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Following Elijah’s stunning victory over the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18, he turns his attention to drought that continued to linger over the land. Back in 1 Kings 17, Elijah had announced a drought on the land because of the apostasy of the people. They had backed into Baalism and paganism. And their failure to remain faithful to the Lord carried the judgment of God removing his word from the people, signified by the lack of rain or dew. This was also a polemic against Baal, the storm god. The Baal cycle would be broken and the LORD would show himself to be God.

"With which person in the Bible do you most identify?" This is a question I have often asked others in the church over the years. Most of us lack even enough self-awareness to able to answer the question. Others among us have a propensity to appeal to the best characters in Scripture.

It is easy to set our minds on everything but heavenly things during the day. You might be tempted to replay the hard conversation you had with your friend repeatedly in your mind until you are overwhelmed. Your race for academic success or career advancement might be wearing you down. The behavior of your child might be worrying you. The disappointment you feel in marriage might be discouraging you. You think that if only you had parented differently your adult child would not have walked away from Christ and His church.

For many of us, the fall signals a new and busy season of ministry. This is often an exciting time, but if we’re not careful, we will be so busy that we will forget what is most important. We will be tempted, after experiencing God’s greatness, goodness, and grace, to not stop and celebrate it in the midst of our day. Likewise, due to time constraints, it will be easy to miss the opportunity to commend God’s greatness, goodness, and grace to the next generation. This is where Psalm 145 can help us.

Sally Jones Charles – Pillar of the Welsh Revival at Bala

Most accounts of Welsh church history recognize the impressive contributions of Thomas Charles[1], the pastor of a Calvinistic Methodist church in Bala, Wales, in the Welsh Revival of his century, in the establishment of a great number of schools in the region, and in the foundation of the Bible Society.

Thomas Charles, Mary Jones, and the Birth of the Bible Society

 

Many of us have heard the story of the sixteen-year-old girl who walked 25 miles to buy a Bible with the money she had saved while doing chores. That girl was Mary Jones, and her destination was a church at Bala, Wales, where a shipment of Welsh Bibles had just arrived. Mary’s story has been repeated several times, sometimes embellished by additional details.

Recently, Christians have agonized over accounts of false devotion to talented but corrupt church leaders. In outwardly successful churches and ministries, leaders have covered up sin, blamed victims, and blocked investigations to protect gifted but fatally flawed pastors and their ministries. To correct our mistakes and restore our integrity, we need the whole of Scripture, including a minor but revealing episode in the life of David that can help us distinguish between wise service to God from foolish service to men.

Command these things

1 Timothy 4:11: “Command and teach these things.”

1 Timothy 5:7: “Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach.”

1 Timothy 6:3: “Teach and urge these duties.”

The Federal Vision speaks a lot about the objectivity of the covenant.  What does that mean? Doug Wilson puts it somewhat crassly when he says, “It can be photographed and fingerprinted.”[1] For Wilson, the fingerprint is baptism.[2] Baptism, though an external sign, is like that of circumcision.  It demonstrates membership. Now, the question everyone ought to be asking is the obvious.  Is baptism the access point?  Is it what is required for membership?

Hannah Arendt was a political philosopher.  She was the author of several books and was professor at New School for Social Research and was a visiting Fellow of the committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. I have been reading her 1951 book titled, The Origins of Totalitarianism.  It should be required reading for citizens of the United States. The lessons are as profound as they are simple. For instance, Arendt points up two illusions that plague democratically ruled countries.

It is often the case that a minister only begins to really appreciate the value of his books when the time comes for him to part with them. Sometimes it happens when he runs out of space on his shelves and he is forced to thin them out. Or it may be when it comes to his retirement and he is downsizing his house and there simply isn’t the same amount of space in his new accommodation. Either way, he finds himself struggling to decide which ones to keep and which to let go. It begins to dawn on him that these volumes mean more to him than he may have previously realised.

The first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism has resonated with generations of people familiar with it.

 

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Imagine a podcast where kids talk about the people, big events, and amazing stories in church history. The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is excited to announce Kids Talk Church History—a new podcast in partnership with author and historian Simonetta Carr. This one-of-a-kind podcast features kids investigating the history of the Church through their own reading and discussion, interviews with special guests, listener questions, and more.

If Christians are to have any impact on the world, they must think and act biblically!

Alliance Friends provide sound, biblical teaching through broadcasting, events, and publishing. As a Friend you share the Gospel, providing the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to change minds, touch hearts, and help bring change to believers and non-believers alike. Whether it’s through daily devotionals, websites, events, or broadcasts and podcasts—Alliance Friends underwrite trustworthy resources that encourage, embolden, and equip the Church.

Imagine for a moment you are going on a pleasant hike through some unnamed wood. You hear from a distance what sounds like rushing waters, babbling over rocks. Nostalgic sounds of sloshing water against the rivers edge begin to fill the air, till’ finally you reach it - the bank of the river. How might you cross? Well a bridge of course. You look, and there it is, an exceptionally narrow bridge. But, rest assured it goes all the way across to the other side - you’ll make it.

Unconditional election, when rightly understood, is one of the most freeing doctrines for the under shepherd to embrace and one of the most assuring doctrines for the Christian to hold. It is beautiful because it reveals the beauty of our God whose grace is sovereign and whose mercies are new every morning. It reveals the immense power of a Father who has lovingly determined to give a certain number of sinners to His Son, Jesus, as an eternal gift (John 6:37). It proves that the Church is never in danger of failing, but always being built up as God has intended (Eph. 1:3-14, 2:19-22).

The title of the most recent Blue Ridge Bible Conference seems an appropriate descriptor for today's episode of Theology on the Go.