Posted in biblical resources, resources, theology

A Plethora of Resources for You

By Elizabeth Prata

quotes books

We are blessed to be living in an internet age. There are so many theological resources available to us! Many of these are free. Here are a few:

I really love Biblehub.com. On this one site you can read the Bible in any translation, or compare several translations at once. You can read commentaries for each and every verse in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. I especially like the commentaries from Matthew Henry, Barnes,’ Notes, and Gill’s Exposition. There are outlines and timelines.

There is a Lexicon in both Greek and Hebrew to look up any word. There are atlases and maps. There is a theological library, too, of works by early church fathers such as Ignatius, Irenaeus, Clement, Justin, Tertullian, Origen, and more. There are works by post-Nicene leaders such as Jerome and Augustine and lots more. All of Spurgeon’s sermons are listed, as well as works by Bunyan, Flavel, Tozer, all of Isaac Watts’ hymns, and much more. All for free.

Did you know of Charles Spurgeon’s magnificent work of exposition of every line in every Psalm? It’s a magnum opus called The Treasury of David. You can read it for free here at the Spurgeon Archive / Treasury of David.

The Treasury of David follows a consistent outline for each Psalm. Spurgeon Introduces it. Then he presents a Division, or, an outline of progressive thought within the Psalm. Third, Spurgeon offers his Exposition, almost always verse-by-verse. Fourth, Spurgeon gives some Explanatory Notes or Quaint Sayings. These enhance and fill out the exposition. Fifth, Spurgeon gives Hints to Preachers. And last, sometimes there are Additional Comments. It’s a monumental contribution to the body of work around the Psalms. In fact, the series is still in print today. How blessed we are to be able to access this resource for free, online.

The Spurgeon site, maintained by Phil Johnson, also includes editions of Spurgeon’s Sword & Trowel, Morning & Evening Devotionals, Spurgeon’s Letters, and a biography by Fullerton.

Did you know that John MacArthur preached through the entire New Testament? He provides exposition for all the books and chapters of the New Testament, and many of the books in the Old. He also offers some topical sermons on issues of the day. There are nearly 4000 sermons at gty.org.

Some consider Dr Abner Chou one of the finest theologians working today. He is a professor at The Master’s Seminary, and many of his lectures are available for free! They are here.

There are Bible Reading Plans galore to choose from:

Professor Horner’s
Bible Gateway’s varied selection
Ligonier’s list of Bible reading Plans
Keep The Feast Challenge

Modern praise music reviews? Got ’em here! And here!

Need a Monster Cheat Sheet for John Owen’s Mortification of Sin in Believers?

What resources have you discovered that have helped you grow in knowledge and understanding in the Lord?

Posted in biblical resources, Uncategorized

Resources on Depression and the Christian

depressed
Depression is something Christians don’t talk about much. Some are embarrassed by it, deeming it a weakness. Others believe that they are supposed to present a joyful countenance all the time, every day. Others adopt a plan of fake it till you make it.

So I was surprised and heartened to read Drew Dyck’s heartfelt sharing of his own journey through a long-term depression which was also punctuated by panic attacks. Mr Dyck is an acquisitions editor at Moody Publishers and a senior editor at CTPastors.com. He’s the author of Yawning at Tigers (2014) and Generation Ex: Christian (2010).

It’s always risky when one is open about something that some parts of society stigmatize. He muses on some of that in his article, as he shares the lessons he’d learned. His article is here:

You Can Break Your Brain … And 4 Other Things I’ve learned from My Struggle with Depression and Anxiety

Did you know that the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, suffered from depression? It seems strange that on the surface, this man who was a global success at preaching, writing, pastoring, founding colleges, orphanages, and married to a wonderful woman, could ever be depressed. But he was. There are numerous resources available recounting it, including many of his own writings, but this can get you started:

The Anguish and Agonies of Charles Spurgeon

Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a physician and then a preacher. In 1960 he began preaching on depression in a lengthy sermon series which can be listened to here. The sermon series was also made into a book, “Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure”. The Amazon blurb introducing the books states,

[Lloyd-Jones] carefully and compassionately analyzes an undeniable feature of modern society from which Christians have not escaped — spiritual depression.

