Check out


5 Words That Weaken Every Sermon | For The Church

A Call for Christian Extremists | Tim Challies

Simple Praying for Complex Times | Gentle Reformation

Being Pro-Life Has Never Been Easy |

Bits and Pieces for Young Ministers: Discipleship, Rest and Reading | Thabiti

Christian Belief Cost Kelvin Cochran His Job | WSJ

Five truths for navigating our First Amendment crisis | Joel J. Miller

This 1897 Text Gives 3 Clues Why Today’s Students Can’t Write | Intellectual Takeout

New Book

God’s Servant Job: A Poem with a Promise by Douglas Bond

Kindle Books

We Believe: Creeds, Confessions, & Catechisms for Worship by Matthew Sims $2.99

Puritan Evangelism by Joel Beeke $0.99

Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought by Stephen Nichols $1.99.

To the Glory of God: A 40-Day Devotional on the Book of Romans by James Montgomery Boice $3.99.


John Macarthur on the Islamic Threat

The Islamic Revolution Comes to Paris

If you’d lived during the industrial revolution, you probably wouldn’t have thought, “Oh, wow, this is a revolution.” No, it’s hard for people in the middle of massive changes to make sense of them, to see the bigger picture, to see where all the different bits and pieces are pointing. It’s usually only with hindsight that historians can look back and say, “These were revolutionary times — times of epochal change and radical transformation.”

If the world is spared long enough, I believe that many will look back on these years and say, “That was a revolution. The world was radically and irreversibly transformed in the first 10-15 years of the 21st century.” They will put together all the multiple pieces – 9/11, the Iraq War, Madrid, London, Paris, Syria, Al Qaeda, ISIS, etc., – and see how they all fit together and what a different world picture they created.

But behind these infamous dates, places, and names are deeper forces that have been at work for decades and have now combined to create a perfect hurricane.

Unprecedented mobility. With modern transport — via road, rail, sea, and plane — it has never been easier for people to travel hundreds, even thousands of miles in a relatively short time, relatively unimpeded, and in relative safety. Whether we look at the Mexican border or at Europe this past summer we see the same thing — hundreds of thousands of people in multiple mass movements between nations and even continents.

Borderless nations. In the past, national borders and checkpoints would have made it impossible for people to get into one country from another without a passport or visa. The Mexican border is now more of a gate than a fence. Most European nations boast of being borderless. You can travel from one country to another almost as easily as going to the grocery store. Even when the French “closed” their so-called border on Friday evening, three escaping terrorists waltzed through a checkpoint near the Belgian border and escaped.

Greedy companies. Just as in the USA, large multinationals in Europe are driving greater immigration in their desire to get workers who will accept lower wages and thus increase their profits. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken of the economic boost that welcoming hundreds of thousands of Syrians will give to their country.

Ambitious politicians. Many politicians want to accelerate immigration and give amnesty to illegal immigrants because they want their future votes and thus increase and extend their power in government.

Political correctness. College campuses, the media, politicians, and the courts have combined to make it almost impossible for moral values, religious beliefs, and ethical conduct to be critiqued. Anything goes apart from saying that anything shouldn’t go. So afraid are the authorities of offending Muslim sensitivities that many Muslim communities in European cities are now no-go areas for police and other state agencies. Even after Friday evening’s atrocities, the Democratic candidates for President refused to use the phrase “radical Islam.”

Smashed nations. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Iraq war and its mismanaged bloody aftermath, or the the half-hearted and confused military strategies in Libya and Syria, the result is hundreds of utterly destroyed cities — even the destruction of whole civilizations. No wonder we have so many angry young Muslim men. We’re partly responsible for wiping their futures off the map. Their homes, their universities, their businesses, their roads – all lie in ruins. And now we’re welcoming hundreds of thousands of them into Europe and expect them to treat us and our cities with respect?

Crusading Islam. When you put together unprecedented mobility, borderless nations, greedy companies, ambitious politicians, political correctness, moral confusion, and smashed nations you’ve created a wide open goal for an aggressive Islam that wants to conquer the world. There are virtually no obstacles left — no geographical, national, financial, political, or moral barriers — to hinder them.

