nichols' residence as well as its close friend "Gee". It has been quite entertaining so far. A few of the other words we are using are: "Neat", "Geewiz" and "Super". If you know of any other 'outdated' words that should be brought back let me know. That sure would be neat. peace.