What robs Christians of the joy that is theirs? Why does faith’s vitality drain away, leaving melancholy and anxiety it its place? In the sermons, Lloyd-Jones explores the cause and the cure.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones Spiritual Depression series

David certainly had his own ups and downs. We read in Psalm 43:4,

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Mr Dyck says that prayer and Scripture were a tremendous source of comfort in the valley (especially the Psalms). It would be wrong and neglectful of me to leave off the Bible itself as a resource. Especially the Psalms.

depressed guy
Though the Bible is its own premier resource, Mr Dyck shares that the person suffering from depression “finds it hard to even muster the energy or concentration to engage deeply in spiritual practices.” He advises asking others to pray for you when your depression sinks you too low to open His word.

Therefore we have the greatest resource of all: the Body of Christ in prayer and supplication, appealing to the Great Physician, Jesus, in prayer.

All these resources and more are available to you if you happen to be suffering from persistent panic, anxiety or depression.

Further reading:

Insufficient Help, Part 1: Grace To You’s recounting of a depressed, suicidal young man seeking help from church counselors in addition to doctors and secular therapists, who eventually took his own life. The church was sued. Did the church offer insufficient help? Are Biblical counselors qualified to use the Bible in therapy?

Overwhelmed by Anxiety? A blog series on attacking the anxiety that is attacking you.

 

Posted in apologetics, biblical resources, contend for the faith, homosexuality, todd friel, voddie baucham

Resources about the sin of homosexuality for believers, parents, and gay folks wanting to emerge from their sin

With the Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual marriage in every state of the US last Friday, many people have come forward to me and others with questions on how to help those on bondage to it, or how to help parents struggling to come to grips with their child’s sin of homosexuality, or how to respond in apologetics to those Christians waving a rainbow flag in affirmation of the decision, or many other issues concomitant. As I saw good and trustworthy resources come across my laptop, I saved them and systematized them into groupings. I hope any of this may help as you witness to the truth regarding this particular sin.

SECTION 1: Help for those emerging from homosexuality

1. Rosaria Butterfield is probably the number 1 exhibit of the post-gay lifestyle of a former feminist and lesbian. She seems like the real deal, an honestly sinful lesbian who honestly is now a Christian. As an adult in 1999, a tenured professor at a liberal university teaching post modernism, feminism, and actively promoting and involved in the lesbian lifestyle, Rosaria is now a married woman to a pastor and mother to children, most important of all, a liberated Christian, freed from her bondage of sins, including homosexuality.

Her book: “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into the Christian Faith

Article: “My Train-Wreck Conversion

New book: “Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ

In the new book she addresses these issues:

  • Conversion: the Spark of a New Identity
  • Identity: the Flame of Our Union in Christ
  • Repentance: the Threshold to God and the Answer to Shame, Temptation, and Sin
  • Sexual Orientation: Freud’s 19th Century Category Mistake
  • Self-Representation: What Does It Mean to Be “gay”?
  • Conflict: When Sisters Disagree
  • Community: Representing Christ to the World

There are additional resources at her website.

2. This article at Piper’s Desiring God website outlines four tactics for the ex-lesbian, or anyone struggling with a besetting sin, to live their life under God in an ever-increasing sanctification.
The Dead End of Sexual Sin

3. Setting Captives Free
I am not familiar with this website/program until someone I trust on Facebook posted about it. I looked it up and apparently they have been counseling for 15 years. I found no negative reviews to speak of, no scandal, and nothing of ill-repute.

They focus on helping people with online and telephone mentoring through structured 30 and 60 day classes, for a fee. Not all classes are for fee, some are free. It is a non-denominational, Biblically based set of courses. They help people who are struggling with–

adultery
pornography
masturbation
homosexuality

They offer a couples class in purity.
They offer a class for spouses whose spouse is struggling with sexual addiction.

Recently they have added two other classes, Self-injury and gluttony. In addition, they offer general devotionals and bible studies. On the website also, there are many resources, some for pay and many for free.

SECTION 2: Help Understanding what the Bible says about homosexuality

These resources from Pastor-Teacher John MacArthur (and Voddie Baucham) cover a range of issues related to homosexuality. This is just a sampling. There are additional resources available at gty.org on the topic.

