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John Piper on Alcohol Consumption. John Piper’s view on alcohol consumption is encapsulated in these four sources: Total Abstinence and Church Membership “Total Abstinence and Church Membership,” though delivered nearly 32 years ago, is his most extensive treatment on the subject (that I’ve come across). In it he gives four main reasons that he personally abstains from alcohol consumption: “. . . because of my conscience.”“. . . alcohol is a mind-altering drug.”“. . . alcohol is addictive.”“. . . to make a social statement.” While he argues that “Christians in America today [should] abstain from the use of alcoholic drink as a beverage,” he acknowledges that Scripture doesn’t explicitly forbid it.

In fact, he also argues that “abstinence [should not] be a requirement for church membership” and even led the elders at his church to alter a line in their church covenant that required total abstinence for membership. Flesh Tank and Peashooter Regulations . . . Is It Okay to Drink Alcohol? Is Drinking Alcohol a Sin? Related. “Because We’re Christians, Kids” | TGC. There’s a phrase I’ve heard in our home lately. It pops up whenever the kids ask why we do things differently than other people. I noticed it first when our son asked why he and his sister aren’t allowed to say certain words his friends say. “Why can’t we talk that way?” He asked. “Because we’re Christians. Jesus saved us, and we want to honor Him with our lips.” A few days later, our daughter was in the car with me.

“Why are we doing this?” “Because we’re Christians. Then, there was the time when the service was terrible at a restaurant we frequent. “Why are we leaving a large tip when she doesn’t deserve it?” “Because we’re Christians. I’ve noticed this question often gets asked about things we don’t do. Why can’t we watch that TV show? My wife and I don’t ever want the “because we’re Christians” answer to be synonymous with a moral code that is all about do’s and don’ts. We want our family to live in such a way that our kids are asking why we do certain things, not just why we don’t.

PCA

A Letter from an Elder Completing His Term. At our Consistory meeting last week I asked all those whose terms were ending to share a few reflections and any advice for those just coming on the board. One of our elders–Peeter Lukas, a thoughtful, godly man who works on the line at GM–shared this letter. I thought it was worth sharing with others. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to adequately express our gratitude to God for having led Carolyn and I finally to our “home” here at URC these past four years and me to the spiritual banquet table known as the board of elders. It was only yesterday, three years ago, that a couple of elders said to me–or was it a warning? –that the eldership would change my life and that I’d never be the same again. Truer words were never spoken to one who with awkward diligence has spent a lifetime staying in the background.

It’s a privilege indeed to serve with men like Peeter and many others like him. Copyright © 2013 by the author listed above.

Current Issues

Rob bell | Cut the Religious Cheese. (This post is part 3 of 4, responding to an article & interview with Rob Bell. Read Part 1 & Part 2 first to get the most out of today’s post and to get the much needed context) In addition to the biblical contradiction Rob teaches in Love Wins, as well as his direct dismissal of the Bible’s teaching against homosexual acts as being culturally irrelevant (will blog on that tomorrow), there was a third biblical contradiction I picked up on in the interview with Rob.

When asked about the future of the Church, Rob’s response was: We will always as human beings long to gather in a room and talk about the things that matter most and take the bread and the wine and be reminded of the holiness of all of life. There are basic human longings that have always been there. Do you notice something significant missing from this answer? If you like what you've read, please spread the word and SHARE it in your social media networks, thanks! PCA Historical Center: PCA Pastoral Letter on the Expeience of the Holy Spirit in the Church Today.

Historic Documents of American Presbyterianism A Pastoral Letter Concerning the Experience of the Holy Spirit in the Church Today A Pastoral Letter to the churches and members of the PCA adopted by the Second General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America. [1975] The General Assembly of the National Presbyterian Church, being fully aware of the widespread notice being given to the question of the work of the Holy Spirit today, offers the following pastoral letter addressed to its churches: The General Assembly rejoices in all evidences of new life in Christ's body.

It prays earnestly that the spirit which Christ has poured out on His church may continue to affect radically the lives of men throughout the world. At the same time, the General Assembly would express concern over an increasing emphasis on experience-centered criteria as they are applied to the life of God's people. I. II. Life in the Spirit begins with regeneration [8] .

III. IV. A. 1. B. 1. . [3]Acts 2:16-21.

Greek-Hebrew Helps

Westminster Theological Seminary - The Case Study. The Case Study The case study is a real-life example of a counseling situation you may encounter. Many case studies are based on actual counseling cases from your professors’ experiences. Alternatively, the case study might be a “self-counseling” project, in which you are required to address to a particular need or struggle in your own life. Because of their eminently practical nature, case studies are well-suited to teaching you how to handle real counseling scenarios. A major part of the case study involves understanding the counselee well. This means paying attention to life circumstances, thoughts, emotions and actions as well as underlying heart issues. How do the counselee’s feelings, words and actions reveal his or her attitude toward God? These and other questions should guide you as you probe into the inner workings of the person you are studying.

