Found this commentary on Soren Kierkegaard.  What is amazing about Kierkegaard is that he wrote in the first half of the 19th century.  What he was preaching back then is totally relevant for today.

The greatest enemy of Christianity, he argued, was “Christendom”—the cultured and respectable Christianity of his day. The tragedy of easy Christianity is that existence has ceased to be an adventure and a constant risk in the presence of God but has become a form of morality and a doctrinal system. Its purpose is to simplify the matter of becoming a Christian. This is just paganism, “cheap” Christianity, with neither cost nor pain, Kierkegaard argued. It is like war games, in which armies move and there is a great deal of noise, but there is no real risk or pain—and no real victory. Kierkegaard believed the church of his day was merely “playing at Christianity.”

Kierkegaard became increasingly convinced that his calling was in “making Christianity difficult.” He was to remind people of his day that to be truly Christian, one must become aware of the cost of faith and pay the price.

Mark Galli and Ted Olsen, 131 Christians Everyone Should Know (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 228.

Lord, may I never wince or shy away from being faithful to you when the difficulty of carrying my cross and following Jesus becomes too burdensome.  May I place my trust in your sovereign hands.  May I risk greatly for your glory!

Posted by: Robin Foster | December 21, 2009

Logos 4: Taking Sermon Prep to the Next Level

Ever since I got the Biblesoft 2.0 edition back in 1997 I have used Bible computer software in my study. Over the years I remained with Biblesoft upgrading to the 5.0 version last year spring. I even wrote a review for them to use in their advertising. For the price, it is a great resource, but as I upgraded, I also waited for Biblesoft to produce something that dealt with syntactical and clausal analysis of the original Hebrew and Greek. In the DMin program at Southwestern, looking past the particular words to the clausal structure has been a major emphasis and a tremendous help in my preparation to preach God’s Word.

In February of 2009 I went to the Biblesoft table when I attended the Pastors Conference at FBC Jacksonville and asked if they were developing anything that might help in studying the text at the clausal level. The guy at the table said that they hadn’t and that I really didn’t need to do that because it was a waste of time. I wouldn’t get much out of it. My response, “Hmmmmmmmmm? I think it is time to move on to another program.”

While I still believe that Biblesoft is a good program (great for those who have limited knowledge of Greek and Hebrew) and well worth the investment (It is much cheaper than Logos), I wanted to go deeper electronically with my study. Then I took another look at Logos. I had kept up with them since my seminary days, but during that time I did not feel the price justified the investment. Now ……… WOW! I got the Logos 3.0 program after the Pastors Conference and it has been a tremendous help. They recently released the 4.0 program and I upgraded to the Platinum edition from the Gold I had. The resources are too numerous to mention. And yes, they have great syntactical and clausal analysis resources that help in those studies.

What is great with the 4.0 edition is the indexing feature that indexes every word used in the entire library so that if I want to find out more on “baptism” all I have to do is type it and every resource in the library that refers to baptism will come up. Hours of research are done in just a few seconds. If I am studying a particular passage in the New Testament, all I have to do is type in the passage and more than thirty commentaries and word studies pop up on the screen saving me hours of researching. I can also designate which resources are my favorite to get what I need more quickly. The information is a click away. The Old Testament resources are not as numerous as the New Testament resources, but in reality, that is true whether you are using Logos or not. Even so, a wealth of information is available for the Old Testament.

Another bonus is that I can integrate the Logos program with my iPhone. While Logos is still in the process of getting the entire library available on the iPhone, for the time being I can still do some incredible studies (Logos currently has over 3000 resources. Click here to see which ones.) and look up items when I am working with others one-on-one or in small groups. Just this morning I was discussing some particulars about Herod the Great with other pastors and was able to look up information on the spot to settle an argument.

The major draw back is that they are still developing the software for the Mac. While I could use what they have available on my Mac, it would be updated approximately every two weeks and on each update the computer would go and re-index all the material in the program, which would take several hours. They plan on having the updated edition fully integrated for Mac by the summer. Until then I can still run the program on my parallel.

If you are hyper-serious about getting the most out of your study time in the best way possible and you have the means by which to do so, I would recommend Logos 4.0. If cost is a serious problem, they have discounts for seminary students and professors if your institution has an agreement with them. They will also allow you to pay the cost in installments. Check out the web site, to get all the details.

