Five Dollar Fridays at Ligonier

Items available today are:

1. Ecclesiastes

Teaching Series (CD) by Dr. R.C. Sproul

R.C. Sproul explains that everything we do has eternal significance. He demonstrates how God teaches us more in our suffering than in happy times. Dr. Sproul concludes this series with a charge to fear God and keep His commandments.

2. What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace

eBook by Rev. Richard Phillips

In What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?, the Rev. Richard D. “Rick” Phillips shows that “the doctrines of grace,” those theological tenets more popularly known as “the five points of Calvinism,” are comforting, faith-strengthening, and humbling teachings.

3. The Christian Lover

Hardcover book by Dr. Michael Haykin

Marriage is under siege in our time, and Christian unions are not going unscathed. Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin believes that love letters written by Christian husbands and wives of the past can help strengthen the ties that bind believing spouses today.

4. War on the Word: 2002 National Conference

Download and video by various authors

As they examined the Word of God, Sinclair Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey, Ken Jones, Erwin W. Lutzer, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, and R.C. Sproul Jr. helped to equip Christians to better defend and proclaim the holy Word of God.

5. Names of Jesus

Audio Download Teaching Series by Dr. R. C. Sproul

In a day when Jesus’ identity and mission are often misunderstood, this series can help Christians grasp and communicate a clear picture of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

6. Simple Gifts

CD by Saint Andrew’s Strings

Simple Gifts features the string quartet from Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., performing thirteen traditional hymns and other favorites. Included on this CD is a recording of Come Thou Savior, a communion meditation/hymn written by Dr. R.C. Sproul.

Click Here or the Banner Above to Get Your Ligonier $5 Friday Items!

Thank you so very much. Every purchase made through our links here helps support the preaching and evangelism ministry of Jon Cardwell and Communing in Prayer.

Some Prayer Requests

Please Pray for Us

My friend, Eddie Eddings, called me yesterday and asked if I might keep Craig Boyd and his family in prayer.  Eddie not only co-authored Against Calvinism with Jeff Peterson and me, but he also blogs on the web through his humorous site, Calvinistic Cartoons. One long-time contributing commenter to Eddie’s blog has been Craig Boyd, another Reformed blogger who provides Biblical insights at his weblog, Stranger in a Strange Land. Craig was on the operating table yesterday, undergoing surgery for injuries sustained through a very serious accident. Eddie has a few details on his site (CLICK HERE). Please join us in lifting up the Boyd family in your prayers.

We have had several at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church who would be greatly comforted in knowing that many blessed believers have been praying for them:

Eugene P. has been going through several medical tests over the past few months to attempt to diagnose and treat an incredible swelling of his lower legs and feet.  His calves and ankles have swollen to nearly double its normal size. Doctors are still baffled by this. He recently had a bone marrow sample taken and the results should be here available by the end of the week. His wife, Annaliesa, suffers from a lung ailment that was diagnosed late last year in Birmingham as a rare disease that would give her only a few weeks, perhaps months to live. By God’s grace, she is still with us, but often too weak to get out of the house, or even move around.

Charlie O., has had surgery to remove bone spurs from his heel, an operation that requires there be no weight-bearing upon his left leg for at least six weeks, and that he also keep his leg elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling. As his wife, Cheryl, has suffered from fibromyalgia for over forty years, the assistance that Charlie has given Cheryl through her pain and fatigue has been a challenge through this period of surgical recovery.

Billy B., has had several ailments that have kept him from being as active as he would like. He has also been suffering some of the side effects of a medication, which has placed him in bed all last week. His wife, Chris, has also been troubled with stomach ailments, which may have arisen as a result of post-surgery difficulties following the hernia operation she had a few months ago.

James L. sat in the second pew for over a year and finally made a confession of faith in Jesus Christ after the morning service on April 29, 2011. Works unto a true repentance were manifested immediately and evidence of a regenerated, born-from-above life is noticeable, not only to those who have known him for many years, but even to me, who has known him for only a very short time. James will be baptized on July 31, 2011, desiring greatly to follow the Lord Jesus’ example and be obedient to His command. Please pray also for his wife, Jody, who is not a professing believer and has suffered years of witnessing the wicked works of false confessors and hypocritical religionists.

Each one of them mentioned above are seniors, and for some, places an added measure of difficulty to their ailments. God’s blessed providence has brought me to a church where the majority of its members are afflicted physically. I can certainly sympathize more compassionately with those suffering physical ailments than ever could before, and I am very thankful for that.

Please also pray for D.W. and his wife, Cindy, as he is deployed to the war with a Special Forces unit. We are praying for his safe return by the end of the year. We have also been blessed that most Sundays he has been able to join us in worship via the Internet using Skype.

Please pray for me also, that I may plow straight and deeply in His field; that I may remain devoted to Christ Jesus in all things; and that by God’s grace, I may embrace His grace, cling to Christ’s Cross, cleave unto Jesus Christ alone, and do all things heartily as unto Christ, for God’s glory alone.

