Monthly Archives: November 2005

Lewis Reford Blog

This is the blog of the Conservative candidate, Lewis Reford, for the Toronto Centre riding. That includes Cabbagetown, St. Jamestown, Corktown, Rosedale, Regent Park and St. Lawrence. More importantly, that means me! I know I’ll be following closely what Reford has to say here.

So far so good.

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Blogswarming the Elections

I have been long convinced of the power of words. An avid reader since youth, I recognize that words have been a great shaper in my life. I still carry with me in my persona things that I learned from books read as a youngster. Much of who I am, in terms of my interests, involve what I had read. Both my mother and my father instilled in me a desire to read and appreciate the printed word. My mother actively encouraged me to read by providing me resources, encouragement and opportunity to read. My father, who is a ferocious reader, provided me an example of the enjoyment a good book can bring. I am so thankful for that aspect of my upbringing, for even today I am a “habitual” reader. My office is inundated with a constant flow of books and journals. My interests grow as new books cross my desk. I have an insatiable appetite to read about the world that God created and sustains.
Words have great power, not only exampled in my own life, but in the shaping of history. There can be no better example of this than God’s own written Word. The Bible has had such a profound effect on history; more than any other book in existence. Scriptures are more than just mere words written by man. They are vastly more significant than anything that could be authored by sinful, finite creatures. The Bible is the breathed out Word of God. It is a reflection of His holy character. It determines for us the pattern of our lives. Coupled with the power of God’s Spirit, the Bible is the most powerful tool in existence. Anything that has the ability to convert a condemned by God sinner to a loved by God saint is more powerful than anything we can imagine. All Christians, those marked by a love for the Bible, should be word-centred people. We should be “logophiles” in the truest sense.
My belief in the power of words is what compels me to write in this blog. I’m not here merely to give my thoughts on opinions on things just so that people can get to know who I am. As much as that may be a part of it, the overwhelming significance of Ruminations By The Lake is its contribution to the power of words. I wholeheartedly believe by blogging I am standing in a line of word-lovers that include the Reformers who took the wonderful opportunity provided by God to disseminate their thought on the printed page. The Protestant Reformation spread like a wild-fire across Europe due to the powerful influence of words. By blogging, I hope to carry that same power by God’s grace.
Pre-eminently I wish to convey the awesome power and glory of God through my blog. I want a dying world who logs onto the Internet to read what I have on my blog and glorify God. I want unbelievers to be converted by reading the gospel on my blog. As much as I link to and convey political thought on here, it is all towards my belief in the utter sovereignty of God over all areas of life.
As I posted earlier, I am very happy to see the Canadian Liberal Party fall on its face. It was a great reminder to me that God is in control over all nations, including Canada. Paul Martin, or Jean Chretien, or Pierre Trudeau or any other like them can weild power for a time, but only by the sovereign allowance of God. There will come a reckoning when all corrupt and ungodly governments will answer to the supreme government over creation — the Holy Triune God. Who will stand in that day if they are not standing in Christ?? I tell you, no man or woman will stand without Christ. Every knee shall bow.
As much as the Liberal Party has fallen, it does not mean that they are down for good. Within the providence of God who has great patience with the evil in His creation, the Liberal’s may come into power in this upcoming election. We as a country may be facing the moral questions that are sure to arise such as the definition of marriage, the legality of drugs, the Bible as hate literature, statist control over private industry, the education of our children, abortion, moral relativity, encroaching Islam, terrorist cells in Canada…as you can see this list can go on and on.
It is encumbent upon every Christian to make his or her voice heard. We desperately need to take a stand for our world-and-life view. We need to be out on election day, in the booth, voting God’s will. The ethical questions of our day need an answer based upon God’s enduring truth.
My hope, based on my belief in the power of words, is that this blog can be used as an encouragement to Canadians to see the final demise of the Liberal Party politically speaking. I am going to “take up the pen” and try to provide resources and information between now and the election towards that end. I hope that my friends who read this will do the same with their own blogging and we can effect a “blogswarm” against the Liberals.
So, in that vein, here are some good blogs to read on Canadian issues. They are not necessarily evangelical, but they definitely get good information into the blogosophere. Here they are:
There are many other good blogs, but these ones I think are a great place to start. Check them out, follow them and weigh what they say against mainstream media. You’ll quickly see that MSM won’t stand up against the truth.
Let us all, as Christians, keep the Canadian elections in prayer. Above all, whoever steps into power, let us always be prayerful that God may be glorified in these events.