Q&A, it’s available in written, audio, or video form.
Answering the Key Questions about Homosexuality
“2004: I think the topic touches all of us in one way or another because it intersects with all of society’s most basic institutions…home, marriage, government, and of course, religion and our faith. And so the questions that I have for you today are going to explore all of those areas. This debate over homosexuality is an emotional one and it hasn’t diminished over time, only the opposite.”

Sermon, available in written, audio, or video form.
Thinking Biblically about Homosexuality
“Well, tonight I want to talk to you on the subject of what God thinks of homosexuals. It is not a particularly enjoyable subject to discuss, nor would any sin be enjoyable to discuss, for that matter. But it has become pertinent and essential and necessary for us to get a biblical view of this rapidly increasing and normalizing effort to accept homosexuality in our culture. We need to understand what the Word of God has to say.”

CD, free until July 5. Click on link to order.
Homosexuality, Cultural Decay, and the Only Hope
“But be encouraged, because even in the face of the cultural slide, there still is hope—a hope tied to believers like you, the Body of Christ. John MacArthur recently sat down to talk about “Homosexuality and Today’s Moral Slide.” It’s an hour of Bible-based discussion on same-sex marriage, transgender issues, and other evidences of profound cultural decay—and how you and believers like you need to respond to what’s going on now, and to what’s to come if the Lord tarries.”

Sermon, available in written, audio, or video form.
What the Bible teaches about Homosexuality
“Tonight we’re going to return, at least to begin with, to Romans chapter 1 for our study. We really finished last week looking specifically at the text of Romans 1. But there was much interest and reaction as we discussed the issue of homosexuality as it is mentioned by the apostle Paul in this text. I really feel that God used our study of Romans 1 in a very unique way. During the time we were in that chapter many people gave their lives to Christ. I think many of us have a greater understanding of why God is angry with men who reject His revelation, sink into rationalization, religion, and ultimately reprobation, as we saw in our last study. But we noted last time that in the process of Paul’s defining the sinfulness of man and the utter fallenness of man, he gives an illustration of the depth of man’s sin by pointing out what is the worst earthly expression of man’s fallenness, and that is homosexuality.”

In this 4-minute video clip, Pastor Voddie Baucham biblically refutes the comment “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality” and in so doing, teaches Christians how to think about the comment and what to say in response.
https://youtu.be/bAOCjKqzAKk

SECTION 3: Help for parents, families

In this essay, Kevin DeYoung poses 40 thoughtful questions to the Christians celebrating gay marriage. These can be used in a counseling situation, or if meeting face to face in counseling, via email… whatever. The questions get the Christian to consider their position using the Bible as a mirror.
40 Questions for Christians now Waving Rainbow Flags

In this pair of essays, in one a supposedly Christian father was shockingly heartless in response to his son’s coming out. It is Exhibit A in what NOT to do.
Father disowns his gay son in shockingly heartless letter
“5 years ago, I was disowned via letter when I came out to my father,” writes Redditor RegBarc.”

David Murray read the heartless dad’s letter and mused upon the issue. What letter would he write if his son came out as gay?
What would you write to your gay son?
“As I find it hard to believe that a true Christian would ever write such a letter, I’ve drafted a letter that I hope a Christian father would write (although I’m sure we all hope we’ll never have to write it).”

Todd Friel read both letters and commented on them here in this 4 minute video.
https://youtu.be/f4o0o8a1Sng

How to respond to a homosexual child
“The challenge of responding to homosexuality used to be “out there.” Now it’s in our denominations, our churches, and for some, in the home. Many Christian parents are beginning to wonder, “How should I respond if my child claims to be a homosexual?” For some parents, that question is no longer theoretical. How should believing parents respond to their homosexual children? How do they deal biblically with their children’s sexual sins—particularly if the children claim to know Christ?”

Posted in apostate, biblical resources, edification, GTY, heretic, macarthur, Paul Crouch, TBN

Paul Crouch, Founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) died

My first thought upon hearing this news was, “I wonder where he is.”

My second thought was, “I wonder if he’s surprised he got there.”

Paul Crouch was one of the world’s biggest heretics, and he used his network to spread the name of a false Jesus throughout the world. It’s amazing to see the outpouring on Twitter of people who are mourning his death and lauding his accomplishment. His “accomplishment,” such as it was, was to bring hell to the lost people of the world, packaged as a Prosperity Jesus, deluding millions and engendering despair and squandered hope. He besmirched the name of Jesus, doing many dark works by using His holy name as cover.

