Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cara Coffey's Review - From Mason To Minister

Neil McKinlay wrote a very poignant testimony of his life story growing up in Scotland in his book, From Mason to Minister, Through the Lattice. I learned a lot about that wonderful land as well as Canada and Australia because of his testimony. I appreciated yet again the drawing power of our Lord Jesus Christ as Mr. McKinlay shared his life with us. He also interspersed his book with his own poetry, and this lent a romantic air to this volume.

In the preface of From Mason to Minister, Through the Lattice, Mr. McKinlay explains how he did not write “the ordinary” of what is generally offered concerning freemasonry. He doesn’t make a case against it or for it, but he tells instead his testimony and how he was drawn to becoming a Mason but then how he left it in 1990 as a result of his soul searching for God and the Savior, Jesus Christ.

I appreciated the gentle approach this author has taken with freemasonry because it shows the confusion which is rampant about the belief systems of that organization and the mixture of Christianity with it. I also learned that there are some differences in other countries concerning freemasonry and it was refreshing to get a glimpse of someone else’s life in this regard. Although, I did not consider this book well organized; there was not continuity. It seemed to jump from one topic to another.

Mr. McKinlay’s publisher also wrote a note assuring us this was a helpful book because it does not attack freemasonry but instead gives us assertion that this book is, “…a reasonable explanation for how apparently godly men might have associated themselves with an organization now so widely associated with the occult.” (Gerald Christian Nordskog, p188). I trust the Lord can speak through this gentle testimony to some within the ranks of freemasonry, and my hope is that these men will turn to the Lord and forsake it as wholeheartedly and completely as Mr. McKinlay testifies to us that he did.

See on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Mason-Minister-Through-Lattice/dp/0982707479/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322079421&sr=1-1
See review at Good Reads
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/236223017

Monday, November 21, 2011

KILLING LINCOLN

A quick two-minute review of KILLING LINCOLN – The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever.

Here is a real edge-of-the-seat page-turner from a collaboration between Fox New’s The O’Reilly Factor’s  Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.

This is history taught by two men who know how to keep your attention. I couldn’t put this book down. It’s short but pithy chapters had me wanting to read just a little more before I had to dash off to attend to things more pressing. It reads like an action diary with the clock ticking ever faster and ever closer to each historical event. I felt my heart rate speed as I read about the final moments before Lincoln’s death. Bang!
The details of battles in the Civil War had me on the battlefields smelling the gunpowder and hearing the gallop of hooves, gunfire and bursts of shrapnel. The surrender of General Robert E. Lee (a hero of mine!) to Grant is painted in considerable detail.

The shooting of Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre by J. Wilkes Booth and the slow-death aftermath as the doctor tried his best to save him had me weeping.

Thanks Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugan for enlightening me with the details of this great man’s last days on earth.   

DEMONIC

The following is simply a quick five-minute-review of the book…
Just finished reading Ann Coulter’s Demonic - How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America. In it she deals with the mob mentality of America’s left by contrasting it with the thinking of America’s right. She sees this as the difference between the actions of the purveyors of the atheistic French Revolution and those of the Christian American Revolution respectively.
I particularly loved the way she historically detailed the gory atrocities of the French Revolution with a great deal of insight into what evil incited and drove the unruly mob. Contrast this with the Biblically sound principles that undergirded the American Revolution. Coulter shows how the leftist mob (because it follows the mentality of the leftist mob!) sees the French and American Revolutions as one and the same!
Coulter begins her book by quoting Mark 5:2-9. This portion of Scripture records Jesus dealing with a demoniac. Jesus asked the demoniac, “What is your name?” To which the demoniac replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” Herein lies the thesis for Demonic. Says Coulter, “The demon is a mob, and the mob is demonic.”
As I read her book I was reminded of a time I was home visiting Scotland. Whenever I mentioned the name of John Knox it would be met by a negative response. Though people knew virtually nothing about Knox, they knew only that they hated him! The party line is that Knox is to be demonized. Ask why, and you are likely to be demonized by the mob too! By way of example, try discussing with a group of people the concept that man-made global-warming is probably wrong or that the Theory of Evolution (goo to you) is fantasy and you’ll see what Ann Coulter is getting at in her book. The lynch-mob will gnash its teeth before it strings you up without a trial!
This book is liberally sprinkled (I use the word “liberal” here in the good sense of the word!) with witty gems of Coulter humour. She had me quietly sniggering and at times laughing out loud. I had to keep looking over my shoulder just in case some lefty would see me actually enjoying this book and report me to the thought police!
I suppose the only downside to Demonic is that a good grasp of American politics and the names of American politicians, news associations, news reporters etc. is needed to receive full benefit.
Well done Ann Coulter!