I have not been paid or given any monetary benefits for this review.

Posted by: Robin Foster | November 19, 2009

Prophetic Words for Today’s Issues

Taken from Balthasar Hubmaier – Anabaptist and martyr for biblical truth.

The second error; that nearly everywhere the Supper of Christ has been restored and (so-called) communion given to people “in both kinds” and yet there was preceding this no baptism, which is counter to clear Scripture, which indicates this sequence: first preaching, second faith, third confession, fourth water baptism, fifth the breaking of bread, Acts 2:42 and other texts. But Satan can well stand to have us build something up today and break it down again after a short time, for thereby many persons are seriously weakened, confused and scandalized, so that they no longer know at all what they are supposed to believe or practice.

Yes indeed, says our carnal wisdom, which in such matter above all does not want to look like a fool: “We must have forbearance with the weak. Right now it is not fitting to preach that. In a while it will be fitting. Now I preach what, if I had preached it a year ago, I would long ago have been chased out. But now I am still with my sheep.” O you o f little faith, you are speaking as if it was through your own counsel that the people have stood by the Word of God, and that God would not have been able to sustain it. Here you rob the divine Word of its power and of the efficacy which is ascribed to it everywhere in Scripture, Isa. 40:8; 55:11; Gen 1; Jer. 6; 23:29; Heb 4:12; Rom 1. But so that one can tell when to exercise forbearance and when not, let me this time establish this rule.

In those things which have to do with human practices, such as eating meat or not eating meat, holding or not holding holidays, etc., one may well forbear and do or admit something for the sake of the weak, but only for a time until our neighbor is better instructed in the Word of God, and so that Christian freedom should not be made into a new human law. But in true doctrine and in Christian deeds, one must freely proclaim and do what God has commanded us and not other wise, and trust again to the Word of God for its efficacy, even if the whole world were to fall away again. For it is much better that a person should fall than that the Word should fall, for the Word it will be very easy for him, as with Jacob’s ladder, to be helped up again. Thus Christ himself did with the teaching on food, Mat 15:17ff. and with the eating of his flesh, John 6:53ff. He does not ask whether the Jews and the disciples are offended but speaks out freely the Word of truth, whoever might fall away from him or toward him

Posted by: Robin Foster | November 11, 2009

Veterans: Thank You For My Freedom

I post this video for all men and women who have stood in the gap to keep us free to live and worship in this country.  I especially thank those who are currently serving and pray for the families and soldiers in Ft Hood who have been affected by this terrorist act.

Posted by: Robin Foster | March 25, 2009

During Times Like These, Grace

Below is my monthly newsletter article to members of Immanuel Baptist Church. I pray that it is a blessing to all.

Economic times are the worst since the Great Depression or at least that is what is being touted on the television. While I agree that the economy is challenging and tough, the question that looms in my mind is, \”What should the response of a disciple of Christ be?\”

Some in our church have lost their jobs by being laid off. Others are having their hours cut back. Yes, for my brothers and sisters in those situations, times are the worst that they have experienced in their life. Yet, God\’s word gives us hope. Times were tough for the Christians that Peter was writing to in his first epistle. They were also facing loss of income and even worse, loss of life because of their faith. Still, Peter sought to encourage them by pointing them back to their salvation. He did not want them to get discouraged in their present situation, but reflect on what the prophets before them saw, yet did not experience. The Messiah had come and delivered grace through the cross. Their sins were no longer stumbling blocks to their eternal destiny. Things of this world were but a pittance compared to eternal glories that awaited the followers of the One who suffered for them.

Today, while people will lose their jobs and possibly their house and belongings, we as followers of Jesus will never lose the most precious thing given to us, the salvation of our souls. Remember, if God is God (and He is), then who or what can be against us? It is my prayer and hope that Immanuel Baptist Church will support our fellow believers as the tough economic times affect us all. But still, I pray and hope more fervently that these times will cause us to better appreciate the grace that has come to us.

Posted by: Robin Foster | March 21, 2009

Cowboy New Stadium

This is a picture from Six Flags of the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium that is still under construction. This is for all you Cowboy fans.

Posted by: Robin Foster | March 21, 2009

Six Flags Fun

It’s a bit crowded, but the family is having a great time.