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The Liberals Fall

With the toppling of the Liberal government in last night’s non-confidence vote, I have been reminded again of the absolute sovereignty of God over all areas of life, especially government. I am so thankful that ultimately the rise and fall of various governments is in the all-wise hands of God. The state of the government in Canada would appear utterly hopeless if I did not believe that God was in ultimate control.
As much as I am over-joyed that the Liberals are facing eviction from the Hill, I am saddened that it had to come to this. The corruption, the immorality, the greed, the deception — none of this needed to happen. This was not good for Canadians, it did not help us as a country. If anything, the Liberal Party has been one gigantic hindrance. We have not advanced as a civilization, rather we have been one mass-experiment on how a government can suck a country dry of its resources, its money and its will to be a country. I doubt that Canada has ever been so divided as a country as it is now. Are the Quebecers the only ones with separation on their minds? I have half a mind to separate myself and move out, were it not for the fact that my greatest hope and prayer is that God would revitalize this country again. May it be that the Liberal Party will be weighed in the balance and be found wanting by the majority of Canadians. May they pay for their folly.
Watching the vote and the party reactions afterwards was appalling. Speaking to the Liberal caucas after they has just been shot down, Paul Martin was dancing around like he had just won a million dollars. It was shocking! Why was he all smiles with his arms out and thumbs up? He has just gone down in the history books as a dud of a Prime Minister!!! He is one of the few who has had the “privelege” of being voted out of office by his own government! What’s he so happy about? Does he actually think that he is a moral human being? Does Paul Martin have the audacity to believe that by pressing to legalise marijuana, sanctioning homosexual marriage, stealing money for his own government, being a poor neighbour to other countries, etc., that he has some sense of ethical standing?? Stephen Harper couldn’t be more correct by saying that the Liberal Party does not have the moral authority to govern. How could they? They have displayed time and again that morality, the sense of right and wrong, isn’t a word in their vocabulary.
I am also saddened by the actions of Jack Layton, the leader of the NDP. He too has shown all too clearly that issues of morality mean nothing to him. Rather, he is a textbook example of moral pragmatism. He was more than willing to stand by the Liberals if he could get something out of it, even after it became apparent that they were deeply involved in scandal. Now that he can’t weasel anything else from the Liberals, Layton is on the offensive with the shameful audacity to attack the Liberals on their morality. What happened to their immorality when you were cozying up to them earlier Jack??!!??
Needless to say that I am incredibly disheartened with the Canadian government. As glad as I am to see the Liberals fall, I have this awful fear the Canadians (ahem, Ontarians) will elect them into power again. They’ll have a million-and-one excuses as to why they can exclude the severe moral ineptitude of the Liberal Party (and the NDP for that matter) for fear of the “big, bad” Conservatives. But all of their excuses will come crashing down on our heads as Canada continues on its moral decline into darkness.
What will it take for Canadians (yes, yes, I mean Ontarians) to wake up and see that the riots in Paris aren’t that far away from our own soil? When will they see that what we do and say today will have consequences for tomorrow?
All of this is a great reminder to Christians to beseech the Lord to allow goodness to reign. May it be His will that good and moral leaders will assume power in this country and carry it on a path of righteousness. The good Lord knows most surely that the Liberals are not man enough for the task!

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Redeeming The Time: On Being Real

Kirk Wellum continues to talk about Walk the Line. I appreciate what he had to say, and I’m glad that he enjoyed it.

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Reflections of the Times: Friday Funny Bone 11/25

Cheesy or not, some of these headlines are priceless.

My favourite:

Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge

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Religion of Peace? One-Stop Shopping For War on Terror News: Iraqi Soldiers Seize Booby-Trapped Dolls

If this isn’t one of the heights of sickness, I don’t know what is.
Toys with grenades in them???
Disgusting.