Jerome’s pattern of depression is rooted in feelings of loneliness, helplessness, anger and an overwhelming sense that God is far off. Westminster Theological Seminary - Tips for Writing Counseling. Make it Personal Counseling is about people. Unless you tailor your thinking and your writing to engage the particular person you are addressing, your insight will be general and theoretical, lacking the perception and timeliness that make for good, wise counseling.

Your descriptions of problems, feelings and situations should be vivid and detailed, and your application of biblical truth should be packaged in such a way that it poignantly addresses the specific context into which you are speaking. Whether you are describing your own experience or that of another counselee, ask yourself, “Have I spoken directly to the complex person involved in these struggles? " Make it Practical Counseling papers seldom require you to discuss abstract truth or counseling theory. When considering your response to a problem or situation, don’t be content simply to sketch a general outline of a solution: I would show the counselee from Scripture that God loves her. Follow Directions Use Active Language CTW Home. Westminster Theological Seminary - Writing for Practical Theology. Practical theology is the application of theological truth to all of life, particularly the life and work of the church.

While the other theological disciplines are oriented toward understanding God, his work in history, and his revelation in Christ, practical theology concerns our participation with God in the work of bringing that revelation to the church and the world. In a seminary context, practical theology seeks to develop in students the skills and wisdom for preaching, teaching, counseling, church leadership, evangelism, church planting, and mercy and cross-cultural ministries. In addition to training students for professional competence, practical theology seeks to encourage and foster spiritual development in students preparing for Christian ministry and service.

As an applied discipline, practical theology is concerned with how theology ought to be applied to life and with making that application directly. Writing for Practical Theology Courses Be Practical Be Thoughtful. Arise In Glory Ministries | God’s Relational Framework. By Harvey L. Diamond God created mankind in His image—an identity and capacity representing His likeness.

His hope was for His children to live a life centered in the richness of His divine nature and real love so we would have a relationship with Him and be blessed through Him. God defines relationships in covenant terms. His type of covenant contains specific promises; and His perfect nature is to be faithful to keep His promises. In return for His faithfulness, God looks for specific responses expressing true heartfelt gratefulness, honor, respect and faith—in other words, worship in spirit and in truth. God, knowing mankind needs order to live a just life, designed a specific framework through which the covenant relationship would operate. In a similar fashion, all disciplines of life involve processes. God designed a process to serve as a way of relating with Him encompasses a series of types of engagements He calls the Appointed Times or Feasts of the Lord. Josh McDowell. FaithTalks: Josh, you’ve become known as someone who promotes the concept of absolute truth, but you’ve brought out a different dynamic in some of your newer materials, and that is the aspect of relationship.

Can you explain why it’s important to cultivate a relationship in the transmission of truth? Josh McDowell: Well, there are many reasons. First of all, that’s how God created us. Science now shows that a baby’s brain from the time they are born, and this is amazing, is physically, biologically hard-wired to connect in relationships. I thought, come on, how can science…but then I thought, wait a minute, God created us. What is truth? Do you know why in that context he said, “Why do you say you do not know the Father, when you know me? Jesus intended truth to be relational. For instance, I think homeschooling and Christian schooling is the future of the Church. Here’s the principle: rules without relationships leads to rebellion.

Fasting

Scripture on despondency. Psalms 73–89 Psalm 73 A psalm of Asaph. 1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits.8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression.9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.11 They say, “How would God know?

12 This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. Martin Lloyd-Jones – Pure Church by Thabiti Anyabwile. Lloyd-Jones titles chapter 4 of his book, , “Men as Trees, Walking.” He calls our attention to Mark 8:22-26 , an account of Jesus healing a blind man in two “attempts.” I put the word “attempts” in quotation marks because Lloyd-Jones argues that the first attempt, which resulted in the blind man seeing of sorts (men walking as though trees), was not successful at producing perfectly restored sight.

Lloyd-Jones argues that this miracle was a parable of sorts. He says it’s placed here in Mark’s gospel as a lesson to the disciples, “to enable the disciples to see themselves as they were” (p. 39). Lloyd-Jones contends that the disciples were beginning to see Jesus, but they were not yet seeing as fully as they ought. They were in process. In this sermon/chapter, Lloyd-Jones describes this way: I am concerned about these Christians who are disquieted and unhappy and miserable because of this lack of clarity. Lloyd-Jones offers some thoughts: But the problem is what they do not see. 2. Proverbs 17 Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament. Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

A comparative proverb with טוב, pairing with Proverbs 16:32 : Better a dry piece of bread, and quietness therewith, Than a house full of slain beasts with unquietness. Similar to this in form and contents are Proverbs 15:16. and Proverbs 16:8. פּת חרבה is a piece of bread (פת, fem., as Proverbs 23:8) without savoury drink (Theodotion, καθ ̓ ἑαυτόν, i.e., nothing with it), cf. Leviticus 7:10, a meat-offering without the pouring out of oil. A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. 2 A prudent servant shall rule over the degenerate son; And he divides the inheritance among the brethren.

Regarding the contrasts of משׂכּיל and מבישׁ, vid., at Proverbs 10:5; Proverbs 14:35. (Note: The Cod. brought by Sapiir from Jemen, of which there is an account in the preface to the edition of Isaiah by Baer and me.) Erf. Proverbs 17:7.