Christian Post wrote the following in August 2013,

10 Crazy Quotes From Televangelists

Paul Crouch made Christian Post’s list twice.

Televangelists have a long history of saying embarrassing things on TV. The Bible teaches that the words we say reflect what is in our heart (Luke 6:45). So let’s take a look at ten of the crazy comments televangelists have made.”

Paul Crouch, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar teach that we are gods. Bible teacher Justin Peters says these religious leaders “demote God and deify man.”

1. “I am a little god. I have His name. I am one with Him. I’m in covenant relationship. I am a little god. Critics be gone!” says Paul Crouch.

Last year Brittany Koper, the granddaughter of Trinity Broadcasting Network founders Paul and Jan Crouch, sued her former attorneys and released damaging information about the TV network’s leadership. Following her lawsuit, this video was shown on TBN’s program Behind the Scenes. Paul Crouch says that he attended the funerals of two TBN critics.

2. Paul Crouch says: “God help anyone who would try to get in a way of TBN, which was God’s plan. I have attended the funeral of at least two people who tried.”

This next tidbit is from the Museum of Idolatry. It is not a doctored pic.

Paul Crouch flips off in Jerusalem

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But, this picture of Paul Crouch of TBN only brings two words to mind. But, only focusing on the hand gesture and missing the bigger offense is really easy to do and is like missing the forest because of a tree. To make sure that you don’t do that, ask yourself an important question regarding this photo:

What is MORE offensive, the hand gesture or the fact that Paul Crouch, a money grubbing charlatan con man who has made millions upon millions of dollars teaching rank heresy is wearing a clerical collar and broadcasting his flim flam from Jerusalem with the Temple Mount directly behind him?

Before we all go misty-eyed over this man, let’s remember the harm he has done to the name of Jesus, and the harm he has done to the faith, and the harm he has done to the sheep.

Paul & Jan Crouch
celebrating 54 years of marriage. TBN photo

As Paul the Apostle said, “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.” (2 Timothy 4:14)

“Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.” (1 Timothy 5:15)

“Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,” (2 Timothy 2:17)

Let’s keep in perspective the damage that one man can do, his teaching spreading like gangrene across the world to infect the naive and unwary.

NPR has a thorough overview of his life,
Paul Crouch, Co-Founder Of Trinity Broadcasting Network, Dies

Many laud the Crouches for their broadcast network which is global. Paul and Jan Crouch started TBN in 1974 with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and it began broadcasting as KTBN-TV in 1977- the same year that John MacArthur’s Grace To You broadcast ministry was born.

Both broadcasters, TBN and GTY, broadcast in a variety of mediums, radio and tv, internet and satellite. Both purport to preach the gospel to the lost and dying world, but only one really does. Through the years, all four of TBN’s founders (Jan & Paul Crouch, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker) have come below reproach, having been exposed as possessing serious moral, ethical and doctrinal sins. As TBN started there was a falling out between the Crouches and the Bakkers and for control over TBN in the first place. It started with a fight for money and control.

John MacArthur and his people have been preaching verse-by-verse since 1969 and to a wider audience since 1977 and not one hint or whisper of any reproach has ever been charged against them. In addition, GTY has started the following resources, mostly free to any and all-

–The GraceLife Pulpit: The preaching of Phil Johnson (GTY Executive Director) and Mike Riccardi.
–The Master’s Academy International: Strategic support for theological and ministry training centers around the world.
–The Master’s College: Doctrinally sound, academically excellent, globally accessible.
–The Master’s Seminary: A seminary dedicated to training pastors and trainers of pastors.
–The Shepherds’ Conference: A conference aimed at equipping pastors and church leaders.
–Theological Resource Center: An organized approach to a wealth of Bible-centered resources.

Most of the resources listed above are freely accessible. Imagine, not even having to send seed money to get access. TBN has spawned nothing except reproach, doctrinal aberrations which confuse the seekers, and lucre-lined pockets for the Crouches, and a decided lack of transparency about where the donations go. (For example, they received $93 million in 2010).

