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Fighting Fear: Psalm 56

“What are you so scared of?” With such a simple question, our tendency to and hatred of fear are thrown at us by every childhood taunt we can remember.

Fear – the kind the Bible warns against – never looks good on us. Like a perpetually out of style haircut, there’s no way to dress it up. Fear never drives us in the right direction. It is, perhaps, one of the most dangerous reasons to do anything. Fear dishonors God and disheartens us. No wonder, then, that He has much to say about it. Psalm 56 is one of the best pillows on which to lay our heads when our hearts are tempted to fear. 

3GT Episode 73: When Two Kingdoms Become One

Why would the 3GTers want to talk about the Democratic primary for the governor’s race in Texas? Because one candidate who is promoting a pro-choice position is an elder in a Reformed church, and other elders in his denomination are calling him to repent!

The guys use this situation to delve into the underlying theological currents that influence believers as they seek to live in the two kingdoms of state and church. Aaron, Barry, and Kyle seek to identify the factors that can cause one kingdom to engulf the other in the minds and lives of believers.

Join them for this wide-ranging “trialogue” on 3GT!

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/3gt-episode-73.mp3

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Episode Notes:

An Open Letter to Andrew White | Todd Pruitt

Andrew White, Todd Pruitt and John the Baptist | Richard Phillips

One Man’s Sanctification Journey

The following is a guest post by Russell Pulliam, an Indianapolis Star columnist who directs the Pulliam Fellowship summer intern program for the Indianapolis Star and the Arizona Republic. Russ describes personally below the process, tools, and lessons the Lord has taken him though on his own road of sanctification.

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Sanctification seems similar to one of those 500-piece puzzles. How do all the pieces fit together? Perhaps one side of the puzzle represents the disciplines of sanctification, and the other side represents the themes of grace.

Disciplines and Discipleship

In my early years in Christ, 1970s and 1980s, I heard much about good disciplines. Bible study, prayer and memory verses, and meditation were the core. But added to the list were: church and fellowship; witness; good biographies; andearly rising for quiet time, sometimes with physical fitness to get more alert. The list grew longer through some good books: writing in journals; confession and self-examination; solitude. The earliest book was Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, followed by Dallas Willard, The Celebration of Discipline. Later came Donald Whitney with a more reformed framework in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.

Here is an odd challenge with these disciplines. I can develop a subtle and unconscious pride, taking […]

Trusting God in the Face of Tragedy

Last Wednesday morning one of the wisest and most gracious Pastors in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland collapsed and died suddenly and unexpectedly. Rev Knox Hyndman had retired after a long and productive 42 year ministry, and during his retirement he had helped to plant a new congregation in East Belfast, preaching and pastoring a small group of saints for five years. He leaves behind his wife, three children and three grandchildren, and countless grieving friends who are devastated by the loss of this ‘prince in Israel’.

A young woman who used to belong to our congregation has been told she has only a short time left to live, humanly speaking, as cancer races to every part of her body. She and her husband have four children under the age of 6, the youngest just born a couple of months ago.

On Wednesday of this week Nikolas Cruz walked into his former high school in Parkland, Florida, and began shooting students and teachers indiscriminately. He left at least 17 dead in the sixth school shooting incident this year that has either wounded or killed students.

How do we respond to tragedies like these as Christians? Of course there are many things we […]

3GT Episode 72: Hitting the Pause Button

Kyle’s been cruisin’ again. Did he really say he had been to the Copacabana? Progreso, Mexico? Anyway, it got the guys talking about R&R, vacations, sabbaths, and even sabbaticals.

Questions arise. How do you slow down and disconnect in this fast-paced world in which we live? What principles of rest do the Scriptures give us? How does our Lord’s example inform us? Should pastors take sabbaticals? If so, what kind and are there any hidden dangers that congregations should know about (there are!)? The 3GTers discuss these and many other items.

The guys simply want to help you hit the pause button – but just not on this episode!

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/3gt-episode-72.mp3

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Surely God is in this place

Parked automobiles lined the road in all directions! Around five hundred people packed into the Meeting House and adjoining buildings! They had assembled with love and kindness to express their sympathy and care. A grieving godly family was there to welcome and receive comfort and prayers from sorrowing friends – the pervading sense was one of calm hope, trusting peace and confident joy – at what was for all, I think, an unexpected funeral service.