***********************

Also, if Islam is a religion of peace, even if only in the US as some say, then why is Ohio’s biggest Mosque led by a terrorist? Thankfully he’s being deported for his views. But think of it: this is the “state’s largest Mosque.” Why are all of these “peaceful” Muslims going to this guys Mosque?? Sounds like a consensus to me.
[HT: Michelle Malkin]

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Walk The Line

Last night Vicky and I went with some close friends of ours to see the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line. I have long been a great fan of Johnny Cash, but when I heard last year that a movie was going to be filmed on his life, I had my reservations. Then when I heard that Joaquin Phoenix was slotted to play Cash and Reese Witherspoon to play June Carter Cash, I had even more reservations. I personally wouldn’t have thought that either of them would be the right choice to star as these two larger than life American icons.
I was a little bit more relaxed about it after seeing the trailers for the movie a few months ago. It seemed, even from those little tidbits, that maybe the choices for actors wasn’t as bad as I thought. There did appear to be a real sense of “Cash-ness” even in those previews. They definitely had my curiosity peaked.
Surrounding the release of the movie there have been many articles and reviews in the news with every two-bit critic giving their opinion. They weren’t speaking very highly of it and indicated that Walk The Line was mediocre at best. This began to bring my hopes down a little. A movie like this can’t afford grey areas, either it does a good job or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t capture the essence of Johnny Cash then it is, in my books, an utter failure. I was delighted, however, to read an interview with the director James Mangold. In the interview he mentioned that both Johnny and June were pleased with the direction he wanted to take the movie. The couple met both Phoenix and Witherspoon and were happy with the selection of actors. I figured if the two Cash’s could be happy with this movie, who am I to be critical?