Mass media. All of the above is now broadcast 24/7 around the world, via mainstream and social media, drawing ever growing tsunamis of undocumented and unknown peoples to Western Europe and North America, with the publicity around successful attacks provoking terrorists to outdo one another in their vile and abhorrent evil.

If such are the causes, what are the solutions? Well, it’s close to impossible to reverse or change what has happened over the past 15 years or so. Like all sin, we know how to start it, but we don’t know where it will end or what will end it.

Even if walls are built and immigration policies enforced, Europe and the USA already harbor thousands of trained and motivated Islamic terrorists and hundreds of thousands of terrorist sympathizers. Greedy companies and ambitious politicians have their extra dollars and extra votes. We have extra blood on the streets, and who knows when it will stop flowing. 

Despite their feigned outrage, I don’t see the politicians taking this threat seriously. The same empty speeches about “this is an attack on our values” and “an attack on France is an attack on us all” will continue to be wheeled out after the next city is targeted. And nothing will change.

Muslim clerics in American and Europe will continue to preach hatred against their hosts without fear of punishment. And young men will continue to be radicalized. 

Businessmen will get their cheap labor. And life will continue to be cheapened.

Without a widespread spiritual revival, the moral confusion of political correctness will continue to sap conviction, courage, and character from this and following generations. We’ll continue to kill babies faster than they are born while the Muslims will continue to multiply them.

What then can be done? Ceaseless prayer, bold witness, and readiness for eternity.

We must pray to the Sovereign God who still rules over the nations and the religions of the earth. We pray for protection, we pray for the conversion of Muslims through the Gospel of peace. We pray for a new generation of brave and wise leaders. We pray for restraint upon evil-doers and for success in thwarting and defeating them.

We will continue to boldly declare the truth of Christ no matter the intimidation and the threats. We will never stop proclaiming Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven.

And we will get ready for eternity. Thankfully, we can carry guns here in the US, But that’s no substitute for getting ready for eternity. We are living in extremely dangerous days and we and our families must be prepared to meet God no matter when, where, or how that summons comes.

More articles on the Paris attacks here.

Check out: Special Paris Edition


Here’s a range of articles on the Paris attacks which are worth reading

9 Things You Should Know About Islamic State | TGC

France: A Fabric Torn | Desiring God

The Islamic Revolution Comes to Paris | David Murray

7 Ways to Help Children Deal with Fear | Ron Edmondson

We Are All Parisians Now: A Christian Response to Global Terror and Radical Islam | A Blog by Ed Stetzer

ISIS is Near, No One is Safe and Why We Should Think About It | The Cripplegate

How to Pray for Paris | TGC

God does not hide himself in times of trouble | Aaron Armstrong

Sweden ‘Facing Collapse’ Thanks to the Migrant Influx, Foreign Minister Warns | Breitbart

Kindle Books

Meet the Puritans by Joel Beeke $2.99.

Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer by Joel Beeke and Brian Najapfour $2.99.

Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years by Philip Jenkins $3.99.


Why Abortion is Unjust Discrimination

Check Out


Justification, Calvinism, the Tabernacle, & More: New Topics to Study on Ligonier Connect  | Ligonier Ministries Blog
Wonderful range of new course offerings from Ligonier.

Richard Baxter: 400 Years Later, Still a Model Pastor | Andrew Belli, The Gospel Coalition
Happy birthday, Richard Baxter!

What Every Book of the Old Testament Is About | Leland Ryken, Crossway
A summary of the Old Testament by looking at the Bible as literature.

Ten Diagnostic Questions for Your Marriage | Kevin DeYoung, TGC
#9: What would others think about your spouse just by listening to you speak about him or her?

40 Thoughts For My 40th Birthday | Jared C. Wilson, TGC
I suppose I’ll need to do 50 thoughts next May.

Counting Technology as Loss for the Sake of Christ | Justin Camblin, Prince on Preaching
Thoughts on how to relate to technology and media.

How to Capture and Save Great Quotes | Wayne Stiles
Across platforms – paper books, ebooks, etc.

