Thursday, December 31, 2009

Get Ready for Saturday!: UL and UK

This is just a sweet video in anticipation of Saturday's game. Uk is picked to win, but Louisville just might pull it off.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

High Speed Internet is Here!

Good news everybody: high speed Internet has reached the parsonage! This will be a huge help for me especially as we try to keep everybody updated on what's going on. I won't have to be running to the library once or twice a week and taking up precious ministry hours now. We're still working on setting up the wireless system here.

Hope everyone is having a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year/Deacade.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Week of Links

I haven't been able to stay up on top of things lately, so here is a list of links that I recommend ya check out:

Vital Virginity - by Kevin Deyoung
This is a good article, written by an excellent pastor and author, on why the Virgin Birth is necessary.

Avatar: Ramboe in Reverse - by Dr. Russell Moore
Dr. Moore is a professor and administrator at SBTS and has written an excellent review regarding the new movie "Avatar." I encourage people to read it and think about what he says. I love the opening paragraph: "If you can get a theater full of people in Kentucky to stand and applaud the defeat of their country in war, then you’ve got some amazing special effects."

I Love the Gospel - by James MacDonald
I love Dr. James MacDonald. He is one of my favorite pastors in America. Here is a great video on how to share the gospel.

Luther's Simple Way to Pray - by Justin Taylor
This is an interesting insight into how the Great Reformer prayed.

NewsNote: The Death of Oral Roberts - by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Dr. Mohler is the President of SBTS. He has written an insightful article on the passing and legacy of Oral Roberts.

Mass. 2nd-grader sent home for crucifix drawing
This story was brought up one Wednesday night.

Unholy Trinity - by John MacArthur
Dr. MacArthur is no fan of TBN and he has good reason. In light of what we've been discussing on Wednesday nights, I found this to be a timely article. MacArthur is pretty straight forward and sounds harsh, but would Jude agree with him? I think so.

Is It Contextualization or Effective Communication? - Thabiti Anyabwile
Contextualization is big business today. Thabiti offers an important critique. The gospel is not subject to culture or opinion polls or dressing/music styles.

What have we done to the Gospel?!?! - Defending Contending Blog
Every Christian needs to know and take seriously Paul Washer. He says what we need to hear even if we don't want to hear it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fruitie-Tales: Living By the Fruit of the Spirit Series

Well it has been a long trip, but we have finally completed our series on the Fruit of the Spirit. Although more could be said, I hope this has been an encouraging series. It seems like every week God was reminding me to be more like Him as I repeatedly failed to do. Below are all of the sermons, links, and book recommendations made throughout this series.

April 26, 2009 - Got Fruit?
May 17, 2009 - Walk In the Spirit

May 24, 2009 - What's Love Got To Do With It?
May 24, 2009 - All You Lack Is LoveWhat is Love? - Audio
June 7, 2009 - 1 Corinthians 13:8-13: Love Never Ends

June 15, 2009 - Matthew 5:1-5: Joy of Spiritual Humility
June 28, 2009 - Matthew 5:6: Starving? Why Wait?
July 12, 2009 - Matthew 5:7-9: The Joy of Holiness
July 19, 2009 - Matthew 5:10-12: The Joy of Persecution
(Sunday Night) - July 19, 2009: Hebrews 11:30ff - The Legacy of Suffering Joy

August 2, 2009 - Psalm 23:2: Peace of Rest
August 9, 2009 - Psalm 23:3: The Peace of Restoration (notes only)
August 16, 2009 - Psalm 23:4: "The Peace of Comfort"
Sunday Night - The Agony of Job and the Sovereingnty of God
August 23, 2009 - Psalm 23:5: The Peace of the Shepherd's Sovereignty
August 30, 2009 - Psalm 23:6: The Peace of the Shepherd's Providence

September 6, 2009 - Faithience: When Faith and Patience Collide
September 13, 2009 - Genesis 13:1-18: The Biggest Loser
September 20, 2009 - Genesis 15:1-18: The Patience of Our Deliverer
October 4, 2009 - Genesis 16: Impatience

October 18, 2009 - 1 Peter 2:21-23 - Christus Exemplar and the Goodness of God
October 25, 2009 - Galatians 6:6-14: Selfless Goodness

November 1, 2009 - "I Believe, Help My Unbelief": The Power of Faithless Faith
November 8, 2009 - "God Be Merciful To Me a Sinner": The Gosple in 7 Words
November 15, 2009 - Living In Meekness
November 22, 2009 - Self-Control in the Face of Temptation

Book Recommendations:
Weekly Recommendation: "A Gardener Looks at the Fruits of the Spirit"Weekly Recommendation: "The God Who Loves"Weekly Recommendation: "The Greatest of These is Love"
Weekly Recommendation: "Kingdom Living"
Weekly Recommendation: "Foxe's Book of Martyrs"
Weekly Recommendation - "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23"
Weekly Recommendation: "Traveling Light"
Weekly Recommendation - "Restore My Soul"
Weekly Recommendation - "A Grief Observed"Weekly Recommendation - "Finding Peace"
Weekly Recommendation - "Heaven"
Weekly Recommendation: "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"

True Love From Veggie Tales
Bonhoeffer: The Meaning of Poor In Spirit and the Joy of Being Spiritual Bankrupt
Bonhoeffer on Matthew 5:7-9
Mephibosheth and the Sanctity of the Disable: God's Glory In the Face of Deformity
Theodicy as Evidence of a Theos
"I Am so Easily Satisfied With Just Going About" - A Gut Check

Oprah and Universalism

Here is the video we showed last week from Oprah's show several years ago. To many people, this is surprising to see, but she is very much into New Age theology.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Evenings with Spurgeon

I love Charlse H. Spugeon; the Prince of Preschers especially his bi-daily devotional "Morning and Evening." each entry is short yet profound and today's really spoke to me.