After a number of tributes from close family and their young minister, a call to worship was given and the precentor stood to lead. As his arms undulated gently, and his sweet voice rebounded from rafters, a grave and glad sweet melody united loving hearts. Ministers and members stood in earnest to seek, and call on, God. A close friend, and minister, then read the Holy Scriptures, his cadences marked by affection, reverence, gravity and warmth. Again a Psalm was sung that summed up God’s servant’s life! Fruitful, full, well-planted, full of sap: all the self-evident outcome in God’s oaks rooted in His House by grace.

The ministers stood in the midst! Surrounding the man of God was a sea of solemn worshipers – here hearts were […]

Browse Worthy: Abuse in the Church

The Apostle Peter said, “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17) As our culture awakens to the problem of sexual abuse, surely the church will be held to even greater account by her Lord. Signs of his judgment have already been seen, as recent years have shown one evangelical leader after another falling because of these sins. As you read the following articles, pray that the Lord would purify and revive His church.

 

My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There’s More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness. | Morgan Lee Interview of Rachael Denhollander

After her powerful, Christ-honoring testimony in a courtroom (you can see it here) regarding the sexual abuse she endured as a gymnast by doctor Larry Nassar, who was accused and convicted of abusing scores of girls and women, Rachael Denhollander spoke to Christianity Today of the problem of abuse and its cover-up in the church. Clearly as a lawyer, advocate for the hurting, and lover of Christ and His church, Rachael is determined to see the church exercise justice as well as mercy […]

3GT Episode 71: Man in the Iron Cage (No, Not the MMA Kind)

Talk about a man in an iron cage today, and people will think of mixed martial arts. But there was a time when all that would have come to mind is the scene of a character in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

The man was trapped in an iron cage because, as he said, “I have so hardened my heart, that I cannot repent.” So the 3GTers discuss this mysterious character. Who is he and what does he represent? To answer, they turn to the Scriptures for help. Tough passages such as Hebrews 6:4-6 and Matthew 12:31-32 are raised. Concepts such as reprobation and the unpardonable sin are defined. Characters such as Judas and Esau are referenced. Warnings are issued.

Wow – a heavy topic! Yet tune in and hear also the gracious hope it brings!

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/3gt-episode-71.mp3

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The Benefits of Listening to the Elderly

A few weeks ago I was driving in the car with an elderly gentleman, recently widowed, as my traveling companion. He’s a lovely, Christian neighbor who never looks at a computer. So he will not read this article. Yet what follows I would not mind at all if he knew. Unknowingly that day, he was teaching me much more than he realized.

For as we spent time in the car, you can imagine quite easily what transpired. He told stories about his life, his family, his work, and the community. Yes, because we have been friends for a number of years, many of these stories I had already heard. Some of them I have even heard numerous times before. And one or two of them were even repeated during the same car trip.

That day got my pastoral wheels turning. Why might the Lord, in his grace, cause the aged to repeat themselves as they do? What is the Lord showing us through it? Rather than rolling our eyes or thinking “Here goes Grandma again,” what can be gained from these times? Here are five brief thoughts for you to consider.

Listening to the elderly reminds them of their legacy in our lives. Typically […]

Browse Worthy: A Miscellany of Interests

Usually more thematic than today, this edition of Browse Worthy has an assortment of resources. But you should find something that will interest you!

My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There’s More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness | Rachel Denhollander

Her Christian testimony went viral as she says. But she has more to tell us than we might want to know: sadly, often the church is the worst place for someone to go who has suffered abuse.

Missionary to the Cannibals of the South Seas | Tim Challies

I love the story God wrote through the life of missionary John G. Paton, who came out of the congregation that William Symington pastored in Scotland. Here’s a good review of a new book about him.

Sensus Divinipodcastis | Austin Brown and Dennis Louis

Former 3GTer and contributor to this blog Austin Brown started up a new podcast with his pastor where “theology intersects with movies, books, and big idea.” You can give it a listen at the link above.

Headlines & Happenings (John Piper and Female Seminary Professors…)| Tim Challies

John Piper stirred up the hornet’s nests with respect to comments he made about how women should not teach at seminaries. Here’s a helpful compilation of responses.

Enneagram: The Road […]