McIlwain Shepherding Study: A Resource List

[The following is intended for a shepherding class at McIlwain Presbyterian Church] Books Systematic Theology Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Link) John Frame (Note: This is available on Audible)   A Visual Sweep of Warnings OT: Ezekiel 18:20-26, Deuteronomy 29:18-20, 2 Chronicles 15:1-2, etc, etc. Matthew: 5:27-30; 7:21; 10:21-22, 32-33; 18:6-9, 28-35; 24:9-14, [...]

The Controlling Principle of Hyper-Calvinism and its Various Lesser Shades

The term Hyper-Calvinism has become something of a phantom, eluding definition and substance; as if the creature is essentially extinct, and not clomping about in modern day Reformedom. It is easy to think this way, so long as one pulls the right definitional levers to suite their theological tastes. “Simply preach to all men and [...]

In Defense Of Film: 60 Or So Movies You Might Want To See

I am sometimes reminded by the comments of Christians that tastes in movies vary wildly.  This isn't too surprising- though one might wonder how it could be that some actually enjoy what they do in fact enjoy.  Here one need only peruse the myriad of Christian productions of the past decade or two.  Most seem [...]

(Sunday School Items) The Case for Utter Hopelessness

The following is intended for a Sunday School class at McIlwain Presbyterian Church. Atheists: A Sampling of the More Popular Players: Sam Harris Richard Dawkins Christopher Hitchens (deceased) Daniel Dennet Bill Nye Lawrence Krauss Peter Singer Alex Rosenberg Steven Pinker Alex O'Connor (Cosmic Skeptic)   Frederick Nietzche (deceased) Bertrand Russel (Deceased) ---------- Humanist Manifesto I [...]

Satan’s Awful Idea (Free PDF)

For those who would like to think further about Satan's fall and God's peculiar response to the kingdom of darkness (from a distinctly Reformed perspective), I'd encourage you to consider my book.  It is entitled, "Satan's Awful Idea: A Biblical Theology of Satan's Fall and its Implications on the Unfolding Human Drama." Here are some [...]

Thought of the Day

Theological distinctives are those peculiar articles of doctrine that a particular denomination holds with great conviction but which everyone else can see is patently false. Sinless perfectionism.  Exclusive Psalm singing without instruments.  The papacy.  Limited expiation.  Second Blessing theology.  And on it goes.  

The Down-To-Earth Duty of Radically Normal Hospitality (Lesson Outline)

[The following is a lesson outline for a Sunday School class at McIlwain Presbyterian Church] Why do you think God so highly values hospitality? (Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 5:10; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; Luke 14:12-14; Leviticus 19:33-34; Isaiah 58:1-12) What does the incarnation teach us about hospitality? Jesus reaches [...]

Homeschool, Private School, or Public School? (Lesson Outline)

[The following is a lesson outline designed for McIlwain Presbyterian Church) Public School, Private School, or Homeschool? (A sober investigation into the parental duty of Christian education) Part One: Education. What is the Biblical Directive for Christian Parents? Does the Bible call parents to train their children? If so, unto what end? And to what [...]

What Does “Sufficient for All” Mean? A Dialogue Between a Moderate and High Calvinist

Moderate Calvinist: How do you understand the first part of the oft quoted phrase, “Christ's death is sufficient for all, but efficient for the elect?” High Calvinist: Christ's sacrifice, by virtue of its worth, is infinitely valuable, capable of forgiving the sins of a thousand worlds. It is in this respect sufficient for all. Moderate [...]

Unlimited Expiation and the Universal, Well-Meant Gospel Offer: What Benefit is there for the Non-Elect?

It is sometimes asked by High Calvinists what value or benefit Christ's death has for the non-elect, given that they will certainly never believe. To this I reply: 1) Since the non-elect do not avail themselves of God's gracious offer of forgiveness, in one very real sense the death of Christ does not benefit them. [...]

Limited Expiation and the Universal, Well-Meant Gospel Offer: Illustrating Yet Again the Problem

The following is the third in a series of posts attempting to elucidate, for the sake of my High Calvinist brethren, the inevitable and insurmountable problem that arises when they affirm both limited expiation and a universal, well-meant gospel offer.  Over the years I have tried to think how to best present the predicament.  How [...]

Sharpen Your Mind and Soften Your Heart: 30 Or So Talks You Ought to Gorge Thy Ears With

Redeem the time.  Listen to great lectures.  Whether in the shower.  Or while commuting.  Or working out.  Just do it.  And grow.   Broad Range of Topics.  Wonderfully Powerful.  Give them your ear. The Triumph of the Gospel in the New Heavens and New Earth, John Piper The Ultimate Essence of Evil, John Piper God [...]

Thought of the Day

Chief among those sins that are today not thought of as especially sinful- given the near ubiquitous assumption that there exists a hidden clause behind every verbalized commitment that it will be most assuredly done if nothing else more interesting or trivially pressing comes along- is unreliability. Or untrustworthiness. Or unfaithfulness. Or whatever other word [...]

The Beatific Vision

[Note that the following is a lesson outline for a Life Group at McIlwain Presbyterian Church] The Beatific Vision The Transforming, Joy-Inducing, Infinitely Overwhelming, Frightening, Hope of all Christians ------------------------------------- The Objective Our task is “simple.” Figure out what this passage means. “Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not [...]

Is The Character of a Civil Leader Crucially Important to His Task?

When it comes to the world of mixed martial arts, you'll hit someone in one of two ways. The first occurs in the gym while sparring. Here the idea is to sharpen each others' skills without intentionally crippling the other. The second happens in the ring. Here the intent is to take your opponent's head [...]