Do We Now Need to License Digital Sermons?

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Christianity Today has an article that expounds T.D. Jakes decison to file a lawsuit against a rapper that has referenced a portion of one of his sermons. To quote the justification for this:

“The “Holy Ghost” remix by Jeezy featuring Kendrick Lamar was produced without the knowledge or consent of T.D. Jakes, TDJ Enterprises, Dexterity Music, or its associated companies. We are taking the necessary legal actions to stop the unauthorized use of T.D. Jakes’ intellectual property.”

It will be interesting how the case actually works out in the courts and if it goes in Mr. Jakes favor, this could set a dangerous precedent for DRM and in particular for SermonAudio. I think an important point of reference is that T.D. Jakes does indeed consider his sermons intellectual property and that it’s not to be used without some form of royalty to be paid out. This is disturbing as we are instructed not to peddle the Word of God for profit:

2 Cor 2:17: "For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God;
but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ."

I would exhort pastors everywhere if your going to license your digital sermons, please use the GPLV3 since as we have freely received, we should freely give.

Hope I don’t get sued over this blog post.

Assurance is not for Arminians

I have been reading through Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth and the book has been focusing a lot on the doctrine of assurance and thought I would share some tid bits.

“This precious ruth thus proved, looks sourly and wishly upon all those that affirm that believers cannot in this life attain unto a certain well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness, as papists and Arminians; all know that know their writings and teachings, that they are in arms against this Christ-exalting, and soul-cheering doctrine of assurance. ‘I know no such thing as assurance of heaven in this life’, saith Grevinchovius the Arminian. Assurance is a pearl that they trample under feet; it is a beam of heaven that hath so much light, brightness, and shining glory in it, that their blear-eyes cannot behold it.”

“Arminians are not ashamed to say, that God may crown a man one hour, and uncrown him in the next.”

So we see in this excerpt from Mr. Brooks work that what the Arminian professes is actually antithetical to the gospel and brings if not bad news, then most certainly questionable news. From this we can see why the Roman Catholic church places such emphasis on purgatory; they have no hope of assurance without a meritorious work of penance that cannot ever be met since only Christ was sinless to pay the offenses against an infinite God would take an infinite amount of time to satisfy and that would never bet met and hence no hope at all.

What saith the scripture? In John 10:29, Christ says, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

Notice that Christ assures the believer that salvation is not dependent upon the believer in that God’s electing purposes take precedence over man’s efforts to earn salvation. This does not make man an autonomous robot requiring no action on his part; it just means that God’s grace is sufficient to secure the believers position in Christ.

Let the reader consider.

Am I Evil?

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“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5 (KJV)

 

Before I became a Christian I was a big heavy metal fan of Metallica and one of their songs off of their first albums, was a song titled, “Am I Evil?”

Years later, I am now a Reformed Christian and Calvinist and I thought that this song as bad as the lyrics are morally, does teach a fundamental Christian doctrine; Total Depravity.
So what is the definition of Total Depravity?
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Fall from Grace – OPC Pastor Converts to Roman Catholicism

Former OPC pastor Jason Stewart decided to leave the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) as a pastor for full communion into the Roman Catholic Church. His blog post outlines his reasons and I must say they would not be surprising for someone that was raised Roman Catholic, but I find them untenable for a former pastor of the Reformed Faith.

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The Necessity of Catechism


From Richard Baxter’s “A Christian Directory – Volume I:


A sound and well composed catechism studied well and dept in memory, would be a good measure of knowledge, to ordinary Christians, and make them solid and orderly in their understanding,
and in their proceeding to the smaller points, and would prevent a great deal of error and miscarriage, that many by ill teaching are cast upon, to their own and the churches grief!

We can see plainly that the a few of the sound benefits of committing a catechism that exhorts sound doctrine offers:

1. Ground Christians in the fundamentals of Christian doctrine.

2. Refutation of error introduced into the Church.

3. A continual means of growing in grace.

So what are some biblically faithful catechisms that you can use to commit to memory? Here are a few:

Westminster Shorter Catechism

The Heidelberg Catechism

Fisher’s Catechism

The Catechism of the Church of Geneva

Is T.D. Jakes now a converted Trinitarian?

There have already been a number of blog entries on the James Macdonald/Mark Driscoll interview with T.D. Jakes on his supposedly now orthodox views on the doctrine of the Trinity. You can read the transcript here. I’m just going to address once specific statement that he made:


Driscoll: We all would agree that in the nature of God there is mystery. But within that, for you, Bishop Jakes, the issue is one God manifesting Himself successively in three ways? Or one God existing eternally in three persons? What is your understanding now? Which one?

Jakes: I believe the latter one is where I stand today. One God – Three Persons. I am not crazy about the word persons though. You describe “manifestations” as modalist, but I describe it as Pauline. For God was manifest in the flesh. Paul is not a modalist, but he doesn’t think it’s robbery to say manifest in the flesh. Maybe it’s semantics, but Paul says this. Now, when we start talking about that sort of thing, I think it’s important to realize there are distinctives between the work of the Father and the work of the Son. I’m with you. I have been with you. There are many people within and outside denominations labeled Oneness that would be okay with this. We are taught in society that when we disagree with someone in a movement, we leave. But I still have associations with people in Onenness movements. We need to humble both sides and say, “We are trying to describe a God we love.” Why should I fall out and hate and throw names at you when it’s through a glass darkly? None of our books on the Godhead will be on sale in heaven.

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The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards


Resolutions 1 through 21 were written by in one sitting in New Haven in 1722.

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards (1722-1723)

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.
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Facts & Reason

From Greg Bahnsen’s “Van Til’s Apologetic”:

If the “facts” (external events or states of affairs) are completely a matter of “chance”- random and unconnected, having no rationale, no preestablished order,
no intended pattern or preceding interpretation, no necessity- then they are indeed “brute” or untamed, no subject to reason. In that case, speaking of something (e.g., “the horse”) as an instance of a class wherein members are connected or part of a definable order, and speaking of its relations or properties (“is a gray mare”) in general terms that are applicable to other particular things, would be contrary to the isolated and brute character of chance facts. Brute facts would have to be mute – that is, not subject to predication or communication.

Here we see that you can not separate the facts from the interpretation of those same facts. For example if you say that the human beings came into existence by the a process of N number of random mutations, but cannot justify the predication of the those mutations since the presupposition is that they (“the mutations”) have no relationship between one mutation to another since they are all random, you have failed to demonstrate a rational conclusion to the premise that human beings came into being through evolution. Or to put it into more simplistic terms, you have assumed what you are trying to prove.