Posts

on the free exercise of religion

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In my own reading it seemed timely to me that I came upon a section in an apologetic book which dealt with the separation of church and state as commonly (mis)understood today. The author is Dr. John Frame, retired professor of systematic theology and philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando. Here are a few highlights...  The Christian, as opposed to the secularist, comes to realize we are accountable to a law higher than, and outside of, ourselves. Namely,  "the source of morality is greater than our family, our clan, even our church. Greater than our present loyalty, but not greater than loyalty itself. Morality is grounded in a higher loyalty, and a higher love." Christians do not abandon the use of reason, but rather they reject purely autonomous reason:  "Only Christianity, abandoning autonomy for trust in God’s revelation, presents a suitable account of both the powers and limitations of reason, neither deifying nor denying our rational faculty." O

reading Stott

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"This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:5 CSB) "If we Christians dare to say that we are going to heaven when we die, and that we are sure of final salvation, as we do dare to say, it is not because we are self-righteous or self-confident; it is because we believe in the steadfast love of God, the love that will not let us go." (John Stott, Men Made New ) ============   John R. W. Stott (1929--2011) was an Anglican clergyman, author, and speaker who had a global impact on evangelical Christianity in the second half of last century. His contemporaries included Martyn Lloyd-Jones, J. I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, and Billy Graham.  Though I never heard Stott preach, I did read many of his books through the years, which were formative in my Christian thinking. Here's a sampling, with publication dates: Men Made New (1966), Basic Christianity (1971), Your Mind M

Thank you!

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"For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel." (Ezra 7:10) We have completed our first year of biblical studies! We give thanks to the Lord for the 20 students that completed both semesters! And thank you for your participation.  I also want to express my appreciation for our instructors this year: Jim Krouscas, Mark Broomell, Jeff Graf, Neil Damgaard, and Loren Rees. It was a privilege to serve with them in this new venture.  We'd love to hear back from you regarding future classes, or evaluation of this past year. We welcome your suggestions. And we'll keep you posted on plans for this September.  Thank you again for your involvement. We are blessed by each of you who have taken the study of God's word seriously! Sandy

he has done it!

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This week -- our last week of classes for spring semester -- let me offer this brief reflection on the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, taken from Psalm 22, which was written a thousand years before Christ died upon the cross.  THE SUFFERING KING (Ps 22). A thousand years after David wrote this psalm of lament, his royal descendant, Jesus, spoke the first verse of it while he hung upon the Roman cross. Of course, that doesn't mean only that one verse, but rather the whole of the psalm, is about him. The suffering of the Messiah is plainly set forth, as it is also in Isaiah 53. David describes in detail what happened at the cross of Christ. At first reading of this psalm, we observe that David seems to be describing a rejection of his own kingship, and that is likely the context of its writing.  But then we notice things that never happened to David... the dividing of clothing by lots, the pierced hands and feet, and the physical condition of his parched thirst, his bones,

second half begins!

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Spring may not quite be here, but spring break is over and we're back to the classes this Thursday night at 6:30 pm! Half a semester to go!  Hope to see you Thursday night! --------------   Photo above is of a black oak in our yard last spring, when its leaves were just starting to come out. 

Spring break this week

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We are halfway through the spring semester and are taking a break this week. There will be no classes on Thursday. Enjoy the sunshine (while we have it)!     

Spring update

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We are thankful for 21 students attending the three class offerings this spring! Tonight is the second evening of classes, and there's still time to join in!  It was a disappointment to me not to be able to include our church history course this spring. Perhaps the lesson is that we shouldn't offer too many classes at a time. Several of you told me that you had difficulty choosing between Intro Theology and History of the Reformation, because you really wanted to attend both! We will surely take that in consideration as we plan for the future. Our goal with BSI is not merely acquiring biblical and theological content . What we know, and how we know, must come from the Lord, for we are made in his image, and made to know him. We are interested in thinking God's thoughts after him, in order that we might know him better . We want to take seriously the words of Hosea, "Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us