Monday, October 15, 2012

Righteous Video: Counterfeit Gods

Friday, October 12, 2012

Relevant Links I

Every so often I will post links to interesting websites that I have stumbled across on the internet. I am not endorsing every statement made in these articles. I most likely posted these articles because I found the content interesting, informative, thought provoking, or helpful. Feel free to discuss any of the links and what you think about them in the comments section.

It is good to be a loser
It is true of weight loss plans, and it is true of the Gospel of Jesus.

No More Protestant Majority
But is that really a problem?

Is it ever right to not vote?
What if voting the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil?

Why should you catechize?
Even if you're a Baptist...

Space, the final frontier
SpaceX's Dragon capsule successfully docks with the ISS.

Political Changes at Liberty University
The changing political landscape of my Alma Mater.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Righteously Relevant Reading Previews

If you did not notice, there is a section on the side of this page that says "reading" and has a list of books beneath it. This lists the books that I am currently reading. As I start a new book I will put up a post describing why I was attracted to that book and, if I have read any of it, what I think so far. When I am finished with a book I will also post my thoughts on the book.

I am currently reading three books:

Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian 

This is a book both about the story of Jonah and the cross of Christ. It could be subtitled "Jesus in the book of Jonah" I have read about a quarter of the book and so far it is phenomenal. I was attracted to this book because I received Jesus + Nothing = Everything by the same author as a gift and found it to be a tremendous book on how Jesus, and His gospel, is all we need, and that if we add anything to that formula we actually lose the "everything" that the gospel supplies.

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.

This is a autobiographical work about a young man's journey aboard a sailing vessel traveling from the east cost of the United States around Cape Horn and up the coast of California before it was a possession of the United States. I picked up this book because I found it on a list of suggested free e-books, and I am very glad that I picked it up. This book is a riveting story of his travels, and gives an interesting picture of life at sea and life in California at the time. This book can be downloaded for free! If you decide to read this book it may be helpful to have a resource at hand that can define some of the nautical terms that the author uses. (Reader beware: The author has some racist tendencies, but that does not mean that this book is without value.)
90 Days of God's Goodness by Randy Alcorn
I was given this book by my in-laws and we have been using it for family devotions. We are about 20 days into the book and we have found the book to be very encouraging. Each devotion is rather short and contains a passage of scripture and a page or two of commentary by Randy Alcorn. Each day's reading only takes a few minutes which is helpful due to the attention span of young children. This book is not targeted towards young children, so we are using it primarily for our own spiritual growth and to allow our children to get into the habit of listening quietly during the time set aside for family devotions. If you are looking for a new devotional book I would whole heartedly recommend this one.

What are you currently reading?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Righteous Video: Goodness Vs. Cross Sermon Jam

Note: Righteous Videos will be a regular feature on this blog. Hopefully these videos will be used to encourage, uplift, and convict the viewer.

What happens when we forget that salvation is a work of God apart from human effort?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Music Spotlight: The Weight of Glory by Heath Mcnease

The Weight of Glory is a 12 song album inspired by 12 different books by C.S Lewis. Heath McNease has created an insightful concept album that can really inspire deep thought.

This album is predominately characterized by an indie folk feel, but has some hip-hop elements, including a couple segments that are rapped.

The songs are all based on well known works by C.S Lewis, ranging from a song titled "Mere Christianity" to a song called "Edmund," which is based the character of the same name from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The track titled "Mere Christianity" is also a beautiful song that once again draws attention to C. S. Lewis's famous trilemma-- that Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord.

My favorite song on the album is the title track. This is based on a short work by C.S. Lewis that I have never read, but hope to soon. We all long for an eternity in glory, and this song reflects that desire.  After listening to this album you may find that you desire to read a work by C.S Lewis that you have not read yet.

If you listen to the album let me know what your favorite song on the album is and why in the comments section.

You can get the album for free below (or you can pay a small amount to the artist if you are able):

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Accomplished by the Cross

Author's note: This will be a multiple-part series based loosely on what I am teaching the youth of the church where I serve. These posts will be brief because I want you to think more than read.

Jesus being executed on the cross and his subsequent resurrection is the center-point of the Christian faith. As Sally Loyd Jones says in the Jesus Story Book Bible:
"No the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his Palace, his throne- - everything - to rescue the one he loves."
Jesus rescued us by paying the penalty for our sins by being executed in our place. This is the focal point of the Christian faith and the Bible.

I cringe when I hear people speak about holding to and teaching "Christian Morals" (often couched as "being good"), but seem to forget about the cross. "Christian Morals" without the cross are empty, and pointless. We can try to be good people, but we cannot do it. By nature, we are sinners doomed for destruction. We have utterly rebelled against the God of the universe and because of that we deserve judgement.

"But" is a powerful word--a word that changes the whole meaning of a sentence. Often in the Bible the "but" transitions from what we are in ourselves to what we have been given by the grace of God.
A great example of this is found in Romans 6:23 which says, (emphasis added), "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (ESV).

We have problems, and the Gospel is the solution to our problems. 

So what exactly did Jesus accomplish for us on the cross? Everything that matters. 

Join us as we discuss these things in this blog series.

Questions for thought and discussion:

  • What things can we do to stop emphasizing "Christian Morals" and start emphasizing the cross?
  • Why do we find moralism so enticing and interesting?
  • What makes a focus on the Gospel so difficult?