Monthly Reader

Monthly Reader – October 2021

It turned Fall a couple weeks ago, but it’s still been in the 90’s here in parts of the Bay Area. Since it’s now October and the pumpkins and Halloween decorations are coming out, I though it might be a good time to turn over a new leaf 🍁.

My wife for months has been pruning stuff out of our house. To join in the fun I though it would be good to cutback on all the Emails of articles I send out. So I decided to resurrect my weekly blog summary. I still am reading a number of well written articles every week but instead of capturing their texts and sending them out various people on my Contacts list, I will just be putting a short comment on these Weekly Reader Blog Posts with the link so that anyone who wants to can look them up. No longer a push you will have to take a moment to check the Blog and pull the link.

Let’s hear a cheer! You no long have to bulk delete my emails!

I will try to have the individual direct article link posted. And note, I don’t read everything people I follow post, and they may say things I don’t agree with. But some articles do well in articulating a given issue or point. So when visiting another linked site keep the discernment filter on….and I don’t do ads on my blog but expect to see some as you read linked articles.

Some may be controversial, but hopefully offer good perspective which we can agree to disagree with. But be aware, I don’t read everything someone writes or has written and therefore don’t have recommendations of all they say or believe. I will try to limit links to those I find most solid in their thinking 🧐 but if you see something that triggers you don’t take offense, just let me know.

If you comment on the Blog please try to be positive.

Here is this week’s list.…I will add to it unto the end of the week.

So check back periodically for updates. Click on the sidebar category Weekly Reader to access just these posts. Scroll to bottom of Categories On the Right Sidebar.

Michelle makes a good summary of a Biblical Reformed Women’s Conference she ran. These are mostly in small church forums and based on her weekly post I’m sure they could be enlightening than the big mega-conferences so popular today.

Mike is one of my favorites and I often reblog his full articles. I may stop that and just post links here. I do recommend reading his blog directly.

Michelle has a four year old post with relevant points of simply applying 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

She also has a reported recently her almost funny commentary on The Five Sola’s of the Reformation. Look 👀 it up, here is a part.

No longer is Christian doctrine and practice governed strictly by sola Scriptura, especially among Christian women. Now it’s all about our own personal feelings, opinions, and life experiences. Won’t go to a church that preaches sin and repentance because it offends your sensibilities? You’ve become accepting of homosexual “marriage” because someone you love dearly has adopted that lifestyle? Believe God is in the habit of talking to people because you’ve “heard His voice”? Then you’re basing your doctrine and practices on your own feelings and experiences rather than on what the Bible says.

…..we’ve functionally replaced the Five Solas of the Reformation with pragmatic, and often idolatrous, solas of our own making…

The five solas should be the foundation of the church’s orthodoxy (beliefs or doctrine) and our orthopraxy (church practices).

The five solas are:

1. Sola Scriptura– Scripture alone is the basis for all church doctrine, belief, and practice. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

2. Sola Gratia– Salvation is by grace alone. It is an unmerited gift of God based solely on His goodness, not our own (because we don’t have any). (Ephesians 2:8-9)

3. Sola Fide– Salvation is through faith alone. Faith is a gift bestowed by God. We are saved only by placing that faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross, not by doing good works or by any other attempts to earn salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

4. Solus Christus– Salvation is found in Christ alone. As Acts 4:12 says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

5. Soli Deo Gloria– God saves man for God’s glory alone, and Believers are to live our lives to glorify Him alone. (Romans 11:36)

Btw…If you want an example of how subtly this has been sold read this recent excerpt from another article this week I won’t mention who wrote it.?..even making up new words for it.

“Before we go any further, I want to introduce you to a new term, one I learned from Josh Strahan, a New Testament professor at my alma mater, Lipscomb University. That term is “orthocardia.” Essentially it means “having a right heart.” And when I learned that term, it started to transform the way I understood our times.

You’re not going to find much literature about orthocardia. But the concept is both simple and profound. As explained by Methodist Pastor Jason Valendy, it’s distinct from and essentially precedes two terms that are familiar to Christians, orthodoxy (right belief) and orthopraxy (right practice.)

Both of these terms are extremely valuable, yet incomplete. As one seeks to imitate Christ, you learn quickly that the fullness of the Christian life lies beyond both beliefs and behavior. Let’s first discuss orthodoxy. Knowledge and understanding of the finer points of Christian theology is important, but this knowledge about God is distinct from faith in God. For example, one of the most famous passages in the Bible declares, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!””

And Michelle has an excellent inventory of good and false “Christian”teachers, pastors, writers and conference speakers accessible by her search feature.