It was with this mindset that I sat down in the theatre last night, but I really don’t think either a positive or negative mindset would have mattered. Any negativity would have been utterly destroyed within the first 5 seconds of the movie.
I would consider myself an avid Johnny Cash fan. More than avid even, because being a fan of Johnny Cash is more than merely liking the guy and his music. If you’re a fan, I really believe it is for something deeper. In fact, I would argue that the only true fan of Johnny Cash is one who has the sense of solidarity with his life because of the union they share with him in Christ. I full-heartedly believe that Johnny Cash lived and died as a Christian and that he is in glory with his Lord awaiting the resurrection of his body. I believe that I will feast with Johnny Cash at the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Johnny Cash’s music and life have had a profound impact on me. My father absolutely loved Johnny Cash and much of what I hear in his music reminds me of being a kid. There are too many similarities to count between Cash’s life and my own. I think that is part of Cash’s magic, that so many people could relate to him. He was a larger than life figure, but at the same time was very much a fallible human being who lived life much as anyone else.
The movie very much captured both the legendary quality and the every-day humanness of this musical genius. That can be seen in his upbringing, his failed marriage, his drug addiction, the difficulties of having buried his older brother at such a young age, his fragile relationship with his father, his pining after June, etc. These are experiences that many have had and will no doubt relive in some sense if they see this excellent movie.
I am now very happy with the choice of Phoenix and Witherspoon to play Johnny and June. I felt that both of them went beyond the call of duty in their portrayal of country’s “royal family.” It was almost eerie how much they morphed into their characters, both in terms of their acting and their looks. The guy who played Elvis didn’t look like the King, but Phoenix and Witherspoon both looked their part. And the relationship onscreen was great. It was a real treat to have witnessed their chemistry, I believe it was a testament to the loving legacy between Johnny and June. You sense not only the love, but the friendship between the two of them. It accurately portrayed June’s care for Johnny as he battled pill addiction and it accurately portrayed his undying gratitude to her for it. It was wonderful.
Another excellent aspect of the movie was the music. I think I sang along quietly to every Cash song but one. I was astounded at the excellent choice of songs to play. I was especially surprised with the Folsom Prison scene, where they opted to substitute playing “Folsom Prison Blues” for a grittier and even crazier song: “Cocaine Blues.” It was a real rush to hear Cash open with that, it was almost as if I were a prisoner watching the Man in Black maniacally sing such a ferocious song. At the end of it, and every performance throughout the movie, I felt like clapping.
Walk The Line is a very emotional movie. If one has an appreciation for the life and struggles of Cash, and the big heart that he had, this movie will definitely be a blessing to see. I was choked up and teary-eyed through much of it. The scenes that were particularly moving were the death of his brother, the scene where his young children witness he and his first wife fighting, the tough relationship he had with is dad even later in his career, and the deep sense of desire that he had for June. There was so much in it that felt like my own life in many ways, that I couldn’t help but be moved by what he went through – much of it self-inflicted.
It is also an electric movie. It both opens and closes with electricity. Especially the opening scenes in Folsom Prison with Cash sitting in a contemplative position staring at a saw-blade similar to the one that killed his brother. Beside the blade was a glass of yellow-coloured tap-water that rippled with the thunder of the foot-stomping of the prisoners in the jail. Cash’s band was on stage awaiting their lead singer to join them. As they waited, they played a basic beat while the crowd clapped and stomped their feet. It was thrilling.
The other live performances were also especially electrifying. He was almost animal-like on stage as he prowled around swinging his guitar and howling into the microphone. It was raw and powerful.
Finally, as I briefly alluded to earlier, I think that the life and legacy of Cash is deeply intertwined with his Christian faith. You cannot understand Johnny Cash unless you understand his belief in Christ. And you cannot understand his belief in Christ unless you share in that same belief. Although the timeline of the movie doesn’t allow for it, Johnny Cash was a converted Christian. So was June. Both of them had a deep sense of love for Christ, which is seen clearly in his autobiography Cash. Both Johnny and June recognised their sinfulness, a recognition that comes across in the movie. They recognised their need for redemption.
As a Christian, watching the movie, I came away with a real sense of the power of sin in one’s life. It did not glorify Cash’s fall into booze and pills, nor did it glorify his adultery. It showed the burden that sin is, and I think that if you look for it, you see redemption as well. I believe that all Christians should see this movie to get a healthy dose of the reality of sin. To see it’s impact in the life of one who felt that he was strongly a Christian. To see it’s gradual process of disintegration in one’s life. May it be a lesson for all of us to take heed to ourselves and guard our hearts against it. May we constantly recognise our need for redemption and may we always praise the God who sent His Son to die so that we have it.
If you can’t tell already, I am highly thrilled about Walk The Line. I don’t care if it gets a single award (although it should get all awards!), I’m just thankful that it was made. I’m thankful that the producers didn’t make it into something glitsy and over the top. I’m glad that the actors played their roles so faithfully. I’m glad that the music producers chose they music they did. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see it and can’t wait to see it again.

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Le Sabot Post-Moderne: Public Schools and the Assembly Line

I had never thought of contemporary public education this way before, but it makes sense. It has long been a belief of mine that education today doesn’t actually educate. Now I have one more argument in my back-pocket.

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NewsChannel 8 – Victory Christian Center Pastor Attacked During Services

Here’s another reason not to give altar-calls in your church (what Protestant Church has an altar anyways?), and this not just for theological reasons. A pastor down in Tulsa was punched in the face as man was coming to “receive Christ.”
You can watch the video of it at the link above.

[HT: Provocations and Pantings]

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Historia ecclesiastica: PRAYING WITH TERTULLIAN

Dr. Haykin asks for prayer, especially for his work on Samuel Pearce.

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Leithart.com | In defense of Jane

Peter Leithart lays his jacket over a puddle as Jane Austen crosses the lane. A sleighted woman needs a chivalrous defender, and the good doctor is just the man for the job. Click above to read Leithart’s defense of Jane Austen whom he rightly claims disdained “conventions, sleights, artificialities, prejudices, etc.” I agree with him when he argues that Austen was one of the “best social satirists in England – far more devestating and subtle than Dickens.” And a far better writer at that!
Kudos to Dr. Leithart for setting the record straight. I will say, along with him, to any Austen detractors, “Unhand the lady.”

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Cannuckistan Chronicles – News that slips under the radar

This is good news for my sister who is interning at Chrysler. It’s also good news for the job market in Windsor, where many fear that the job loss in the car industry will hit them hard.