Lectio Divina – Mystic Paganism

 [Because I removed several of my old blogs a few months ago, many of the articles from those blogs were also removed. One very popular article was one I had written in May 2007 titled, “Lectio Divina.” Because I was asked recently concerning lectio divina, I wanted to repost this article. There are a few changes in the article, noted in [brackets] for removed links, changes of status, THIS ARTICLE IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OF LECTIO DIVINA, BUT RATHER A WARNING AGAINST AN UNBIBLICAL, PAGAN PRACTICE.]

Although the heading for a recent ZENIT article was titled, “Scripture Is Central to Ecumenism, Says Pope,” it would have been more accurate to give it this title:

Lectio Divina is Central to Ecumenism, Says Pope

Two paragraphs later, Zenit News Service explains in the Pope’s own words what he means by “listening to the word of God.”

The Holy Father suggested that to proceed on the path to Christian unity it is necessary to “listen together to the word of God; to practice ‘lectio divina’ of the Bible,” and to “allow oneself to be surprised by the novelty, which never grows old and is never exhausted, of the word of God.

The article is a very short one and you can read it for yourself by CLICKING HERE.

So? What’s the big deal? Well, to answer that we have to define two things. First we have to define ecumenism. Second, we have to define lectio divina.

Wikipedia defines ecumenism in this way:

Ecumenism or oecumenism mainly refers to initiatives aimed at greater Christian unity or cooperation. It is used predominantly by and with reference to Christian denominations and Christian Churches separated by doctrine, history, and practice. Within this particular context, the term ecumenism refers to the idea of a Christian unity in the literal meaning: that there should be a single Christian Church.

Further reading in Wikipedia, under “Contemporary developments,” and “Issues within Protestantism” section under that, and you will read this in the second to the last paragraph of that subheading:

Organizations such as the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches USAChurches Uniting in ChristPentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship and Christian Churches Together continue to encourage ecumenical cooperation among Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, and, at times, Roman Catholics.

With regard to Christian Churches Together (CCT), check out this link to Christian Research Net to read what Bishop Blaire has to say about the ultimate goal of the Roman Catholic Church and the role of CCT as an “interim process” to reach that goal. You can also read all about it on the CCT website by CLICKING HERE. The quote from the CCT news article said:

Bishop Blaire emphasized that for the Catholic Church the ultimate goal of ecumenism is the full, visible unity of all Christian churches in the one apostolic faith.

In an article entitled, “The Alignment of New Evangelicals with Apostasy“, Richard Bennet, president and founder ofBerean Beacon, and a former Catholic Priest himself, provides excellent insights into this ecumenical apostasy that has invaded the church in these last days.

Now, how is lectio divina used to perpetuate this ecumenism?

Once again, Wikipedia is informative enough to tell us all about lectio divina:

Lectio Divina is Latin for divine reading, spiritual reading, or “holy reading,” and represents a traditional Catholic practice of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and to increase in the knowledge of God’s Word. It is a way of praying with Scripture that calls one to study, ponder, listen and, finally, pray and even sing and rejoice from God’s Word, within the soul.

Although Wikipedia goes on to explain the method of lectio divina, allow me to give you a sample of the method that comes right from the website of the very Protestant denomination I am presently serving in, the Evangelical Covenant Church of America (ECC) [As this article is a reposting of the original article written in May 2007, I am no longer serving as a licensed minister with the Evangelical Covenant Church of America]. What is most shocking about this is that the ECC is promoting this form of prayer as “spiritual discipline” within their “Spiritual Formation” Department.

READING: lectio (read)

Gently read the Scriptures aloud to yourself slowly savoring and repeating the part of the text that speaks to the depths of your heart. Listen to the Word ‘with the ear of your heart,’ and be willing to linger on portions of the text that seem to speak to you in a special way.

Through repetition, gently allow the text to percolate into your memory. Be willing to set the printed text aside to listen quietly to the Word which you have taken into your heart.

MEDITATION: meditatio (reflect)

Lovingly and slowly repeat the text you have internalized….

I can go on but that gives you the general idea. [The links previously found on the Evangelical Covenant Church website, which promoted Lectio Divina under their Spiritual Formation ministry, and presented lectio divina in a pdf document called “Habits of the Heart,” has been removed and does not appear searchable on their search engine at the time of this reposting].

One can easily see that this method of prayer makes no bones about repeating text, directly violating the Lord’s will as Jesus condemns this sort of tom foolery as pagan:

“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7).

That our Lord tells us that vain repetition is particularly pagan should be good enough for us to shun this method. Nevertheless, if you would like further insights regarding how contemplative prayer, such as lectio divina, is used in New Age mysticism, check out this article by Brian Flynn, author of Running Against the Wind and director and founder of One Truth Ministries.

CLICK HERE to read Brian’s article, “Christians Should Dump Contemplative Prayer,” at One Truth Ministries.

Lectio Divina is heavily promoted by several leaders within the Emergent Church Movement, and endorsed by Rick Warren, founder and pastor of the Purpose Driven Movement.

What’s the danger in lectio divina and how could it possibly tie us into a movement that unites us with the Romish church under the pope in Vatican City?

When we practice such methods of prayer, vainly repeating Scripture, lighting votive candles, wearing prayer shawls, or taking certain prayerful steps in order to get into the “presence” of God, we have actually denied the grace of God…

…and blasphemed the Cross of Jesus Christ.