Links

Here are some of my favorite links.  This list covers a broad spectrum of subjects from music to friends to ministry.  Some of them are thought provoking.  Some of them provide great resources.  Some of them are great places or people.  Some of them are just plain fun.  So check them out.

Ministries & Organizations

  • www.voddiebaucham.org – one of my favorite preachers/teachers.
  • www.desiringgod.org – John Piper’s Ministry (tons of great resources).
  • www.sermonaudio.com – Thousands of sermons (Even old A.W. Tozer…come on!).
  • www.9marks.org – helping local church pastors and leaders in the discovery and application of the biblical priorities that cultivate health and holiness in the local church.
  • www.sovereigngraceministries.org – Sovereign Grace Ministries is a family of churches passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • www.newattitude.org – Na exists to help Christians rediscover the unchanging truth found in God’s word and recommit to live that truth.
  • www.thegospelcoalition.org – a fellowship of evangelical churches deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures.
  • www.heartcrymissionary.com – a missionary society with one great and overriding passion: that God’s Name be Great among the Nations (Malachi 1:11) and that the Lamb receive the full reward for His suffering (Revelation 7:9-10).

Christian Colleges, Universities, and Seminaries

Churches

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2 responses to “Links

  1. I would like to leave a link below for all those who are in search for the truth of Jesus Christ. Please read:

    In my faith journey, before I became a Christian, I asked my friend why should I believe in his Christian faith and not this other persons Christian faith?  If God, in the person of Jesus, is real then how is it there are thousands of different Christian faiths all claiming to know the truth?  If God is real should there not only be one truth?

    This is a life long question and it finally hit me.  It all comes down to authority.  Who has it?  If we claim that the Bible is the sole rule of faith how is it no one can agree on what the Bible says?  I
    invite you to read along with me and in the spirit of evangalization and Truth I want to share with you what I have discovered:

    Let me first start with some Biblical history with Matt 16: 17-19 “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jona, because flesh and blood have no revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to you: That you are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” When Jesus speaks of the “keys of the Kingdom”, He is referring to an important Old Testament passage, Isaiah 22:20-22, where Hezekiah, the royal heir to David’s throne and king of Israel in Isaiah’s day, replaced his old Prime Minister, Shebna, with a new one named Eliakim. Everyone could tell which one of the royal cabinet members was the new Prime Minister since he was given the “keys of the kingdom”. By entrusting to Peter the “keys of the Kingdom of heaven”, Jesus establishes the office of Prime Minister for the administration of the Church as Jesus’ kingdom on earth. The “keys” are a symbol, then, of Peter’s office and primacy to be handed on to his successor; thus it has been handed down throughout the ages from one Pope to another, unbroken succession to this very day. (Pope means papa in Latin). In promising that the gates of Hell will not prevail Jesus is giving the assurance of divine assistance that it would never error because it is HIS Church.

    The first century historical Church, and beyond, was fully Catholic, and united under the Seat of Peter in its beliefs. From its very foundations it has always believed in the sacraments, papal authority, etc. As Cardinal Henry Newman, and a whole host of other converts to Catholicism have said, “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.”

    For over 1000 years of Christianity you had only one faith and one Church. Before this if you were Christian you were Roman Catholic there was nothing else. The first split began in 1054, due primarily to political and culture reasons (not theological), when the Eastern Orthodox churches separated. About 500 years later (1517) you have the Protestant “Reformation” led by Martin Luther who was a Catholic priest. Though Luther had some valid objections to what some prelates and clergy were doing in the Church he took it much further and deconstructed and recreated his own religion. “Every man his own Pope” he would later say. The only authority he would be subject to is his own personal interpretation of Scripture. He would set himself up as the arbiter of truth and has led millions upon millions to do the same.

    It could be argued that the Protestant Reformation was nothing but a deformation of truth. Since then over forty thousand different Protestant denominations (even more with those who claim no denomination) have come into existence, this now being the year 2015. Each one has its own competing theology and interpretations of the Bible and every one of them claims to be following the Holy Spirit and the plain meaning of Scripture. If then the Bible, led by the Spirit, is the only things we need to know for salvation and truth, then why is it no one can agree on what the Bible or what the Spirit of God is saying? There is no such thing as forty thousand different truths. This denies logic and the basic philosophical principle of non-contradiction. There is one truth. Jesus our Lord and God, in His infinite wisdom, and knowing our human weakness knew we needed something more. This is why he left us His Church and gave it His very own teaching authority Matthew 28: 18-20- “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”

    Lets look at Sacred Scripture in more detail. Sacred Scripture is the inspired Word of God yes, but it needs interpretation and interpretation with authority. Also, the notion that Scripture is the sole rule of faith would prove God to be very unjust considering universal literacy is a relatively new phenomenon of the 20th century. Most people before that could not read and before the invention of the printing press, in around the year 1439, books were way beyond the normal persons means to own. (A full copy of the Bible would cost about 100,000 dollars in today’s current market). This is why they had to chain Bibles down in churches so people would not steal them. If a church lost its Bible it could be years before it could afford to get a completed new one.