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Birthday Bloggers

A warm happy birthday to fellow bloggers Michael “Historia Ecclesiastica” Haykin and Clint “Cowboyology” Humfrey!

Have a good one boys!!

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The Solas Line : Christian t-shirts, giftware and accesories : CafePress.com


Here are some pretty cool “Reformer wear” by Carla. I particularly like the tote bags and the baseball jersey’s.
I would think (hint hint, if my wife is reading) that they would make GREAT Christmas gifts!

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Jonathan Edwards The Holy Spirit in Revival

Dr. Haykin’s newest book is now officially on the market, so everybody needs to flood their local Christian bookstores to get a copy!
It has long been a burden on Dr. Haykin’s heart to publish a book on Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), one of his theological heroes. Now that Evangelical Press has published it, I am incredibly happy to see his labours become a reality.
Having only read the introduction and first chapter, I can already see that Jonathan Edwards: The Holy Spirit in Revival is looking to be classic Haykin. I had the privilege two years ago to take his “Theology of Jonathan Edwards” course at TBS. Also, in my travels with him in 2003, he took many opportunities to lecture on the great pastor/theologian from New England, who at that time was celebrating 300 years. The most memorable lectures that he gave occurred at the New England Reformed Fellowship’s Bolton Conference. I particularly remember those lectures to be powerful and well received by those in attendance. Much of what I had heard from Dr. Haykin during that time appears in Jonathan Edwards.
This new book looks at Edwards as a “theologian of revival” as Lloyd-Jones called him. Particular attention is paid to the Religious Affections as well as other revival writings.
I truly hope that this book will gain a wide readership and that it will gain a place in Edwardsean scholarship alongside all of the other greats.
The design of the book should also be noted, as my friend Janice Van Eck put the book together and designed the cover. It looks absolutely incredible. As always, Janice outdid herself.

So, if you’re in Canada, contact Sola Scriptura Ministries to purchase your copy – I doubt that you will be sorry!

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Redeeming The Time: Crazy

A week ago Kirk Wellum posted on his blog about songs in contemporary music that reflect the hearts of people. He cited the song “Crazy” by a band called Simple Plan. In it they criticize the plastic nature of society, the downward spiral that it seems to be spinning in and the utter hopelessness of our situation on this earth. Kirk noted that this isn’t a new trend in music writing as bands such as Kansas and Supertramp also have a “cry for help” theme to their songs.
I appreciate Kirk’s recognition of the heart-cry revealed in many groups lyrics. I believe that the needs expressed in song by many in society don’t even register in the minds of most pastors. Cultural awareness is so important for Christians, especially if we are to apply the Gospel in relevant ways to a diverse array of situations.
For me, the one song that perfectly reflects much of contemporary culture’s almost nihilistic thinking is by a group that I’ve long enjoyed listening to. The singer Mike Ness is a real Johnny Cash type, which is another reason why I’ve also had them on my mind lately (see Kirk’s thoughts on Walk the Line here). The band is called Social Distortion and the song that I am particularly thinking of is one of their most well-known: “Ball and Chain.”
Much like Simple Plan (though I believe Social D is a better band!), the lyrics display a forelorn sense of regret and a desire to be rid of the life currently being lived. As the lyrics reveal, it is almost a prayer for redemption. I don’t believe that Ness is a believer, but his words have been the heart-cry of many a sinner who comes to Christ.

Ball and Chain
(Written by Mike Ness)

Well it’s been ten years and a thousand tears,
And look at the mess I’m in.
A broken nose and a broken heart,
An empty bottle of gin.
Well I sit and I pray,
In my broken down Chevrolet,
While I’m singin’ to myself,
There’s got to be another way.

[Chorus:]
Take away, take away,
Take away this ball and chain,
Well I’m lonely and I’m tired,
And I can’t take any more pain.
Take away, take away,
Never to return again,
Take away, take away,
Take away,
Take away this ball and chain.

Well I’ve searched and I’ve searched,
To find the perfect life,
A brand new car and a brand new suit,
I even got me a little wife.
But wherever I have gone,
I was sure to find myself there,
You can run all your life,
But not go anywhere.