I recently reblogged Mike Ratliff’s post with this comment:

Mike has a good message about false teachers, repentance, narrow paths and persecution. Not the seeker friendly gospel. The Old Westminster Confession has some good words about the process of coming to faith which will lead to good works. It’s rarely taught but still quite useful. A good copy is found on the OPC.ORG website. Some relevant sections are here:

Of Free Will

Of Effectual Calling

Of Justification

Of Adoption

Of Sanctification

Of Saving Faith

Of Repentance unto Life

Of Good Works

Last thing this week I want to point out a few of the better Blogs/Websites I have found interesting 🧐. I’ve left out the most controversial ones, but I don’t always agree with some aspects of what they present, so like I said above, use discernment and check their snouts or statements of faith.

Three of the best Bible teaching sites I spend time with are:

The Expository Preaching Of S. Lewis Johnson
Listen to over 1500 sermons available now for streaming or download. The SLJ Institute.
I have found these among the best for Bible teaching, the site is organized both by Bible Books and Topics.

Trinity United Reformed Church

Trinity United Reformed Church a small Reformed Church in the Walnut Creek/Concord area. Pastor Ganger’s sermons are directly from the Bible as well as the historic Confessions and Catechisms. Solid teaching. Rev. Joghinda Gangar graduated in 1984 from Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido, CA. He was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church in 1986 and served churches in Calgary and Wellandport in Canada. Since 1998, he has been serving Trinity URC in Walnut Creek. Rev. Gangar was born in Punjab, India, and raised in England. He is married to Sheena and has seven children.

The Work of Dr. Steven Dilday

Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary. He is also the translator of Matthew Poole’s Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

His site has both his internet courses and commentary as well as translation work. From Reformation to Reformation. Also note his extensive sermons at Sermon Audio. Dr. Dilday has one of the best teachings on the historical interpretation of Revelation I have found, both with video and his old sermon audios. He is currently revamping these in conjunction with his translation work, which he hopes to complete before the Final End Times. The old sermons he preached as a pastor from 2009 on Revelation are found here directly.

Blogger Websites

Mike Ratliff produces a daily commentary which I find useful for his insights and use of scripture, and Greek. Possessing the Treasure

I highly recommend to women reading my site to follow both Michelle Lesley and Elizabeth Prata who teach women a strong Biblical perspective which is rare today. Discipleship for Christian Women.

Todd Friel’s Wretched Website, he says things pretty directly. He has both short videos and audios. Wretched is a strange name for the site, but is a word Paul used to describe himself in the Bible….“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)

Justin Peters Ministries – Justin does a particular good job at analyzing and addressing issues in the contemporary “Visible” church. His YouTube videos are particularly good.

The Outspoken Tulip is a website for reformed women. Deb specifically directs it to women with these words: “Although I have absolutely no objection to a husband investigating my writing to ensure that I don’t steer their wives toward false doctrine, I hope that they stop reading once they feel assured that they can trust me to instruct their wives according to Scripture. I do have my husband read everything I write since he is my direct spiritual authority, and I’m comforted to know that my pastor occasionally checks up on me. Further, when I mention a specific ministry or event (such as Truth Remains), common courtesy dictates that I ask the men involved to read that particular post.”

I’ve checked her site and she has useful things to say to women including her summary of Explaining My TULIP 🌷. And I can point to her latest post, which may be a bit controversial: Sometimes Being Nice Isn’t Very Christian.

I could go on with others. Some of these are more controversial and some have parts of their theology I don’t agree with, but generally provide good contemporary and cultural relevant commentary. But I caution using all their material without discernment.

Glenn E. Chatfield – The Watchman’s Bagpipes

Christian Research Network is a hub for conservative news and information on current issues in the Church and around the world. Thoughts from the Christian perspective: discernment issues as they relate to the current state of the church and society.

The Berean Beacon – has some contemporary commentary distinguishing between the Protestant and Catholic teachings. It is controversial, so again use discernment when reading.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage”. Galatians 5:1

Final Comment

So far this week I’ve managed to stay away from politics although I’ve seen articles about Covid/Vaccine mandates, Bernie Sanders actually being the force behind Biden, the hidden agenda in the Facebook/Instagram controversy, the Great Reset embedded in the $3.5 Trillion Infrastructure Structure Bill, Parents and school boards, and Borders and Culture, as well as multiple issues in the “Visible Church”. If you want links to any of that let me know. It’s just too much.

We have been reading the Book of Jeremiah in our Bible reading if one is looking for serious words in hard times just look there.

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Jeremiah 6:17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

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