Book Review: Addictions

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave

Edward T. Welch

Ed Welch is a long-time counselor and faculty member with CCEF (Christian Counseling & Education Foundation). Like many, I have benefited greatly from his writings and lectures. This book is no exception.

Welch dives skillfully into a topic that has touched all of our lives, if only indirectly. All of us have fought a sin so long that it could be labeled an


Why the Fifth Point Matters

I had lunch recently with a four-point Calvinist. He knew I was a five-pointer and asked why I believed in “Limited Atonement”—the one point of the five with which he disagreed. It was a sincere question, and I appreciated the opportunity to talk about such an important doctrine.

Limited Atonement (the teaching that Jesus died for specific people, not for everyone) is often the hardest to embrace of the so-called “five points of Calvinism.” (The five points, for review, are Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and


Depressing Research

10% of Americans (27 million people) are on antidepressants, a number that doubled in the decade from 1996-2005.  Before I comment further, please take the following quiz, answering the statements TRUE or FALSE:

1) Those who took Flintstone Vitamins as a child are more likely to get a divorce than those who did not.


Three Problems of Evil – Peter S. Williams

There are countless lectures and sermons addressing the subject of evil.  And as you would imagine, and probably already know, some handle the subject with profundity, while yet others drop the ball…  Big time.  There are also those who approach the subject with philosophical flare, dazzling their listeners with logical syllogisms and lofty language, the kind heard only in the still corridors of an ivory tower.  To the average ear it sounds strange, a bit bizarre, perhaps, or even esoteric. 

The following lecture is a curious mixture of all three.


Dogged Praying

The Lord knows that my faith weakens often in offering a particular ongoing prayer request. So recently He sent me help to get on my knees and beg anew. Perhaps it may help you.

It came from reading Sean Michael Lucas’ biography on Robert Dabney. From a sermon Dabney preached in February 1849 on prevalent prayer,


The Future of Atheism: Beyond the Question of God – Point of Inquiry

I’m drawing attention to this particular podcast for one simple reason: It provides a glimpse into the ambitions and aspirations of contemporary atheism. 

 Basically what you have are three atheists- three noted individuals- discussing the future of atheism in America.  They explore the disadvantages and advantages of militant, that is, “loud and proud” atheism, as opposed to a more congenial “live and let live” style.  They discuss politics.  They outline ambitions.  Hopes.  And evaluate the growing secularism of society.


Q and A With John Piper and Conrad Mbewe – Rezolution 2010

I’m usually not a big fan of Q and A sessions.  No wait, I take that back.  I enjoy listening to Q and A sessions.  They’re often entertaining in the sense that they’re not scripted.  And that offers real insight into the character of the panel.  But rarely do I walk away from such events feeling especially edified.

This session was very different.


Ramblings

Reading a book called Breath, which tells the incredible tale of Martha Mason. Martha, a fellow Tarheel, spent over sixty years in an iron lung. She had an incredible spirit, seen in such things as her graduating from Wake Forest or managing her own mother’s health when senility struck Martha’s lifelong caregiver. She went through all this without losing her sense of humor.


Hiding Ourselves

Is it not easier to hide who we are than who we are not?

To disguise our selfishness is but the work of a moment, whereas the lack of a generous spirit is too big a void to conceal.
To covet a neighbor’s position can be mostly contained within, but a failure to rejoice spontaneously in a friend’s success creates a loud silence.
To talk big about prayer and pray big in public can, like a rug over swept-up dirt, mostly hide the fact that we do not pray quietly in private, but it is not a very good cover up for a long distance relationship with God.

Is this not the way of the Pharisee Jesus exposed so devastatingly?


On Qu’ran Burnings

Because of what the Bible teaches, I do not think the pastor in Florida, who appears to be vacillating on whether to burn Qu’rans or not, should do so. Why?

Well, it is not because I believe that the Qu’ran is a holy book. To be as direct as possible, in its denunciations of Christ as the Son of God and crucified Redeemer; its upholding of a polygamous charlatan as the prophet of God; and its teaching that men are justified by works (i.e. keeping the Five Pillars of Islam), I believe the Qu’ran is a book that contains Satanic lies and is leading millions to the eternal doom of the burning flames of hell. Yet I still do not think he should burn them or Christians should participate in this type of demonstration. Again, why?

First, it is not consistent with the Scriptures on book burning. The Biblical proof-text Pastor Jones might offer for holding book burnings would come from Acts 19:19, where we are told this about the people of Ephesus who had responded to the gospel:

“And many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted […]