Hebrew Whiteboard Update: Psalm 6:7-8

Psalm 6:7-8 (Hebrew verse numbering) describe David’s personal situation in vivid metaphors. As a result of his sin and his illness he has grown exhausted, reduced to weeping, and obviously severely depressed. This stanza of the psalm displays an opening tricolor, assonance, emphatic word order, repetition, and metaphor–all skillfully woven together to present what might be the climactic moment in the poem.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 6:1-8 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-5 and 120-122.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, May 22

What do Charles Spurgeon, George Müller, and Hudson Taylor have in common? Let’s count the ways: (1) All were fervent evangelical Christians? (2) All served Christ with all that they had. (3) All left behind a tremendous legacy of faithfulness and godliness. (4) All were based in England. (5) All were contemporaries. (6) All knew each other and encouraged one another and gained energy for ministry from one another. (7) All are the subjects of John Piper’s seventh book in his series entitled The Swans Are Not Silent. A Camaraderie of Confidence (Crossway, 2016) should be high on your reading list for 2017. Our team of local church elders is reading through this book and discussing it as part of our elders’ meetings. The volume would make a tremendous gift to your pastor or to one or more of your elders. Or, you could do what I did with the first book in this series (Legacy of Sovereign Joy)–I gave it to our two sons and to our two sons-in-law, because of the impact it had on my own ministry. This series of Christian biographies comprises one of John Piper’s greatest gifts to all of us.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, May 15

Christ Alone: The Uniqueness of the Gospel and Its Impact on the World (Xulon Press, 2017) collects seventeen essays together in one volume. The authors (more than 20 of them–many who sat in my classes at The Master’s Seminary) serve as faculty in The Master’s Academy International in South Africa, Italy, India, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Spain, Mexico, Singapore, China, Albania, Croatia, the Philippines, Honduras, Germany, Switzerland, and Russia, as well as for Russian speaking and Spanish speaking ministries in the United States. Mark Tatlock, the volume’s general editor, describes the volume’s aim: it “addresses aberrations within the teaching of major world religions and within the contemporary evangelical church as to the person and work of Christ” (p. xii). The essays present case studies of Christological and soteriological threats resulting from a non-biblical worldview that impact the respective regions where the authors serve. Any Christian falling within the following groups ought to read this volume and rededicate their lives to the ministry of the gospel: missionaries (both serving and potentially going to serve), church pastors, church elders, missions committee members, students in Bible colleges and seminaries, and lay people desiring to pray and to give more wisely to missions.

This comprises the second volume in the series Global Implications of Biblical Doctrine.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, May 8

Instead of a book this week, I am recommending a DVD of one of the best documentaries I have ever seen on the historicity of the early chapters of the Book of Genesis: “Is Genesis History?” Del Tackett (who directs The Truth Project ministry) was on one of our first rafting trips into the Grand Canyon. Seeing the evidence and knowing the biblical teachings solidified his conviction that Genesis truly is history–authentic and accurate history. He narrates this film, which was shown in theaters across the United States back in February and March. This DVD belongs in every family’s library of films for educating parents and children alike. The cinematography is superb and the line up of experts in a variety of fields will impress you. Also available: Is Genesis History? [Blu-ray]

Click on picture for link to standard DVD.

What will happen on September 23, 2017?

Dawn breaks on Saturday, September 23, 2017 . . . then what? Some people will spend the entire day looking upward, awaiting the return of Jesus Christ. Why? Because someone has convinced them that they know something Jesus Himself did not know:

Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.  37 For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,  39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (NASU)

In a blog (“What Will Happen on September 23, 2017?”) posted on the Answers in Genesis web site, Dr. Danny Faulkner replies to this new date-setting trend by just simply examining its claims—the so-called evidences. This new set of date setters doctor their YouTube videos, ignore Scripture, and fail to properly prepare themselves (see 2 Peter 3:11–18). They are not blameless—they proclaim false evidences and deceive others.

What will happen? The sun will rise at 7:39 AM and set at 7:43 PM. As for myself, I will continue to look forward to the September 30 SEMBEQ Seminar on the Subject of Origins in Montreal (if the Lord wills, James 4:15). I will still be praying, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” He may come before September 23 or after September 23. No one can plan on a specific date any more than they can know when a thief will break into their house or their car to steal their possessions.

Deuteronomy 18:21 “You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’  22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”

Oh, yes—something else we can say with absolute certainty: When the sun rises on September 24, we all will know who have been “presumptuous” and who are false prophets. They join the ranks of over 200 date setters—like Michael Drosnin (The Bible Code, 2012), Harold Camping (May 21, 2011), Ronald Weinland (April 17, 2008), Dan Millar (September 21, 2000), Lester Sumerall (2000), Edgar Whisenant (September 13, 1988), etc.—ad nauseam.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update: Psalm 6:5-6

Urgent. Impassioned. God-centered. David’s prayer in Psalm 6:5-6 (Hebrew verse numbering) displays all three of these characteristics. In addition, he uses the literary skills God gifted him with in order to emphasize these three. Then David moves into the realm of the ungodly who have died to emphasize the fact that only in this life can one repent–after death no one can repent and begin to praise or thank God.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 6:1-6 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-5 and 120-122.

Why is Bible translation an important missions ministry?

Churches and individuals too often neglect Bible translation as a missions ministry. After all, that’s something for the experts and for organizations like Wycliffe Bible Translators to handle, right? However, as long as churches remain committed to missionary evangelism and church planting they will need the Bible. Try doing missions ministries (spiritual ministries, not going to dig a well or to build a bungalow or to outfit a camp) without a Bible. From where do you get the gospel message?–the local newspaper? What will a new believer read in order to grow spiritually?–the Bible in a language different than his own? Where does a new church find its purpose, its guidance, its teaching, and its beliefs?

As a contributor to ParkingSpace23’s blog, I recently posted an article on Bible translation and missions ministries. I hope you will click on the following link Why is Bible translation an important missions ministry?, read, and begin to do something to keep Bible translation prominent in your own life and giving as well as in the corporate purpose of your local church.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, May 1

For the past ten years I have had the great privilege and joy to take rafting trips through the Grand Canyon teaching from Genesis 1-11 about Creation and the Flood. Tom Vail, the founder of Canyon Ministries and a co-author of this book, has been one of my mentors in the canyon and has become a very dear friend. Your Guide to the Grand Canyon (Master Books, 2008) was the first of the True North Series providing a biblical view of some of our nation’s most stunning national parks. The authors of this volume include Tom Vail, Mike Oard, John Hergenrather, and Dennis Bokovoy. Full color photos, charts, and illustrations fill the volume. The spiral binding prevents the volume from falling apart–it is intended as a handbook guide to the Grand Canyon with regard to its history, geology, wildlife, and views. Fold-out panorama photographs help the user to quickly identify the key sites from many of the popular viewing points along the rim. Best of all, the book presents a biblical viewpoint offering an alternative to the dominantly evolutionary view taught by park rangers and park signs. Take this guide book with you and your family on your next visit (hopefully just one of many) to the Grand Canyon. If you are interested in the South Rim tours or river rafting trips offered by Canyon Ministries, visit their website by clicking on their name.

Click on picture for link to the book.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update: Psalm 6:1-4

Psalms 3-7 all begin with God. David faces tremendous difficulties, some of them due to his own sin. Such disastrous experiences and perilous times make it nearly impossible to bear up under the weight pressing down upon him and the stress draining him. So what does he do?–he kneels, and prays. He turns to the only one who can actually resolve his personal problems: Yahweh. Psalm 6:1-4 (Hebrew verse numbering) continues our analysis of the Psalter psalm by psalm, verse by verse, phrase by phrase. Psalm 6 highlights a horrific (that’s David’s word for it) situation in the psalmist’s life. The master poet displays his skillful use of the Hebrew language to express his peril and, ultimately, his praise to God, his grace-giving Savior.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 6:1-4 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-5 and 120-122.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, April 24

What Happened in the Garden: The Reality and the Ramifications of the Creation and Fall of Man, edited by Abner Chou (Kregel Academic, 2016) offers a collection of essays by Dr. John MacArthur and the faculty of The Master’s University. Its three parts consist of “Reality of Genesis 2-3,” “Theological Ramifications of the Creation and Fall,” and “Worldview Ramifications of the Creation and Fall.” The contributors represent a variety of academic disciplines including theology, science, ethics, history, sociology, and biblical counseling. You may have had someone ask you, “What difference does it make what we believe about creation and fall?” This volume supplies lots of material on the biblical answers to such a question. Every pastor should read this volume. The topic is too significant and too applicable in today’s world to ignore. Too many pastors and teachers ignore the early chapters of Genesis, taking an agnostic attitude. This does immense harm to the cause of Christ and to the inspiration and integrity of the written Word of God.

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