“I am crucified with Christ.”
Galatians 2:20

The Lord Jesus Christ acted in what he did as a great public representative person, and his dying upon the cross was the virtual dying of all his people. Then all his saints rendered unto justice what was due, and made an expiation to divine vengeance for all their sins. The apostle of the Gentiles delighted to think that as one of Christ’s chosen people, he died upon the cross in Christ. He did more than believe this doctrinally, he accepted it confidently, resting his hope upon it. He believed that by virtue of Christ’s death, he had satisfied divine justice, and found reconciliation with God. Beloved, what a blessed thing it is when the soul can, as it were, stretch itself upon the cross of Christ, and feel, “I am dead; the law has slain me, and I am therefore free from its power, because in my Surety I have borne the curse, and in the person of my Substitute the whole that the law could do, by way of condemnation, has been executed upon me, for I am crucified with Christ.”

But Paul meant even more than this. He not only believed in Christ’s death, and trusted in it, but he actually felt its power in himself in causing the crucifixion of his old corrupt nature. When he saw the pleasures of sin, he said, “I cannot enjoy these: I am dead to them.” Such is the experience of every true Christian. Having received Christ, he is to this world as one who is utterly dead. Yet, while conscious of death to the world, he can, at the same time, exclaim with the apostle, “Nevertheless I live.” He is fully alive unto God. The Christian’s life is a matchless riddle. No worldling can comprehend it; even the believer himself cannot understand it. Dead, yet alive! crucified with Christ, and yet at the same time risen with Christ in newness of life! Union with the suffering, bleeding Saviour, and death to the world and sin, are soul-cheering things. O for more enjoyment of them!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weddings and Facebook

This is just hilarious. I will a $1 to anyone that does this at a wedding I perform. Although I must warn, it may not be the best way to start off a marriage.

December 6, 2009 - Matthew 1:18-25 - We Are the Reason For the Season: The Necessity of the Virgin Birth

Here is the audio and notes from yesterdays sermon as we begin a new series: Merry Holidays.


For previous sermons and sermon notes, check out the podcast by clicking here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holy Ghost Machine Guns: From the Horses Mouth

Wednesday Night, I read some quotes from Charismatic leaders that fit well with Jude 11-13. Here are the videos of Benny Hinn and Paul Crouch on TBN on video saying the things I quoted.

H/T: Pure Truth

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 29, 2009 - The Transcendence of the Gospel

While I was gone on Sunday, I spoke at Greenup Fork where I served as youth pastor for 5 years. On Sunday night we discussed the transcendence of the gospel. This is a subject that I have been studying for over a year and a half in light of my extensive research into the Emergent Church and postmodern theology.

Here is the posted description: Is the gospel transcendent or is it subject to cultural norms? Does it need to be repackaged in order to reach a certain age group, custom, or ethnicity? Does it need to be upgraded in order to be relevant to postmodern times? The answer will take a heavy burden off our backs.


Friday, November 27, 2009

November 22, 2009 - Self-Control in the Face of Temptation

Sorry it has taken me so long to post the audio and notes of last Sunday's sermon. The Thanksgiving holiday has kept me busy. I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 18, 2009 - Jude 9-10

Here are the notes for our study on Jude 9-10. I really enjoyed it and thought it was one of our better Bible Studies where we had an excellent conversation.


November 15, 2009 - Living In Meekness

Sorry it has taken me so long, but here is the audio and notes from this past Sunday.


Some Helpful Videos About Jehovah Witnesses

I came across the following videos regarding Jehovah Witnesses and their teachings. It is from the Way of the Master program which is usually on the cheesy side. This video, however, is pretty well done and straight forward.

I hope this helps:

College Basketball 2009-2010 Underway

I just couldn't resist. Go Cards! After yet another disappointing season on the football field, the start of basketball season is a breath of fresh air. Be sure to watch the end of the video, especially if your a Kentucky fan! :o)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 8, 2009 - "God Be Merciful To Me a Sinner": The Gosple in 7 Words

Sorry it has taken so long. Here are the audio and the notes from last Sunday's sermon.


Some Helpful Answers To Common Questions: DA Carson Weighs In

I came across the following videos of Dr. D. A. Carson, well known theologian and author, regarding common questions asks. Dr. Carson provides brief and thorough answers to these questions. The questions include, "How Do I Know God Exists?" "How Can God Allow Evil and Suffering in the World?" and "How Can God Be Loving and Yet Send People to Hell?" I hope these videos are helpful.

How Do I Know God Exists?:

How do I know God exists? from A Passion for Life on Vimeo.

How Can God Allow Evil and Suffering in the World?

How can God allow suffering and evil in the world? from A Passion for Life on Vimeo.

How Can God Be Loving and Yet Send People to Hell?

How can God be loving yet send people to hell? from A Passion for Life on Vimeo.

McLaren Thesis on Wordle

This is my first Wordle. I thought I would try it out and used by Master's Thesis. It is interesting to see it in this way. Hope you enjoy.

Wordle: McLaren Soteriology Wordle

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Weekly Recommendation: "The Journey"

Billy Graham certainly needs no introduction. He has preached throughout the world and his books have been best-sellers. His most recent book, however, is perhaps his best. If there ever was a book that articulates the gospel and the Christian life (in light of the gospel) and best summarizes the entire ministry of Billy Graham, it would be his monumental book, "The Journey: Living By Faith in an Uncertain World."

Graham writes with an amazing ability to make complicated issues simple. Graham manages to lay out the gospel and the Christian worldview in simple words that any reader an understand. He is orthodox and thorough, yet not dull and stuck in an ivory tower. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. I was unsure what to expect and with some of Graham's comments in recent years that challenge a biblical understanding of the gospel, but Graham holds firm to the exclusive, justification by faith alone gospel of Scripture. Though there are minor moments of disagreement I had with Graham throughout, this is a solid book.

Anyone who respects, loves, and has learned from Graham will enjoy this book. I would recommend this book to all believers, especially to new believers. he covers God, Scripture, the gospel, Christian living, the purpose and meaning of the church, etc.

If you read nothing else and have little experience in reading Christian non-fiction, begin here and read this book.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 2009 Newsletter Online

If you would like to download the latest newsletter, you can do so by clicking here or by clicking on the link on the left hand column.