Posted by: Robin Foster | February 26, 2009

Awana Pastor Appreciation Nite

img_00071Tonight was pastor appreciation nite for our AWANA ministry. The kids made me several cards and thanked me for being their pastor. I truly love these kids and pray that God will to do a wonderful work in their lives.  I especially appreciate the work of the many volunteers.  It is them who deserve appreciation before me.

Posted by: Robin Foster | February 24, 2009

The Gravity of a Pastor’s Sin.

As I began my studies for the day, I read this from Richard Baxter’s, “The Reformed Pastor.” Lord, please show me my sin and its effect on your church so that I may repent and bring glory to your name. May we all feel and see the weight of our sin and its effects on churches we have been called to shepherd so that we may repent before great harm occurs to the saints.

Too many who have undertaken the work of the ministry do so obstinately proceed in self-seeking, negligence, pride, and other sins, that it is become our necessary duty to admonish them. If we saw that such would reform without reproof, we would gladly forbear the publishing of their faults. But when reproofs themselves prove so ineffectual, that they are more offended at the reproof than at the sin, and had rather that we should cease reproving than that themselves should cease sinning, I think it is time to sharpen the remedy. For what else should we do? To give up our brethren as incurable were cruelty, as long as there are further means to he used.

We must not hate them, but plainly rebuke them, and not suffer sin upon them. To bear with the vices of the ministry is to promote the ruin of the Church; for what speedier way is there for the depraving and undoing of the people, than the depravity of their guides? And how can we more effectually further a reformation, than by endeavoring to reform the leaders of the Church? For my part, I have done as I would be done by; and it is for the safety of the Church, and in tender love to the brethren, whom I venture to reprehend – not to make them contemptible and odious, but to heal the evils that would make them so – that so no enemy may find this matter of reproach among us. But, especially, because our faithful endeavors are of so great necessity to the welfare of the Church, and the saving of men’s souls, that it will not consist with a love to either, to be negligent ourselves, or silently to connive at negligence in others. If thousands of you were in a leaking ship, and those that should pump out the water, and stop the leaks, should. be sporting or asleep, or even but favoring themselves in their labors, to the hazarding of you all, would you not awaken them to their work and call on them to labor as for your lives? And if you used some sharpness and importunity with the slothful, would you think that man was in his wits who would take it ill of you, and accuse you of pride, selfconceitedness, or unmannerliness, to presume to talk so saucily to your fellow-workmen, or that should tell you that you wrong them by diminishing their reputation? Would you not say, ‘The work must be done, or we are all dead men. Is the ship ready to sink, and do you talk of reputation? or had you rather hazard yourself and us, than hear of your slothfullness?’ This is our case, brethren, The work of God must needs be done! Souls must not perish, while you mind your worldly business or worldly pleasure, and take your ease, or quarrel with your brethren! Nor must we be silent while men are hastened by you to perdition, and the Church brought into greater danger and confusion, for fear of seeming too uncivil and unmannerly with you, or displeasing your impatient souls! Would you be but as impatient with your sins as with our reproofs, you should hear no more from us, but we should be all agreed! But, neither God nor good men will let you alone in such sins. Yet if you had betaken yourselves to another calling, and would sin to yourselves only, and would perish alone, we should not have so much necessity of molesting you, as now we have: but if you will enter into the office of the ministry, which is for the necessary preservation of us all, so that by letting you alone in your sin, we must give up the Church to loss and hazard, blame us not if we talk to you more freely than you would have us to do. If your own body were sick, and you will despise the remedy, or if your own house were on fire, and you will be singing or quarrelling in the streets, I could possibly bear it, and let you alone, (which yet, in charity, I should not easily do,) but, if you will undertake to be the physician of an hospital, or to a whole town that is infected with the plague, or will undertake to quench all the fires that shall be kindled in the town, there is no bearing with your remissness, how much soever it may displease you. Take it how you will, you must be told of it; and if that will not serve, you must be told of it yet more plainly; and, if that will not serve, if you be rejected as well as reprehended, you may thank yourselves. I speak all this to none but the guilty.

Posted by: Robin Foster | February 23, 2009

Another Reason to Love the iPhone

Not only can I post from my iPhone, I can also now easily enjoy all the facebook features with my iPhone.

iPhones are awesome!

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