TBN presents and supports a never-ending parade of circus acts in the form of charlatans and wolves fleecing the sheep, while GTY presents a never ending-array of solid, Godly men who lift up Jesus to the highest through biblical preaching and edification of the pure church. And they do it every day, globally; every year, thoughtfully, with no fanfare (and no scandal). What comes out of GTY are men trained through their programs and seminaries, multiplying the powerful word to a lost and dying world; and women and children edified by their teaching. What comes out of TBN is gangrene killing the tare-filled church.

You hadn’t known that GTY was a big as a success as TBN? That is because TBN is about TBN, and GTY is about Jesus.

Ezekiel 33:11 says that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. If anything this is an opportunity to take stock, to re-assess whether you have TBN on in the background of your home as you do housework, or that you still subscribe to it unthinkingly, or that you watch it at all. There is no good there. I hope that the Crouch family takes this opportunity to re-assess their way, and turn from it. I sincerely hope so.

The lesson here is that heresy comes in all packages. The lesson here is that humility comes in softly, unnoticed. The lesson here is of apostasy, and the damaging evil it brings. The lesson here is to always keep your eye and heart on Jesus, and to stay in the word so one does not go adrift. (Hebrews 2:1). I pray that when we’re called home through death or rapture, we are not surprised where we end up. Jesus prophesied,

“On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:22-23)

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Good resources: (From GTY.org)

Grace Community Church: The church John MacArthur has pastored for more than four decades. Available here is verse-by-verse preaching through the entire New Testament, plus many OT texts.
Grace Advance: Helping develop and establish churches across the US and around the world.
The GraceLife Pulpit: The preaching of Phil Johnson (GTY Executive Director) and Mike Riccardi.
The Master’s Academy International: Strategic support for theological and ministry training centers around the world.
The Master’s College: Doctrinally sound, academically excellent, globally accessible. Many lectures are freely available to non-students
The Master’s Seminary: A seminary dedicated to training pastors and trainers of pastors. Links here for non-students to Web Resources, and Free Journal Resources
The Shepherds’ Conference: A conference aimed at equipping pastors and church leaders.
Strange Fire: a GTY/Truth Matters conference series, evaluates the doctrines, claims, and practices of the modern charismatic movement, and affirms the true Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. 19 free lectures, audio, video, or download
Theological Resource Center: An organized approach to a wealth of Bible-centered resources.

Other Links

GTY.org disclaimer, GTY.org has provided the links below for your edification, but please understand that a listing here does not equate to a full endorsement by GTY of everything published on a particular website.

Albert Mohler: Commentaries, articles, and radio programs by a leading theologian and cultural commentator.
The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals: Recovering and proclaiming the great evangelical truths.
Alpha and Omega Ministries: Articles, books, and a bi-weekly webcast from premier Reformed apologist James White.
Answers in Genesis: An apologetic ministry training Christians to defend the faith, primarily against attacks on Genesis.
Banner of Truth Trust: Articles, books, and a monthly magazine–it’s biblical Christianity through literature.
Bible Gateway: Resources to promote and enhance Bible reading.
Biblical Training: Four stages of biblical training, from introductory to seminary level.
Challies.com: Thoughtful articles and book reviews.
Christian Classics Ethereal Library: A digital library of hundreds of classic Christian books.
Christian History Institute: A look at Christian history, starting with Jesus and the apostles.
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Defending the biblical teaching about complementary differences between men and women.
Crosswalk.com: Resources to promote and enhance Bible reading.
The Hall of Church History: Giving a voice to those who, being dead, still speak.
The Henry Institute: Devoted to helping evangelicals engage the culture from a biblical worldview.
Institute for Creation Research: Provides scientific evidences of biblical accuracy.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: An online Bible encyclopedia that’s free and trustworthy.
JohnOwen.org: The comprehensive repository of John Owen.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust: The official, online repository of the ministry of David Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
Monergism.com: A repository of resources on Reformed theology.
9 Marks Ministries: Helping pastors and leaders to discover and apply biblical priorities in the local church.
Open Bible: Geocoding all the known locations in the Bible using Google Earth.
Reformation 21: Encouraging a biblical worldview and constructive cultural engagement.
The Spurgeon Archive: The comprehensive repository of C. H. Spurgeon.
The Voice of Calvary: The audio archive of Dr. Jack MacArthur. (John MacArthur’s father)
Way of the Master: Giving Christians a way to share the gospel simply, effectively, and biblically.