November 1, 2009 - "I Believe, Help My Unbelief": The Power of Faithless Faith

No audio available again this week, but you can download the notes by clicking here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Repost: "The Great Regression: A Shocking Reality About Recent Giving Trends"

I recently wrote an article regarding the giving trends in the SBC from the Great Depression to today. Even though times are tough economically now, things have not gotten as bad as they have been in the past. It is a sad testimony that the generation that experienced the Great Depression gave more to missions than the present generation. I am as guilty of this as anyone.

The real issue here isn't our financial giving, but what this says about our attitudes regarding the lost. If we truly wanted to see God's glory in the salvation of souls, then Southern Baptists, and Christians in general would be giving more to missions, not less. Yet the more we prosper, the less we give. May God open our eyes and break our hearts!

Here is the article:
"The Great Regression: A Shocking Reality About Recent Giving Trends"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit - Goodness

This was a short series and since our discussion on Kindness was only 1 week, I will include that in here as well.

Goodness Sermons:
October 18, 2009 - 1 Peter 2:21-23 - Christus Exemplar and the Goodness of God
October 25, 2009 - Galatians 6:6-14: Selfless Goodness

Book Recommendations:
Weekly Recommendation: "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"

Theodicy as Evidence of a Theos
"I Am so Easily Satisfied With Just Going About" - A Gut Check

Kindness Sermon:
October 11, 2009 - 2 Samuel 9: Costly Kindness

For more:
Fruit of the Spirit: Patience
The Fruit of the Spirit: Peace
The Fruit of the Spirit: Love
The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy
The Last Week of Jesus: From Triumphal Entry to Triumphal Grave Series
Basic Christianity Series Revelation Study

October 25, 2009 - Galatians 6:6-14: Selfless Goodness

No audio is available, only notes. To download the notes, click here.

Weekly Recommendation: "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"

I rarely recommend books in which I disagree with the entire premise, but this books popularity and argument draws us to at least take it seriously. In recent weeks we have discussed God's goodness and our call to be good.

I have written a review of the book and was constantly reminded of how Rabbi Kushner's book, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," is an attack, not just on the goodness of God, but on the gospel. Let us not forget about Christus Exemplar in all of this. Kushner's basic argument is that when bad things happen, its not that God is bad, He just isn't powerful enough to prevent it. That is an attack on the gospel and nothing else. I encourage you to read the book and see it for yourself, but remember that Kushner presents an argument that undermines the cross of the Christ and nothing less.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"I Am so Easily Satisfied With Just Going About" - A Gut Check

I have been doing a lot of studying on the subject of godly goodness and came across the following quote that really spoke to me:

I read, in a book, that a man called Christ
Went about doing good,
It is very disconcerting to me,
that I am so easily satisfied
With just – going about
-Poem by Kagawa of Japan as quoted in Stephen Winward, Fruit of the Spirit, 151

Am I the only one guilty of this?

Lewis on the Accident of Evolution

I was doing some studying on creation for this Sunday morning as we look at day four of the Creation account in Genesis. I came across the following quote by C.S. Lewis regarding the accident of evolution:

If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collission, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an acdient too. If so, then all our present thoughts are accidents - the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. Adn this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else's. But if their thoughts are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. -Lewis, God on the Dock, 52-53

Lewis makes an excellent point. Evolution is built around an entire series of accidents. If everything is an accident, then our very thoughts are accidents. Therefore, how can I trust the accidental thoughts of a biochemist over the accidental thoughts of a factory worker? In one paragraph, Lewis raises an incredible challenge to the evolutionary worldview.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Theodicy as Evidence of a Theos

I have been studying, in great detail, the question of God's goodness. If God is good, then why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? The common riddle goes something like this: If God is good, He cannot be All-Powerful because He cannot prevent evil and suffering in the world. If God is All-Powerful, He cannot be good because He refused to prevent evil and suffering. God therefore, is either good or All-Powerful, He cannot be both.

I have sat in secular university philosophy classes and listened to this argument. To most Christians, they are left stunned by this predicament. The Bible clearly teaches that God is good and All-Powerful. So how can these two concepts be true if there is so much evil and suffering in the world? The answer goes beyond this post. To begin, the Christian worldview must go back to Genesis 1-3. In chapters 1-2, God created everything and saw that it was good. It was good because it came from He who defines good; God. But in Genesis 3, the Fall took place and destroyed the goodness of the Earth. Death, suffering, evil, violence, natural disasters, and pain are the result of Genesis 3.

But does the problem of theodicy disprove God? Interestingly, even the most hardened atheist are not running to the problem of theodicy as they used to. The world's best known atheist, Richard Dawkins, in his book, The God Delusion, points out that this issue does not necessarily disprove God, it only disproves the goodness of God. Though I disagree with his conclusion, one cannot miss what Dawkins is saying. Evil and suffering does not disprove God.

So, how does such an issue prove God? C.S. Lewis explains in the clearest and most powerful language:

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of ‘just’ and ‘unjust’? . . . What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? . . . Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too – for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies . . . Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. -Lewis, Mere Christianity, 38

Lewis is right. The very idea that we speak of evil and suffering implies that we have an inherit standard of evil and good. Where does this inherit idea come from? Why is murder, death, destruction, violence, abuse, and natural disasters bad? By what standard do we measure these things? Evolution implies (though many naturalists may deny it) that death and suffering brings forth the fruit of evolution. Things improve when the weaker become extinct and die. Death is good. And yet naturally, we are repulsed by this. Evolution morality implies relativism. What is true? What is right? What is moral? Without a Divine standard such questions are determined by culture and opinion polls.

Let us remember Lewis' words. When we see suffering and pain, we ought to weep and mourn, not because God seems non-existent, but because we know that God is present. In a world of pain and sorrows, God reminds us of His standard of good. When we see such pain God is calling us to heal what has been wounded, to fix what has been broken, and to united what has been separated. We do this because that is what God has done for us. Upon the cross Christ took upon Himself our evil and sin. On the cross, Christ fixed what we broke, united what we separated, and healed what we wounded.