Mizzou, Yale and Free Speech | Nicholas Kristof, Op-Ed, The New York Times
“We like to caricature great moral debates as right confronting wrong. But often, to some degree, it’s right colliding with right.”

Polk Teacher’s Resignation Letter Hits a Nerve | WUSF News
A teacher’s-eye-view of the deficits in the current American education system. See also this story from only a few days later about a recent Alabama teacher of the year who resigned over similar frustrations.


I’ll be speaking this evening and tomorrow at The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals’ annual conference in Quakertown, PA. The subject is The Promised Holy Spirit. More details and registration here. I’ve just heard that the conference video will be streaming live here. you can register for the free webcast here. Revised timetable (ET) is:

Friday, November 13, 2015
7:00 p.m. The Holy Spirit and New Creation, Harry Reeder
8:15 p.m. The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, David Murray

Saturday, November 14, 2015
9:00 a.m. Springs of Living Water, Derek Thomas
10:15 a.m. The Holy Spirit and the ‘Last Days’, Derek Thomas
1:00 p.m. Workshops

  • The Fruit of the Spirit, David Murray
  • The Anatomy of Unbelief, Scott Oliphant
  • George Smeaton’s Theology of the Holy Spirit, Cliff Boone

2:45 p.m. The Guarantee of Our Inheritance, Harry Reeder

Kindle Deals

Contending with Christianity’s Critics: Answering New Atheists and Other Objectors by William Lane Craig ($2.99)

Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes by Nancy Pearcey ($5.99)

Pastors in the Classics: Timeless Lessons on Life and Ministry from World Literature by Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken, and Todd Wilson ($1.99)

The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated by James Emery White ($3.99)


Create Financial Freedom for Your Family
Interview with Crystal Paine of fame.

Help For Hurting Churches Dealing With Apostasy

What would you say to a church where two of its most promising young “Christians” had not only left the faith but had turned against it with mockery and hostility? That’s the very real scenario I was asked to address a while ago at a small gathering of pastors and elders. It is undoubtedly one of the most agonizing and disturbing experiences in the Christian life when a dear friend or family member, abandons his/her profession of faith. I’ve known this very personally and painfully, both among my relations and in my pastoral ministry.

I was asked to give some guidance to these pastors and elders on how to deal with such situations in their own congregations. I assumed that every attempt had been made to recover the lost “sheep,” and that the members had been excommunicated. So my advice was really limited to how to minister to the hurting and puzzled sheep who remain. Leaning heavily on John Owen’s epic work on apostasy, I suggested a series of sermons on the following themes (the same subjects should also be emphasized in pastoral visitation).

1. The perseverance of the saints

Some Christians will be shaken by the apostasy of another professing Christian. “If he can fall then what hope is there for me?” So, preach God’s great promises of eternal security to His true people (John 6:394010:28,29).

2. Apostasy is to be expected

This should really be preached before apostasy occurs, to prevent people being taken by surprise when it does happen. The whole Old Testament is a story of Israel’s apostasy. In the New Testament, we have individual apostates such as Judas and Demas. Some in Corinth denied the resurrection, and some in Galatia went back to the law as a way of salvation. No wonder the Apostles urged the churches to expect apostasy (Acts 20:29-30; 1 Cor. 11:19; 1 Tim. 4:1; 5:8; Jude; 1 John 2:19).

3. The danger areas of apostasy

John Owen highlighted three areas in which apostasy usually begins: doctrine, lifestyle, and worship.

Owen traced doctrinal apostasy to a lack of Christian experience. He said that when someone has no experience of personal need, no sense of God’s righteousness, no spiritual sight of Christ’s glory, no submission to the sovereignty of God, and no trembling at God’s Word, then doctrinal apostasy is just around the corner.

Owen actually regarded an unholy lifestyle as more likely to produce apostasy than abandoning some Christian doctrines. He saw both legalism and lawlessness as leading eventually to apostasy.

Owen also argued that if we neglect, refuse to observe, or add to God’s instructions for worship, apostasy will not be far behind.

Pastors should highlight these three danger areas of doctrine, lifestyle, and worship, and urge watchfulness upon the flock.

