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Are the Poor and Minorities Really Better off under Progressive Policy?

Many of the evangelicals who have drifted left in recent years seem to have done so with the belief that the left better deals with issues such as poverty and racism, and they judge conservatives to be heartless as if they do not care about these issues. I have even heard some well known preachers declare that conservatives care about abortion but liberals care about the poor. This, I believe, is to create a false binary. Theological conservatives who lean to the right do not vote the way they do because they dream of ways to be heartless, but because, among other things, they believe that leftist policies, however well intended, are the primary cause of poverty and systemic racism to begin with.

We all agree that Christians have a special obligation beyond what ordinary humanity has to take care of the poor and marginalized. We just disagree over the solution. But we ought not judge public policy merely by its good intentions.

California (where I grew up) is a good example of the good intentions fallacy. Consider these 5 facts about the Golden State:

1. California has one of the greatest disparities in education for minorities kids, among other reasons, due to its political captivity to its teachers unions. Many are unwilling to take a job in schools they see as an undesirable location. In addition, widespread school choice is necessary to deal with persistent education gaps that often leave poor, minority students in failing public schools while their wealthy peers have the money to send their children to private schools or move to a desirable school district. But the people being put in office in these cities are opposed to school choice because of political interests.

2. California spends about $98.5 billion annually on welfare — the most in the US — but has the highest poverty rate in America.

Sat, 10/24/2020 - 20:13 -- john_hendryx

Incline my heart unto thy testimonies

by Thomas Manton

Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness—Psalm 119:36.

IN the former verses David had asked understanding and direction to know the Lord's will; now he asketh an inclination of heart to do the Lord's will, 

The understanding needs not only to be enlightened, but the will to be moved and changed. 

Man's heart is of its own accord averse from God and holiness, even then when the wit is most refined, and the understanding is stocked and stored with high notions about it; therefore, David doth not only say, 'Give me understanding,' but 'Incline my heart.' We can be worldly of ourselves, but we cannot be holy and heavenly of ourselves; that must be asked of him who is 'the father of lights, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift.' They that plead for the power of nature shut out the use of prayer; for if by nature we could determine ourselves to that which is good, there would be no need of grace; and if there be no need of grace, there is no use of prayer. But Austin hath said well, Natura vera confessione, non falsa defensione, opus habet—we need rather to confess our weakness than defend our strength. Thus doth David, and so will every broken-hearted Christian that hath had an experience of the inclinations of his own soul; he will come to God and say, 'Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.' 

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 17:34 -- john_hendryx

If We Say that We Have No Sin, We Deceive Ourselves

by Robert Candlish

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."—1 JOHN 1:8–10.

THE gracious assurance that "the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth us from all sin," suggests the supposition of our "saying that we have no sin." For if we, "walking in the light as God is in the light," could say that truly, we might dispense with the relief which the assurance is fitted to give. But, alas! we can say it only under the influence of self-deception, and such self-deception as implies the absence of that "truth in the inward parts" which God "desires" (Psalm 51:6). Better far to "confess our sins," believing that God "forgiveth our sins," and that he does so in such a way of "faithfulness and justice" as insures our being "cleansed from all unrighteousness" with regard to them,—all unfair and partial dealing with conscience or with God about them. In this full faith let us "confess our sins." For if, after all, even in our confession, there is reserve and guile, trying to make out that in this or that instance "we have not sinned," or not sinned so much as might appear, we are guilty still of an unbelieving distrust of God; "we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

Such is the line of the Apostle's argument, in three successive steps or stages.

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 12:58 -- john_hendryx

On John 3:16

by Robert Candlish (1806-1873)

on mankind at large, of the exhibition of the cross, and the proclamation of the gospel, is graciously and gloriously attested. These are such as John i. 29, iii. 16, iv. 42, xii. 32; 1 John iv. 14. Generally, these passages coincide, in substance, with those of the class first cited, which assert the indiscriminate applicability of Christ’s work, without respect of persons, or distinction of “Jew or Greek, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free;” and they equally, with the former, fall under the remark of Professor Moses Stuart, in the extract which we have given from his book. But they seem to go a little farther; and having respect, not to the design and efficacy of the atonement, in its accomplishment and application, nor even, strictly speaking, to its sufficiency, but solely to the discovery which, as a historical transaction, it is fitted to make of the divine character—especially of the divine compassion and benevolence—they are to be regarded as giving intimation of the widest possible universality.