But the beauty of the cross isn't just in Christ suffering on our account. The beauty of the cross takes us to the empty tomb. Their is always hope and restoration on the other side of pain, suffering, and evil. Christ conquered and so can we.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weekly Recommendation: "Battle For the Beginning"

In youth during Sunday School, we have been discussing creation. Each week, we look at the next day of creation. Next Sunday, we will look at day 3. One of the main sources that I refer to in understanding what the Bible says about creation is John MacArthur's book, "Battle for the Beginning." MacArthur's goal is simple: lay out clearly what the Bible says about creation. The author is not concerned with dealing with all of the assumptions and arguments of evolution and other origins theories. Though certainly he dibunks evolution throughout the book, his goal is not to destroy the theory. MacArthur calls on believers to affirm what Scripture says.

One must respect MacArthur's goal here. While it is tempting to begin with science and show why the Bible remains relevant and accurate, MacArthur assumes Scripture's accuracy and truth and then shows how science has proven what the Bible has already declared.

MacArthur is a young earth creationists, as I am. Though he provides a number of arguments in favor of a young earth, that is not his concern. He is most concerned with the text of Scripture. It is impossible to make billions of years to fit the Biblical record. The world, according to Scripture, cannot be more than 10,000 years.

Though at this point, many would write MacArthur off as a lunatic and Bible thumper, fundamentalists who has completely lost his mind. But if you read his argument and if you know MacArthur's credentials, this is not the ramblings of a fool. MacArthur is well-read and his book is well research and should be taken seriously.

I encourage everyone wanting to know what the Bible has to say about this critical issue to give MacArthur a read. He has been a major influence in my life and I have devoured many of his books.

Luther and the Necessity of Theology

I have recently written an article regarding the necessity of right theology in order to have right living. This was the launching pad of the Reformation from Luther's perspective. He uncovered the gospel and understood that the immorality of his day was due to bad theology. Right theology ultimately leads to righteous living.

I encourage you to read the article.


A few quotes:

Recently, I came across a few quotes worth considering:

"Bad doctrine is a thousand times more harmful than a bad life."

"Where doctrine is not right, it is impossible for life to be right and good: for life must be prepared by doctrine and must follow it." . . .

Luther understood that the answer to the Church's problems wasn't more morality, but an undiluted gospel. These words of Luther need to be heard and understood. Today, most Christians are callas regarding theology. We hate division and seek to get around debate. We all too often find issues of theology not worth our time. As Luther saw in his day and as we see in ours, our bad theology shows . . .

What we need is a return to right theology. What we need is to uncover, once again, the pure gospel as revealed in Scripture. That is where the power of the Spirit lies: the gospel. If we really want to change the world, it won't be through politicians and trying harder and doing better next time, it will be whenever Christians return to the cross and right doctrine and allow the Spirit to change us through the power of the cross and the empty tomb.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Operation Christmas Child Video

Here is a promotional video from last year regarding Operation Christmas Child. I really want us to participate in this. During Sunday School on November 1, the youth will be packing their shoeboxes.

I know this is the U.K. version, but it was the best I could do on short notice.

October 11, 2009 - 2 Samuel 9: Costly Kindness

To download notes, click here. To download the audio, click on the title.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

We have just completed the fourth Fruit of the Spirit: Patience. I failed to recommend books each week and did not post any other articles. Therefore, I only have links to the actual messages.

September 6, 2009 - Faithience: When Faith and Patience Collide
September 13, 2009 - Genesis 13:1-18: The Biggest Loser
September 20, 2009 - Genesis 15:1-18: The Patience of Our Deliverer
October 4, 2009 - Genesis 16: Impatience

For more:
The Fruit of the Spirit: Peace
The Fruit of the Spirit: Love
The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy
The Last Week of Jesus: From Triumphal Entry to Triumphal Grave Series
Basic Christianity Series Revelation Study

Mephibosheth and the Sanctity of the Disable: God's Glory In the Face of Deformity

This upcoming Sunday, we will be looking at the fifth Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness. We will be looking at 2 Samuel 9 which gives us the account of how David showed kindness toward Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul (David's enemy). The fact that David would do this is quit astonishing. Typically, in ancient times (and somewhat today. When there's a new President, he rarely keeps anyone from the previous administration), whenever a new dynasty would take the thrown, anyone perceived to be a threat to the new king's throne or anyone who might be considered an heir to the previous king's throne would be immediately killed, exhiled, enslaved, or imprisoned.

But David did the complete opposite. Saul, the king, was dead. His likely heir, Jonathan (David's closest friend) was also dead. Upon taking the throne, rather than killing all potential threats and challengers, David goes out of his way to show kindness to someone who should be his enemy.

But there is another aspect of this story that we can't miss. Mephibosheth (try saying that 10 times fast) is handicap. 2 Samuel 4:4 tells us why. He was essentially dropped by his nurse after his father (Jonathan) and grandfather (King Saul) died in battle. His nurse feared that they would be coming for him and so fled. She then tripped and dropped him leaving him lame. Since the crowning of David, lame Mephibosheth lived in Lo-Debar (which might mean "No Pasture"). Lame, without any family, and lost of his prestige as the grandson of the king, Mephibosheth had to assume that his life would be worthless. He had lost everything he had and was born with.

To be handicap like this was no small issue in ancient times. There was no disability check coming. Oftentimes, family members would require their handicap relative to beg for money (usually at the Temple where people are feeling most generous; see Acts 3) in order to contribute to the family funds.

Furthermore, the disabled were rather outcasts in society. If a Levite was disabled, they were not allowed to go into the Temple or near the altar. Leviticus 21:16-23 reads:

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the LORD’s food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.

In other words, one born to be a priest and yet handicap, would not be able to fulfill their role as a priest. And so the hopelessness of the disabled continued for centuries.