[Chorus:] Take away, take away,

Take away this ball and chain,
Well I’m lonely and I’m tired,
And I can’t take any more pain.
Take away, take away,
Never to return again,
Take away, take away,
Take away,
Take away this ball and chain.

Well I’ll pass the bar on the way,
To my dingy hotel room,
I spent all my money,
I’ve been drinkin’ since half past noon.
Well I’ll wake there in the mornin,
Or maybe in the county jail,
Times are hard getting harder,
I’m born to lose and destined to fail,

[Chorus:]

Take away, take away,
Take away this ball and chain,
Well I’m lonely and I’m tired,
And I can’t take any more pain.
Take away, take away,
Never to return again,
Take away, take away,
Take away,
Take away this ball and chain.

In some senses, I invision the character in this song as a Pilgrim-type character from a story like Pilgrim’s Progress traversing this world on the way to the Celestial City. He has a very real sense of his own sin and is tired of the travel. He wants the sin, the ball and chain, removed from his life. I think that the ball and chain is beyond merely just a certain, isolated sin. Rather, the ball and chain is a sinful personality, a sin-nature that can’t be changed by mere self-willing. The lyrics fail to mention Christ, who is the only one who can unshackle the chain and heave the weighted ball into the ocean. Unfortunately for Ness, it is likely that the ball and chain are still clamped onto his ankle. But it is very encouraging to think that there are many, even today who are having the shackles undone by Christ.
Let us labour to help those who are stuck in their sins to find Christ who has the key to set them free of their bondage.

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Reformation 21 – Geoff Thomas – 40 Years of Faithful Ministry in One Local Church

Geoff Thomas, a Calvinistic Baptist pastor in Aberystwyth, Wales recently celebrated being at his church for 40 years. In chapel yesterday Dr. Haykin made mention of this, which spurred much delight in my heart. I know that Pastor Thomas often sends out email newsletters, but only if one has been in recent correspondence with him will one receive them. If you haven’t emailed Geoff Thomas for a while, you will cease to get his email updates. That’s understandable because there would be so many people for him to send it to!
Pastor Thomas contributed an article to Eusebeia in the spring and I was in semi-regular correspondence with him about it. Because of that, I had the privilege of receiving a few of his very thoughtful emails. When Dr. Haykin mentioned reading Pastor Thomas’ email I was greatly encouraged by both his faithfulness to his congregation and the great blessing the Lord has bestowed on him and his people.
Dr. Haykin had read the post by Ligon Duncan at
Reformation 21, who posted a copy of his email from Geoff Thomas for all of us to read. I would highly recommend clicking the above linked post and reading the letter. It will be a great encouragement to you no doubt.

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The Black Kettle: It is not enough to cry foul

You’ve gotta love a Human Rights Tribunal that doesn’t care about human rights. It sounds all too Canadian – unfortunately it is. Click above for more info on why the BC HRT won’t hear Chris Kempling’s grievance of discrimination.

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Spud Files: On the Soap Box in Venezuela

Dan over at Spud Files has a good post about the church in South America and their desire for expository preaching. What is often the case there (and here for that matter) is that preachers are letting off steam in the pulpit followed by some proof-texting to enhance their point.

I’m glad to hear that the people in Venezuela are getting sick of it and are desiring something more Biblical. Let’s pray that the Lord would raise up men who would fill Latin American pulpits to the glory of God.

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Historia ecclesiastica: OUT IN LEFT FIELD AT ETS

Some things never cease to amaze, especially in the world of theology. Apparently at the recent meeting of The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) a paper was given on the “mutual submission” between Christ and the church. As if Christ were in any way to submit to His bride! The guy who gave the paper, Alan Padgett, even had the audacity to claim that in the New Jerusalm the church will no longer need to submit herself to Christ. How’s that for non-Lordship theology?
At what point does one become non-evangelical enough for the ETS to ask them not to return? Judging from their “complete doctrinal statement” Padgett still has a way to go before being kicked out. Notice the word “complete.” There is nothing complete about it.

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