    From nowhere in Scripture does it reduce God Word’s down to scripture alone (Sola Scriptura). Instead, the Bible tells us in many places that God’s authoritative word is to be found in the Church, her tradition, as well as her preaching and teaching. Look at: First Timothy 3:14-15 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instruction to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth”. One can see specifically that “the church” is the pillar and bulwark of truth that the Gospel writer is referring to, not the Bible. In fact nowhere in Scripture does it ever say anything about Jesus commanding His disciples to write anything down. Historically, the oral traditions of the Church came first and then eventually some of those traditions were written down and became Sacred Scripture. Besides this, Church historians all agree that the New Testament came from the Council of Hippo in 393 and the Council of Carthage in 397, both of which sent off their judgments to Rome for the Pope’s approval. This means that from the year 30-393 there was no New Testament as we know it today. Thus for over 300 years the Christian congregation of followers were led not by the Bible but by the Church. Besides, there were many other books that people back then thought might be inspired, such as the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Acts of Paul. There were also several New Testament books, such as Second Peter, Jude and Revelation, that some thought should be excluded. The historical truth of the matter is; it was the Catholic Church, led and inspired by the Holy Spirit, who compiled and pronounced, what books were divinely inspired and which were not, and which were to be included and excluded from the New Testament. And all submitted ultimately to the Bishop of Rome, the Seat of Peter, the Pope for approval.

    Protestant theology tends to jump from the end of the Apostolic age (with the death of St. John the Apostle around 100AD) to the Reformation in the year 1517. Some denominations may cherry pick a few of the Fathers of the Church like St. Augustine (5th century), and only a very small portion of his writings, to try and reinforce the Protestant doctrines of “by faith alone” and “by scripture alone”. Both of these notions though are not substantiated by any of the Apostolic Fathers of the Church (those who learned the faith from the Apostles themselves, or who were alive when they walked the earth) or any of the Fathers of the Church up to and including Augustine, well into the 5th century. Sacred Scripture in fact in many places repudiates both notions outright. James chapter 2: 14: What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? 26: For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead. “ These two concepts are so completely foreign to Christian understanding they were never heard of (or mentioned in any known writing by any author) until they were literally invented by Martin Luther (and/or his predecessors) during and after the 16th century.

    Let me ask, would you not want to believe exactly what those first century Christians believed? Then go and discover the writings of those first century Bishops and Saints and read them for yourself. (Properly called Apostolic Fathers and Fathers of the Church as mentioned above). They all expressed explicit belief in the authority of the Seat of Peter, the head bishop in Rome who is called the Pope. They all believed in seven Sacrament of the Church (Holy Eucharist, necessity of Baptism, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, Confirmation, Penance and Reconciliation) also, the Communion of Saints in heaven, on earth and in purgatory, etc.

    Take the example of Pope St. Clement of Rome (4th Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter around 90 AD). He learned the faith from the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul themselves. In his letter from Rome to Corinth he is clearly speaking authoritatively and directing the church there. This was while St. John the Apostle was living on the island of Patmos which is worlds closer to Corinth than Rome was. This was St. John the “beloved disciple” who knew Jesus personally yet it was Pope Clement who was writing and guiding the Church not him.

    In reading the Sacred Scriptures, all the Apostolic Fathers (and beyond) held themselves accountable to a community of interpretation which was the Church. To consider the Gospel apart from that Tradition was unthinkable. Take the example of St. Polycarp of Smyrna (69-155AD) who learned the faith from St. John the Apostle himself. Who eventually became the bishop of Smyrna and was close colleagues with St. Ignatius the Bishop of Antioch ( see Acts of the Apostles chapter 11). In St. Polycarp’s own words regarding Sacred Scripture “whoever interprets according to his own perverse inclinations is the firstborn of Satan”.

    The common doctrine of the Fathers are witnesses to the unbroken continuity of Catholic teaching. Everything that the Catholic Church teaches in the Deposit of Faith (Deposit of Faith = Apostolic Tradition (or Sacred Oral Tradition) + Sacred Scriptures) is exactly what those first century Christian believed. Outside of further defining and clarifying articles of faith to combat heresy nothing has changed. You will find not one exception.

    Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, established “a Church” on the shoulders of St. Peter, which historically is the Catholic Church, easily discernible from Sacred Scripture, sacred history, and secular history. He established this Church to be His vehicle for salvation, for all successive, as well as former generations. God Himself established this one Church, to reflect His own oneness; the oneness of truth, the oneness of love, the oneness of beauty. Jn 17 verse 20-23 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us…that they may become perfectly one.”

    My ardent desire is that all come to the fullness of the truth. I will attach a link below where you have a highly educated man Dr. David Anders Ph.D. who’s background is Scripture and History. He truly believed the Catholic Church was Anti-Christ. But like so many before him, in his thirst for knowledge and truth, he stumbled upon some very frightening realities. That the first century Christians were fully Catholic. This shook him to his very core. He then compared all the writings of the early Fathers of the Church, to Scripture, to the Great Councils and they were identical. This was a man who, if converting to the Roman Catholicism would commit financial and professional suicide. But the Lord drew him to the truth and he converted, and praise the Lord for the wonders He has worked in this man ever since.

    Please find the truth: If you have any questions feel free to email me: jessbuck82@gmail.com

    Jess Buck

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