Mon, 10/12/2020 - 15:22 -- john_hendryx

The Difference Between Legal & Gospel Mortification

by Ralph Erskine

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13 (KJV)

There is a woeful tenderness that we have of ourselves that keeps us from mortifying our corruption. Have you never discovered or seen the evil and bitterness of sin, but lived always in peace? Why, then it seems the strong man keeps the house [Matthew 12:29]: if the passing of the gravel stone [i.e. the small hard mass that blocks the urinary tract causing severe pain] never pained you, ye are not yet quit of it. If your heart was never pained with sin, it says your heart was never yet circumcised. The strength of sin remains where there has been no Gospel mortification. Yea, what great reformations have taken place among some, so as by their life you would think they were real converts because of their exactness and tenderness. Yet they are enemies of grace and strangers to the Gospel, and consequently to true mortification, which cannot be by the Law, it being the strength of sin.

Question: How shall I know, whether it be by the Gospel that I mortify sin or by the Law?

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 15:49 -- john_hendryx

Entire Resignation to God's Sovereignty

by A. W. Pink

A true recognition of God's absolute sovereignty, will exclude all murmuring. This is self-evident—yet the thought deserves to be dwelt upon. It is natural to murmur against afflictions and losses. It is natural to complain when we are deprived of those things upon which we had set our hearts. We are apt to regard our possessions as ours unconditionally. We feel that when we have prosecuted our plans with prudence and diligence, that we are entitled to success; that when by dint of hard work we have accumulated a 'competence,' we deserve to keep and enjoy it; that when we are surrounded by a happy family, no power may lawfully enter the charmed circle and strike down a loved one. And if in any of these cases disappointment, bankruptcy, death, actually comes, the perverted instinct of the human heart is to cry out against God. But in the one who, by grace, has recognized God's sovereignty, such murmuring is silenced, and instead, there is a bowing to the Divine will, and an acknowledgment that He has not afflicted us as sorely as we deserve.

Tue, 09/01/2020 - 17:39 -- john_hendryx

Download the Entire Monergism eBook Library (650+)

Many users have requested that we provide a place where all of our eBooks can be downloaded at once (currently over 650 eBooks).  So we have provided a compressed zip file for each type of eBook format (ePub, .mobi & .pdf). Select the one you use on your eReader. These obviously will not include our newly published eBooks, but we will try to upload them once per month as the list grows. To see the current list of eBooks click here. While many of the eBooks have text that is in the public domain, the eBooks themselves are copyrighted material and are meant to be freely downloaded for personal use, so please do not upload them to another server or sell them.  Click on the format you prefer:

               

Fri, 08/14/2020 - 17:06 -- john_hendryx

Spiritual Supplies For Difficulties & Persecution

by John Owen

What is the work of faith in this condition, that we may glorify God, and carry it through to a good and comfortable issue to ourselves? Call your own hearts to an account, and see how faith will work to give you support and supply. I will tell you what I am labouring after in my own heart; and the Lord direct you to find out what will be more useful! What will faith do in such a case? I answer,— 

Mon, 08/03/2020 - 11:55 -- john_hendryx

J. I. Packer

“If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible.

We are, in effect bearing false witness and preaching a false Christ. Our message is ‘another gospel, which is not another.’ Such preaching may soothe some, but it will help nobody; for a Christ who is not seen and sought as a Saviour from sin will not be found to save from self or from anything else.

An imaginary Christ will not bring a real salvation; and a half-truth presented as the whole truth is a complete untruth.”

–J.I. Packer, “The Puritan View of Preaching the Gospel,” in Puritan Papers, Vol 1.

Biographical Sketch

1926-2020

James Innell Packer (born in Gloucester, England) is a British-born Canadian Christian theologian in the Calvinistic Anglican tradition. He currently serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is considered to be one of the most important evangelical theologians of the late 20th century.

The son of a clerk for the Great Western Railway, Packer won a scholarship to Oxford University. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, obtaining the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (1948), Master of Arts (1952), and Doctor of Philosophy (1955).

Sat, 07/18/2020 - 11:16 -- john_hendryx

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