But this story does make one incredibly important point: God has a purpose and has revealed his grace even to the outcast and disabled. The story of Mephibosheth is one of kindness, grace, mercy, and love. Mephibosheth becomes a metaphor of us. We are all like Mephibosheth who, as a result of our sin, are seperated, disabled, and helpless before God. We deserve nothing but death and hell. And yet God showed His great love, mercy, kindness, and grace towards us by not giving us what we deserve, but in giving us what we don't deserve: salvation.

Furthermore, Mephibosheth is an example that even those handicap and disabled are beyond God's reach and purpose. The ancients would oftentimes leave disabled babies for dead in the wilderness because they considered them unworthy (such as the Spartans). Both Plato and Aristotle favored infanticide and believed that the State should have a greater role in deciding who should live and who shouldn't.

But the Judeo-Christian worldview is quit different. All life is sacred and not beyond the grace and purpose of God. Even the most handicap reveal God's goodness and grace. Yes, even though disability reminds us of the affects of the fall, God shows his grace even though deformaty and pain.

Recall the healing of the man born blind in John 9. The text begins by showing us that even this blind beggar has a purpose in God's eyes:

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." -John 9:1-5

Did you notice that? The reason this man was born blind was so that God might be glorified. All life is sacred not because we say it is, but because God's glory is revealed in all of life. The fact that even the worst of deformities can still bring God glory is a constant reminder that God is still on His throne and is still good.

In a culture that is exterminating those with Down Syndrome, we need to hear this message. Yes, God even has a plan, purpose, and is glorified greatly even in the disability of Down Syndrome. A secular culture that has replaced God with Darwin misses this. Life becomes an issue of economics and "happiness." If the handicap are a burden on the parents or society, it would be best if they didn't exist at all. After all, resources are limited.

That's what I love about this story. Without Mephibosheth's handicap, we would never had such a wonderful picture of God's grace, mercy, love, and kindness toward us and the call to mimic God's goodness by being good towards others, and we would miss the fact that even in a fallen world that results in producing horrific and unfortunate disabilities and handicaps, God has not removed Himself from us. Beauty can be found in the midst of deformaty and disability to the glory of God.

Let us not forget this important lesson. Isn't it wonderful that even in the face of depravity and the consequences of our sin, God's glory is revealed. The light really can outshine the darkness. And beauty really can outshine the deformity.

For more:
Get Religion: The patriotic duty to die
Colson: The March of Death
Hitler Is Alive And Well: Repeating the Mistakes of the Past
Colson: Deadly Trend
The Lust For Blood: The Culture of Death and Infanticide
"Freedom is Dead, And We are It's Murderers" - Nietzsche Was Almost Right
Colson: What Would Darwin Advise?
A Return to Rome: When Death Becomes Entertainment
Another Terry Schiavo Condemned to Death
Mohler: The Death Culture Strikes Again
Albert Mohler - The Death Culture Strikes Again
Mohler: A Threat to the Disabled . . . and to Us All
Mohler: The Rise of Infanticide?
Colson: Thirty Pints of BloodWhere the Logic of The Culture of Death Will Take Us
Euthanasia: A Good Death?
Albert Mohler: That Was Then . . . This is Now? A Nazi Nightmare

Friday, October 2, 2009

Me Church

This video is hillarious, but is too true. This goes along of what we said during Homecoming about what sort of church do we want to be? And what kind of church does God bless? A self-centered church? Or a cross-centered church?

H/T: Lifeway

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why Membership Still Matters

I want to point everyone to an important article regarding church membership. There is a growing trend in modern Evangelicalism to consider this issue as unimportant. Baptist are known for emphasizing church membership, and yet in recent years have themselves lost the importance of this issue. Kevin Deyound, author of the book, Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be, offers a number of reasons why church membership still matters.

1. In joining a church you make visible your commitment to Christ and his people.

2. Making a commitment makes a powerful statement in a low-commitment culture.

3. We can be overly independent.

4. Church membership keeps us accountable.

5. Joining the church will help your pastor and elders be more faithful shepherds.

6. Joining the church gives you an opportunity to make promises.

This is a good list of reasons why membership matters. But in the end, I hope we take this issue more seriously and consider what the Bible says about the issue.

For More:
Why Membership Matters

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 27, 2009 - Matthew 16:13-21: Don't Just Stand There. Do Something!

Happy Homecoming! Let us pray that God blesses Goshen for at least another 201 years if the Lord tarries.

To download the notes, click here. You can download the audio by clicking on the title.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bible Breakfast Club Interview

I recently was interviewed on the Bible Breakfast Club on WBFI in McDaniels and I want to make it available to you. The interview begins about half way through the following clip. I want to encourage you to visit their site and I want to thank them for the opportunity to be on their show.

Bible Breakfast Club Interview

Let me know what you think.

September 20, 2009 - Genesis 15:1-18: The Patience of Our Deliverer

You can download my notes by clicking here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Romans: The Just Shall Live By Faith

After several months of walking through the book of Romans chapter-by-chapter, we have finally concluded our series. What follows is all of the links, notes, and audio, from our look at this wonderful book.

Note: You can download all of the notes at the same time without having to click on each chapter. This all-in-one link includes notes on each chapter plus a complete bibliography and additional notes that were not used in our study. To download this, click here. Also, I stopped recording the Bible studies because they became more conversational than monologue which is what I was hoping for.

Romans: The Just Shall Live By Faith - The Complete Notes including Bibliography and appendixes.



For more:

Wednesday - Romans 16

Here are the notes for chapter 16 of Romans. Click here.

The NIV, the Gospel of Mark, and the AntiChrist: The Lunacy on Display

And I thought I was bad. For those who have been coming on Wednesday nights, we've been discussing textual criticism in our attempt to best interpret a text. The following pastor argues that if you take away the last twelve verses of Mark, that means that there are 666 verses in the Gospel of Mark. There are a number of major problems with this interpretation.

First, there were no such thing as verses (or chapters for that matter) when Mark penned his Gospel. There is no grand conspiracy here. Throughout the centuries, chapters and verses were added in order to help the reader. They are not inspired and Mark was unaware of them.

