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The Baptist Library Vol I Video

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Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books

September 29, 2015 4 comments

by Albert R. Mohler

I cannot really remember when I did not love to read books. I do know that I was very eager to learn to read, and that I quickly found myself immersed in the world of books and literature. It may have been a seduction of sorts, and the Christian disciples must always be on guard to guide the eyes to books worthy of a disciple’s attention—and there are so many.

As Solomon warned, “Of making many books there is no end” (Ecc 12:12). There is no way to read everything, and not everything deserves to be read. I say that in order to confront the notion that anyone, anywhere, can master all that could be read with profit. I read a great deal, and a large portion of my waking hours are devoted to reading. Devotional reading for spiritual profit is an important part of the day, and that begins with the reading of Scripture. In terms of timing, I am somewhat unorthodox. My best time for spending time in the Word is late at night, when all is calm and quiet and I am mentally alert and awake. That is not the case when I first get up in the mornings, when I struggle to find each word on the page (or anything else, for that matter).

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Papists should desist from the plea that images are the books of the unlearned

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Objection, — That images are the books of the unlearned.
Answer continued, —
3. The use of images condemned by the luxury and meretricious ornaments given to them in Popish Churches.
4. The Church must be trained in true piety by another method.

7. Let Papists, then, if they have any sense of shame, henceforth desist from the futile plea, that images are the books of the unlearned — a plea so plainly refuted by innumerable passages of Scripture. And yet were I to admit the plea, it would not be a valid defense of their peculiar idols. It is well known what kind of monsters they obtrude upon us as divine. For what are the pictures or statues to which they append the names of saints, but exhibitions of the most shameless luxury or obscenity? Were any one to dress himself after their model, he would deserve the pillory. Indeed, brothels exhibit their inmates more chastely and modestly dressed than churches do images intended to represent virgins. The dress of the martyrs is in no respect more becoming. Let Papists then have some little regard to decency in decking their idols, if they would give the least plausibility to the false allegation, that they are books of some kind of sanctity. But even then we shall answer, that this is not the method in which the Christian people should be taught in sacred places. Very different from these follies is the doctrine in which God would have them to be there instructed. His injunction is, that the doctrine common to all should there be set forth by the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments, — a doctrine to which little heed can be given by those whose eyes are carried too and fro gazing at idols. And who are the unlearned, whose rudeness admits of being taught by images only? Just those whom the Lord acknowledges for his disciples; those whom he honors with a revelation of his celestial philosophy, and desires to be trained in the saving mysteries of his kingdom. I confess, indeed, as matters now are, there are not a few in the present day who cannot want such books. But, I ask, whence this stupidity, but just because they are defrauded of the only doctrine which was fit to instruct them? The simple reason why those who had the charge of churches resigned the office of teaching to idols was, because they themselves were dumb. Paul declares, that by the true preaching of the gospel Christ is portrayed and in a manner crucified before our eyes, (Galatians 3:1.) Of what use, then, were the erection in churches of so many crosses of wood and stone, silver and gold, if this doctrine were faithfully and honestly preached, viz., Christ died that he might bear our curse upon the tree, that he might expiate our sins by the sacrifice of his body, wash them in his blood, and, in short, reconcile us to God the Father? From this one doctrine the people would learn more than from a thousand crosses of wood and stone. As for crosses of gold and silver, it may be true that the avaricious give their eyes and minds to them more eagerly than to any heavenly instructor.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 11-Henry Beveridge Translation

Ancient Theologians condemned the formation and worship of idols

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Objection, — That images are the books of the unlearned.
Answer continued,
2. Ancient Theologians condemn the formation and worship of idols.

6. Moreover, let Lactantius and Eusebius be read on this subject. These writers assume it as an indisputable fact, that all the beings whose images were erected were originally men. In like manner, Augustine distinctly declares, that it is unlawful not only to worship images, but to dedicate them. And in this he says no more than had been long before decreed by the Libertine Council, the thirty-sixth Canon of which is, “There must be no pictures used in churches: Let nothing which is adored or worshipped be painted on walls.” But the most memorable passage of all is that which Augustine quotes in another place from Varro, and in which he expressly concurs: — “Those who first introduced images of the gods both took away fear and brought in error.” Were this merely the saying of Varro, it might perhaps be of little weight, though it might well make us ashamed, that a heathen, groping as it were in darkness, should have attained to such a degree of light, as to see that corporeal images are unworthy of the majesty of God, and that, because they diminish reverential fear and encourage error. The sentiment itself bears witness that it was uttered with no less truth than shrewdness. But Augustine, while he borrows it from Varro, adduces it as conveying his own opinion. At the outset, indeed, he declares that the first errors into which men fell concerning God did not originate with images, but increased with them, as if new fuel had been added. Afterwards, he explains how the fear of God was thereby extinguished or impaired, his presence being brought into contempt by foolish, and childish, and absurd representations. The truth of this latter remark I wish we did not so thoroughly experience. Whosoever, therefore, is desirous of being instructed in the true knowledge of God must apply to some other teacher than images.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 11-Henry Beveridge Translation

The Word Bible

August 19, 2013 2 comments

theWord Bible Software

I want to spread ‘The Word’ about a new digital Bible that is making headway in the area of home Bible study. This Bible program has been developed with the amateur and professional theologian in mind. It incorporates the ability to read and study from various translations of scripture, while at the same time allowing the user to search various dictionaries or read material from some of the most popular pastors, theologians, and professors of Church history.

Therefore I give you a link to this exceptional and useful Bible study tool. Just click the picture above.

dcox-gravator-small50x50I also want to promote the work of my dear friend David Cox. David is a missionary, pastor, and evangelist in Mexico City. David has been working on creating modules for ‘The Word’ Bible program in which aides the Bible student in his study of scripture and knowledge of what some of the best theologians of church history have written concerning biblical and theological matters.

Here is a link to David’s page, on which you can download free modules to add to ‘The Word’ Bible program. While on his page feel free to thank him for his tremendous sacrifice of spending time on making these modules. As you download these modules, please consider supporting his work in Mexico.

Baptist Quotes and Articles

I wanted to let everyone know that in a few weeks this blog will begin to focus more on Reformed or Particular Baptist quotes, articles, and books. Right now I am reading through some of the earliest writers of the particular Baptist persuasion.

This does not mean that I am not going to quote Paedobaptist writers or refer you to their works, but seeing that this blog is aimed at Reformed Baptist doctrines, then I wanted to provide my readers with quotes, articles, and books that will show them what the earlier fathers of Baptist doctrines taught.

I hope you enjoy.

God bless,

Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.