POLES APART

‘When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child.’ Weren’t the North and South Poles called such because each had a wooden or a metal pole sticking out of them? Men would search for these poles so that they could attach a flag to them – men such as Scott, Amundsen or the controversial Peary. And, due to a motion of the earth called ‘Chandler’s Wobble’ it was hard for them to find the exact spot! The North and South Poles are just that, poles apart, and so is my thinking as an adult to what it was as a child! ‘But when I became a man, I put away childish things’ 1 Corinthians 13:11.
The Bible teaches that God and man are poles apart. ‘“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts”’ Isaiah 55:8-9. ‘The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness’ Psalm 24:1. However, instead of subduing it to the glory of God, man has set about planting his own flag on it. Therefore, according to God’s Word, ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way’ Isaiah 53:6a. To go your own way is to go the wrong way!
I once asked an elderly lady (with one foot in the grave) if she was right with God. She replied that she had been good all her life! Her way and God’s way of getting right with God are poles apart. If the elderly lady had meant that she was trying to be good as her grateful response to God for already having declared her right with Himself (on account of the righteousness of Jesus Christ), then I would have rejoiced. But the lady’s view of salvation was the wrong way round. Her way of salvation was by trying to get right with God by trying to be good. But, as Scripture says, ‘There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death’ Proverbs 14:12. Though elderly, the lady was thinking of God as a child might think of Santa Claus! There is nothing wrong with trying to be good for goodness sake, but trying to be good as a way of salvation is poles apart from what God says in His Word.
When I was a non-Christian I thought as a non-Christian, but now by grace alone I am a Christian, I think as a Christian. Non-Christian thought is poles apart from Christian thought. See an example in the following: ‘We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’ 2 Corinthians 10:5. All sixty six books of the Bible, every jot and tittle thereof, were breathed out by God (Matt. 5:17-17; 2 Tim. 3:16). Yet some would argue against this knowledge of God! Others allege that they believe that some, but not all, of the Bible is inspired. Thus these, along with those who reject all of Scripture, are exalting themselves against the knowledge of God. Sadly, like the elderly lady I mentioned above, they follow their own way, which is not God’s way. Their thoughts and God’s thoughts are poles apart.
Our years on this earth are but few: ‘For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away’ James 4:14b. Morning mist melts as the sun rises.  ‘Our God is a consuming fire’ Hebrews 12:29, but He speaks good news to those with ears to hear: ‘The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night’ Psalm 121:5-6. As the Word of the LORD said to Abraham, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward’ Genesis 15:1. As vanishing vapour each of us needs God to cover us and to preserve us. You need to: ‘Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are those who put their trust in Him’ Psalm 2:12. As far as Heaven is from Hell, so are those who trust in the Son of God alone for salvation from those who do not. Poles apart!
The elephant in the room is death. It came in through our front door. The death angel slew Adam, mankind’s ‘firstborn’ for breaking the covenant. Head of humanity’s household, he had declared our independence from God by eating the forbidden fruit. Thus all mankind entered a state of misery and death. But God is gracious. He clothed Adam and Eve with skin before ejecting them from the garden. The same salvation was pictured when the blood of the Passover lamb was sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel. God clothes, ie, covers us with His Son. He is the Lamb that shed His own blood to sprinkle us and protect us. He rose again from the dead, bodily. God invites, nay, He commands us to trust only in Christ and His righteousness to receive His pardon and everlasting life, now and in our future resurrection.
‘This is the way, walk in it’ Isaiah 30:21. Don’t be poles apart from God!

Monday, November 14, 2011

ANGELS & DEMONS

I read Dan Brown’s novel ‘Angels & Demons’ hoping to learn two things: How to write a bestselling novel and what he had to say about angels and demons. I may have learned a little about the former from him but very little about the latter! Mind you, Brown is out to entertain not educate. Angels and demons: what are they? Well, Materialists tell us not to bother looking because they don’t exist. But according to the Bible they are very much in existence. So what should I believe? Books that tell me nothing about these things or the Book that tells me everything I need to know? The Word of God is proof enough to me for the existence of angels and demons. If you want more proof than that then you’ll have to take it up with the triune God!
            Angels are spirit-beings mentioned early in the Bible. When God ejected Adam and Eve from the Garden ‘He placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life’ Genesis 3:24. Cherubim are a type of angel. The ejection from the Garden was the result of Eve being deceived by a talking serpent and Adam covenanting with him, i.e., Satan. Satan is a fallen angel.
Notice that God is able to cast out Satan. The Lord, speaking of the exalted position of the King of Tyre, likens that king to Satan, ‘You were in Eden, the garden of God … you were the anointed cherub who covers … you sinned … therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God’ Ezekiel 28:13-16. Again, ‘So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to earth, and his angels were cast out with him’ Revelation 12:9. And notice the authority that God has over Satan and his demons, ‘And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day’ Jude 1:6.
Demons are angels who were cast out of heaven along with Satan. All were created good, but some, perhaps a third, like Adam in the Garden joined Satan in his rebellion against God. And just as they were ejected from Heaven, so Adam was ejected from the Garden. Heaven and the Garden are intimately connected. Adam was to tend and keep (or guard) the Garden. Therefore Adam, like Satan the covering cherub, was supposed to cover the Garden against intruders (such as Satan!)
The new Adam, the God-man Jesus Christ, demonstrated His divinity by casting out demons. A legion of them asked His permission to enter a herd of pigs! Demons indwelling a herd of swine helps us to understand how Satan was able to speak through a serpent.
The good news is that Jesus is the Seed of the woman that was coming to crush the serpent’s head as promised in Genesis 3:15. By His cross and resurrection He has tied up the strongman and is now plundering his house, i.e., He is setting the captives free by the proclamation of His Gospel.
Angels? ‘Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?’ Hebrews 1:14. Dear reader, may you be an inheritor of salvation and have angels as friends