4. The causes of apostasy

Owen went on to list particular causes of apostasy, so that pastors and their congregations will “watch and pray.”

  • Deeply-rooted and unremoved enmity in the minds of many against spiritual things
  • Pride and vanity of the mind which refuses to bow before the authority of Scripture
  • Sloth and negligence
  • False assurance and groundless self-confidence
  • False sense of security due to neglect of the Spirit’s warnings about apostasy
  • Love of the world and its passing pleasures (Demas in 2 Tim. 4:10)
  • As the first “apostate” Satan draws many into apostasy and forces others to apostatize through persecution
  • Persons in high positions in the church leading evil lives (Jer. 23:15; 1 Sam. 2:12-17)
  • Unrepented national sins that influence the people
  • Divisions in the church
  • The uselessness of many Christians

5. The distinction between a stumble (Peter) and a fall (Judas)

Pastors need to skillfully distinguish between a Christian’s stumble and an apostate’s fall. Every Christian errs in doctrine, falls into sin, and offers faulty worship from time to time. That does not make them an apostate. Owen defined apostasy as “continued persistent rebellion and disobedience to God and his word,” or “total and final and public renunciation of all the chief principles and doctrines of Christianity.”

6. The abomination of apostasy

Hebrews 6 describes apostasy as “crucifying again the Son of God and putting him to an open shame.” By declaring they have tried Christ and His Gospel and found no truth or goodness in them, apostates do exactly what the Jews did. In fact, Owen says Christian apostasy is worse because the Jews did it in “ignorance.”

7. God’s judgment on apostasy

In addition to reminding the professing Christians in the congregation of how abominable apostasy is in God’s sight, they also need to be shown from Scripture the temporal, spiritual, and eternal judgments that fall on apostates. God uses His descriptions of how he abominates and judges apostasy as a means of grace to keep people from apostasy.

8. The need for perseverance

God’s great promises of the perseverance of the saints are given to those who persevere in the means of preservation that God has provided. Christians need to be reminded of the incalculable need and value of the Church, the Word, the sacraments, and fellowship.

9. How to avoid apostasy

John Owen wanted Christians to know that apostasy could be avoided by heart-cure and heart-care (Prov. 4:23). Keep the Gospel at the very center of our hearts; love its truth and experience its power there. Keep sin out of our hearts, especially the highly-dangerous sins of spiritual pride and a censorious, judgmental spirit.


When apostasy occurs in a congregation, it is often tempting to ignore it and put up the “business as usual” sign. However, this does not address the deep needs of Christians and non-Christians who are hurt and perplexed by such events. It also misses the opportunity to prepare the church for future disappointments. So, I would encourage pastors and elders to focus on these nine themes, both in public and in private.

Check Out


Are You a Proficiently Reliant Pastor? | Jason Helopolous, The Gospel Coalition
Jason speaks to the importance of a pastor’s personal relationship with God and how it relates to his ability to pastor.

Do men need sex? Wants vs. needs and the making of weak men | Musings of a Christian Psychologist
“…when we see [sex] as a need, we are encouraging men to see themselves as weak and incapable of living without sex.”

Marriage is Not the Most Sanctifying Agent | Sayable
Great thoughts by Lore not only on sanctification but also on checking our clichéd phrases by the Word of God.

Christian toyshop owner puts Sunday over sales | Aaron James, Premier

How To Get Students To Stop Using Their Cellphones In Class | NPR
Should college classrooms be no-phone zones? An innovative solution.

New Book

Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do by Paul David Tripp ($9.59 Kindle, $14.49 Hardcover)]

Kindle Deals

Special pricing on three of my eBooks.

The Christian Ministry by David Murray ($0.99)

The Christian Life by David Murray ($0.99)

The Christian Faith: Teaching Outlines from the Westminster Standards by David Murray ($0.99)

And here’s one that came highly recommended to me. It’s about the construction and destruction of the railroad to the Florida Keys.

Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean $1.99.


Chris Christie’s Plea To Change How America Handles Drug Addicts
Moving words from this politician about how our society views life from beginning to end.