Secondly, the pastor here has said ridiculous things before. One example comes when he declares that he will be a man who "pisseths" standing up (I kid you not). So the fact that he would only add to such lunacy should not surprise us.

Thirdly, this pastor is a King James Version-only proponent. I have nothing against the KJV. It has its advantages and disadvantages as a translation. But that's the point, its a translation. The Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, not in King James. I agree that the NIV (which is what he is referring to here) has its problems, but this is not one of them.

In the end, it is this sort of lunacy that gives Christianity a bad name. As we deal with some of the difficult issues of hermeneutics (the science of interpretation), we must avoid lunacy like this.

For More:
NT BLog - 666 verses in Mark's Gospel in the NIV, or are there?
PaleoBabble -Another Great Moment in Pulpit PaleoBabble
Mark 16:9-20 Available Online
Which Translations Are Best?: A Helpful Chart
Weekly Recommendation: New Testament Textual Criticism
I couldn't resist. I had to post this video. What do ya think? Should we get puppets like this and include them in our worship service? I can just imagine the faces on the congregation if we did.

See You At the Pole - September 23, 2009

I strongly encourage all of the students in our community to participate in the See You At the Pole (SYATP) which is scheduled nation-wide on Wednesday, September 23, 2009. I always participated in SYATP when I was a student and it was always an encouraging time.

For More:
Official Site -
Baptist Press - 'See You At the Pole' set for Sept. 23

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday Nights: Romans 15

To download the notes, click here.

Hardinsburg Controversy: Some Links

There is a lot of talk going around town about the baptism of some teenagers. The controversy surrounds the baptism that were performed without (in one case) the parents approval nor were they aware. Here are some links reporting the story. If anything changes, I'll try to post them. This is for those who want to know exactly what happened instead of just hearing rumors.

USA Today - Ky. school trip included baptisms
AP: Ky. mother upset by football player son's baptism
MSNBC: Mother upset by football player son’s baptism: Claims teen, fellow athletes taken to a Baptist revival by their coach
ABC News: Kentucky High School Coach Gets Players Baptized: Coach Scott Mooney's Actions Questioned After Field Trip Includes Baptisms
World Magazine: Coach under fire for church field trip
Courier Journal - Stick to football
National Post: Team road trip ends in baptism
WLKY: HS Players Baptized, Parents Upset: Nine Students Baptized After Altar Call

More could be listed, but this should be enough. This story has spread to the national level. It seems that the culture is appalled by the actions of the coach. It is amazing how angry our culture gets over the salvation and baptism of someone. Obviously, there are other issues here. But the anger over the fact that anyone would encourage someone to get saved and baptized is rather frightening.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Weekly Recommendation: "The Faith"

What does it mean to be a Christian? What is a Christian? Sadly, most Christians in America today don't know the answer to such questions. Some use moral terms, Christians love their neighbor, and other terms to describe the Christian life. Not long ago, I read a book by Charles Colson called, "The Faith: Given Once, For All What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters." Colson answers these questions with biblical truth, theological pricision, and cultural and practical application.

Christianity is not a boring faith. Christian theology should not be a dry uptaking. Colson walks the reader through the various doctrines of the Christian faith and shows them how critical they are, how unshakale they must be, and why it all matters. What I loved most about Colson's book was that he took Christian theology and applied it. He shows why it is important for us to believe in God, that the Bible is inspired, that God created, why Jesus death was substitutionary, etc.

Colson is an excellent writer who has experienced much in his life who is deep in his theology and cultural analysis. I strongly encouage everyone to pick it up and read it. It is well worth the time and let us hold firmly to the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

I have given a fuller review of the book. To read it, click here. I consider this book to be among the best of the books I read all of 2008.

For more:
"The Faith"
How Now Shall We Live
The Body
My Top 5 Must Reads
My Best of 2008
"Breach of Faith"

September 6, 2009 - Faithience: When Faith and Patience Collide

Download notes here.

Which Translations Are Best?: A Helpful Chart

We have spent some time here and there discussing the issue of translations. Which one's are best? Why are there so many? Etc. The following is a helpful chart that helps explain some of the issues raised with the various translations. It is broken up into three categories: Word-for-Word, Thought-for-Thought, and Paraphrase.

Word-for-Word translations begin with the original languages (Hebrew in the Old Testament and Greek in the New Testament) and seek to give a word-for-word translation of the text. Therefore, the Hebrew/Greek word son is translated son, and so forth. There are a lot of advantages of this. One, the attempt of the translators is to present the Biblical text as-is without any interpretation on the part of the editors and translators. The main problem with this is oftentimes readability. There is a huge cultural gap between the ancient near east during Moses day and our day. Also, issues like translating monetary words like denarii are lost in today's culture.

Thought-for-Thought translations look at the original language and try to word it in the way that is more readable and understandable to the reader while trying to grasp the meaning of the text. This means that if one looked at the original languages and then compared it to a Thought-for-Thought translation, they will not be very similar. However, upon closer review, the two will essentially be saying the same thing. The advantage of this approach is readability. It avoids some of the odd language in Word-for-Word translations. The problem, however, is that it only gives the idea of the text, not the actual text.
Finally, Paraphrases are simply paraphrases of the text. The editors do not seek to capture the actual wording of the original or even the main thrust of the passage. Rather is is a much easy read that seeks to give the reader the basic point of the passage. The advantage of these is the simplicity of the readability. The problem, however, is how drastically different they oftentimes are from the original language which threatens to loose the original message of the text.
My preference is Word-for-Word. I want to know what the text actually says, not what the translators think it says. I am not saying that the others are useless and bad (although I am not a fan of paraphrases), but that Word-for-Word translations best represent the text as God wrote it.

Here is the chart:

The chart above, and I think their right, considers the New American Standard (NASB) to be the most accurate translation. It is my favorite translation for that purpose. On Sunday mornings, I used the New King James Version (NKJV) not because it is my favorite, though it is a good one, but because the King James Version (KJV) is so prevalent and common in the Bible belt. The NKJV is similar to the KJV minus the thees and thous.

