Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The First Ever Ruling Elder Blog Contest!

I have decided to have a contest.

Here's how it works: below, I have posted a video clip of a portion of a "talk" (I won't call it a sermon) that I watched today. To participate in the contest, you must watch the video (the clip is only about 10 minutes long), and leave a comment on this blog post with a critique of the talk. The best critique (as chosen by me, and me alone) will win and I will send the winner a book of some sort (I'm not sure what just yet, but most likely something by a Puritan). My advice to all who enter is to be precise and concise. No need to write a dissertation on this!

Contest will end in 1 week (no comments posted after Wednesday, October 6 will be accepted for consideration), at which time I'll announce a winner. All who wish to participate may do so.

Here is the video. Watch, comment, and may the best critique win!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Office Hours Interview with Pastor Terry Johnson

R. Scott Clark, professor at Westminster Seminary California has posted a wonderful interview with Terry Johnson, pastor of Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah, Georgia. Pastor Johnson makes some great points in his critique of the modern evangelical approach to worship, and he also has some valid warnings for the Reformed church, as well.

I encourage you to listen to the interview, here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Acts 1: Appointing a Replacement for Judas

This past Monday night, the Bible study I lead finished the first chapter of Acts. In that section of Scripture, the disciples choose two potential replacements for Judas, and God picks Matthias. It is interesting to me to read what different commentators have written about that event. Here is a sampling:

Matthew Poole simply asserts:

He was numbered with the eleven. The rest of the apostles, and the whole church, agreeing with that Divine choice which was made.

In other words, the apostles acted correctly and Matthias was in deed chosen by God.

Matthew Henry writes:

Matthias was not ordained by the imposition of hands, as presbyters were, for he was chosen by lot, which was the act of God; and therefore, as he must be baptized, so he must be ordained, by the Holy Ghost, as they all were not many days after. Thus the number of the apostles was made up, as afterwards, when James, another of the twelve, was martyred, Paul was made an apostle.

Henry postulates that just as Matthias was the replacement for Judas, so Paul was the replacement for James.

Charles Hodge had a perspective I didn't find elsewhere:

“And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven Apostles.” And that was the end. We never hear of Matthias afterward. It is very doubtful whether this appointment of Matthias had any validity. What is here recorded (Acts i. 15-26), took place before the Apostles had been endued with power from on high (Acts i. 8), and, therefore, before they had any authority to act in the premises. Christ in his own time and way completed the number of his witnesses by calling Paul to be an Apostle.
I post these only for thought and reflection. I, personally, believe Hodge was incorrect in stating that the Apostles did not have the authority to do what they did.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Remember my dear madam, that it was not anger simply which the Prince of Peace himself condemned, but being 'angry with a brother without a cause'. To be angry where there is a cause is inevitable nature. He, therefore, who affects to be above anger, makes me suspect that his virtue is not supernatural, but hypocritical."

R. L. Dabney in Life & Letters of Robert Lewis Dabney, pg 547.
HT: Bret McAtee