What translation do you use and why?

For More:

Defending, Contending - Bible translation comparison chart.

Translations and the Subjugation of Women: Emergents Make a Stretch

Zondervan - Biblica Announces First Update in Quarter Century of the World’s Most Popular Bible

Baptist Press - NIV to be revised in 2011; TNIV to be discontinued

"On the Seventh Day the Lord chillaxed" - Conan on the NIV Translation

King James Only?

John MacArthur and the Authority of Scripture

Sola Emergent: The Emerging Church and Revelation - Part 1

Sola Emergent: The Emerging Church and Revelation - Scripture is Reaction Part 2

The Bible in One Minute or Less

"The Blue Parakeet"

"God's Secretaries"

Mohler on the Archaeological Study Bible

"3:16: The Numbers of Hope"

Monday, September 7, 2009

September Newsletter

Due to issues with the copier, I have not been able to make the newsletter available at church. But in the meantime, it is available online. Click here to download the newsletter.

September Newsletter

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Romans 14 and Theological Triage

I want to make this link available to everyone. In the context of Romans 14, we read from Dr. R. Albert Mohler's, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Semianry, blog regarding how to know when to divide and yet be united though we might differ on issues.

The article can be read here.

A Look at the History of My Birthday

Today is my Birthday. Here is what has happened on August 27 throughout history. I've got volcanic eruptions, presidents and humanitarians born, and people killed all on my birthday.

Wednesday Night: Romans 14

To download the notes, click here.

Brian McLaren and Celebrating Ramadan

For anyone interested in knowing why I spent a year researching and writing my M.Div thesis on Brian McLaren (whom most in the church have never heard of), here is a good example why. Dr. Denny Burk, dean of Boyce College, has written an article in response to McLaren observing the Islamic holiday Ramadan. Burk has finally called McLaren a Wolf in Wolf's clothing, and I think he is right. Here is a money quote:

This explanation is so filled with dangerous and damning error, it’s difficult to know where to begin. For starters, one cannot observe Ramadan as a “deeply committed” Christian. Fasting in the Christian tradition is irreducibly Christocentric. It involves praying to the Father of Christ (Mt 6:18) and longing for the return of Christ (Mt 9:15). The meaning and aim of the Muslim fast has nothing to do with Jesus. How can one observe Ramadan in any meaningful sense and do a Christian fast? The answer is that you can’t. If you try, you will end up distorting the Christian fast with syncretistic gobbledy-goop that is no longer recognizably Christian.

I would warn that McLaren is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but he has dropped the ruse.

For more:
Brian McLaren - Ramadan 2009: Day 1
Brian McLaren - Ramadan 2009: Day 3

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weekly Recommendation - "Heaven"

This Sunday we will conclude our series on Psalm 23 looking at the third Fruit of the Spirit: Peace. The final verse of Psalm 23 looks at the peace of what we have to look forward to: "I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." And so I thought I would recommend a book on heaven and I can think of no better resource than Randy Alcorn's, "Heaven."

Alcorn offers perhaps the most thorough and biblical book on the issue of heaven. Although I may not agree with all of his conclusions, this is certainly an important book loaded with a lot of information that offers the hope and peace that such a topic is meant to give. I strongly encourage everyone to read it and learn from it. It is good to study what we will inherit longing that we will be with Jesus very soon. In the mean time, let us be faithful to growing the Kingdom of God for His glory.
For More:

August 23, 2009 - Psalm 23:5: The Peace of the Shepherd's Sovereignty

Here are my notes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Weekly Recommendation - "Finding Peace"

As we continue to walk through Psalm 23 verse by verse, I want to recommend a book that looks at the issue of peace. Charles Stanley is well respected and rightfully so. As a Southern Baptist, he has been a very influential and consequential leader in the convention. He became the president of the convention during the conservative resurgence decades ago.

I came across one of his books a few years ago called, "Finding Peace: God's Promise of Life Free from Regret, Anxiety, and Fear," and found it to be an insightful resource. I have written a review of the book and encourage you to check it out. It is a simple read that is practical and biblical.

Wednesday Night - Romans 13

Since I did not make notes for our study of Romans 13, I want to make available again of the sermon I preached at the end of last year on Romans 13:1-7 on submitting to government. To download the notes for that sermon, click here.

Re: Mohler on the Future of SBC

The president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. has recently done a lecture at the seminary on the future of the SBC. For those interested, I recommend you give his lecture a good listening too. I have written on the lecture elsewhere. To read it, click here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunday Night - "The Agony of Job and the Sovereingnty of God

To dowload the notes, click here. I have made an audio version of this sermon available that I preached a year ago. The quality may not be the best. Click here to download the audio.

August 16, 2009 - Psalm 23:4: "The Peace of Comfort"

Here are the notes. Click on title to download the audio.

Romans 12

Here are the notes on Romans 12 from last week. Click here.

Applying Romans 13

Tomorrow we will be looking at Romans 13. A large portion of that chapter is related to living as a citizen. Christians are called to submit to government and political leaders. Although this is at times difficult, Christians are called to submit to one another; even to the government. What follows is an article I wrote regarding living as a Christian in an Obama administration when some policies (such as abortion and homosexuality and other critical issues) contradict our faith.

What Is To Be Our Response? Living as a Christian in an Obama Administration

In just a few minutes, the 44th President of the United States will be sworn into office. The election of Barack Obama is both historical and controversial. But as Christians, it is time that we begin to think how to respond and interact with the next four years. Barack Obama will oppose most of what social conservatives stand for: pro-life, the protection of marriage, the sanctity of life, etc.

I want to offer a few things that Christians must think of as we embark on the next 4 years.


The first and primary thing that Christians are called to do and that is to pray. Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy. 2:1 saying, "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lad a quit and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." It is clear then, that the response of all Christians, regardless of our leader, to make supplications, to give prayers, to interceded, and to give thanks to them.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr shows us how to pray on this day. He begins his prayer with:
We know that you and you alone are sovereign; that you rule over all, and that you alone are able to keep and defend us. We know that our times are in your hands, and that "the king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord" [Proverbs 21:1]. Our confidence is in you and in you alone. We come before you as a people who acknowledge our constant need for your provision, wisdom, and protection.

Father, we pray today for Barack Obama as he takes office as President of the United States. We pray that you will show the glory of your name in our times and in these days, confounding the wisdom of the wise, thwarting the plans of the arrogant, and vindicating those who do justice and practice righteousness.

Father, we pray with thanksgiving for the gift of government and the grace of civic order. Thank you for giving us rulers and for knowing our need for laws and ordered life together. Thank you for this nation and the blessings we know as its citizens. Thank you for freedoms unprecedented in human history. We understand that these freedoms come with unprecedented opportunities.
As Christians, we must remember that God brings glory to His name through anyone. I am reminded of King Cyrus of Persia and how God describes him as His "anointed one." It was not because Cyrus was righteous or God-fearing, but that God sovereignly used him to fulfill His purposes. Whenever we pray, it is a reminder that we are not the one that decides elections or chooses a president. God, and God alone, does that.


Paul also commands us to submit to government (Rom. 13). On the surface, this is pretty easy to do especially since we have had a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, openly Christian president. But what about a president in whom we have very little in common with.

First, we must be reminded that Jesus, Paul, and all of the first Christians never had a leader that agreed with them on anything. Even the apologist Justin Martyr pleaded with Caesar that Christians were their greatest ally because they sought peace and obedience, but they were still being killed.

And so as Christians, we are called to submit to the demands of government even whenever we disagree with them (policy speaking). If taxes are raised, we must pay them. If laws are passed, we must obey them. Why? Because God, in His sovereignty and providential care, has given us our President whether we like it or not. Truth is, God couldn't care less what we think. He has given us our President. Period.

But we must make our self clear. We are to submit to God first. Therefore, there are two instances in which submission and obedience to government must not be done. First, we must not submit/obey whenever government demands we do something that God has commanded us not to do. Secondly, we must not submit/obey whenever government demand we do not do something God has commanded us to do.

Scripture gives us a number of instances where believers did not obey (cf. Daniel, his three friends, Peter and John, and others). However, we must not be falsely looking for occasions to disobey. Chances are, none of us will be put in a situation that directly contradicts our submission to God.


Finally (and this is no exhaustive list), we must be willing to engage the new President and Congress. By this I mean that we must hold our government accountable, celebrate when they are right, correct them when they are wrong, while doing it with an attitude of love, grace, compassion, and concern.

This is perhaps the toughest part of being a Christian in a fallen culture. We are called to be light who place our trust in the gospel first and then politics. Oftentimes we confuse the two. We begin with politics thinking that it will bring about the spreading of the gospel. We must not fall for this trap. Christianity does have political implications, as does all worldviews. But we must begin with the heart, not the tax code.


As we begin the journey toward the next four years, let us act as Christians, not as angry Republicans/Democrats/Libertarians/or anything else. We seek to fulfill the Great Commission to the glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, let us not forget that we live in a dream world compared to the early Church. None of us have faced death in our country because of our faith. That day may come, but until then, let us not forget that though the early Church faced death, they continued to pray, submit, and engage their culture and their government.

We can learn a lot of them. But learning is only part of the equation. We must also live out what God has revealed. So today, let us pray for our new President hoping that God will glorify His name no matter who is sworn in every four years.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Weekly Recommendation - "A Grief Observed"

This Sunday we will be looking at Psalm 23:4, "even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me." The fact is, we all will face the valley of the shadow of death. Whenever we get that diagnosis, get betrayed by a best friend, our spouse files for divorce, our children disappoint us, or we fail. We will all suffer. We will all grieve. We will all need comfort.

As I have studied this week, I have re-read a classic CS Lewis book entitled, "A Grief Observed." Most will know Lewis and the legacy of his life. He is perhaps most famous for his fictional series, "The Chronicles of Narnia," which have been turned into film multiple times. He is also well known for volumes of nonfictional books including Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, Reflections on the Psalms, The Four Loves, and many more. I have read many of these and Lewis continues to make me think, reevaluate what I believe, and challenge me to be a better Christian. His ability to make the complex simple, yet profound is unsurpassed by any writer in the past century.

His book, A Grief Observed, is unlike his others. As the title suggests, the author is observing his process of grief. Lewis is mourning over the death of his wife. Each chapter is another faze in the grieving process. Lewis writes openly and honestly. The book is short (only about 75 pages) and yet the reader is drawn into the pain and emotions of the author. At some point in our lives, we have all asked the same questions and said the same things as Lewis. He boldly asks where God is in all of this? Why did God allow his wife to get cancer and suffer the way she did? We can all certainly relate. Perhaps no other question has been asked more than that.

One of the things Lewis raises in the book regards his faith as a house of cards. As the book continues, Lewis lays out that prior to his wife's death, he thought he had a house built firmly on the rock that was solid and secure, but God has taken the tragedy of his wife's death and showed him that really his faith was like a house of cards. Upon the smallest of blows, the whole thing crumbles. This resonates with me because like Lewis during the good times, I convince myself that my faith is secure and strong, but then once adversity or tragedy comes, I find myself faltering in my faith and questioning God's goodness.

The goodness of God is another thing that comes up. If God is good, then how could He have let this happen. Lewis has written a book on the subject (The Problem of Pain) and does not go into much detail here. By the end, Lewis makes his case that all though he is hurting, God remains good and is good.

As you read the book, you might find yourself asking, "why did he recommend this again?" Why? Because Lewis is so honest that at times you feel as though he has lost his faith. But keep reading. As each page turns, so does his faith. Though Lewis is honest about his struggles, by the end, he finds himself almost healed and then ends with these words: "How wicked it would be, if we could, to call the dead back! She said not to me but to the chaplain, ‘I am at peace with God.’ She smiled, but not at me." -76

A fitting conclusion.
For More: