Heal My Backslidings – Vision

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The Care of Souls – John Boruff

Too many pastors, it seems, are not big enough on pastoral visitation or counseling their church members and newcomers. Cold, ignoring, apathetic – it doesn’t cut it.

Recommended book: Thomas Oden’s Pastoral Theology

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Protestant Prophets – John Boruff

My current canon…

1. The Covenanters – Wishart, Knox, Welch, Semple, Peden, etc in Scots Worthies

2. John Wesley in Supernatural Occurrences

3. William J. Seymour in Azusa Street

4. Smith Wigglesworth in Apostle of Faith

5. John Paul Jackson

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Donald Gee’s “Concerning Spiritual Gifts” – ch. 3 – The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts – John Boruff

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Answers to the Porn Problem: CovenantEyes, AppLock, and VidAngel – John Boruff

In the past year or so I have gone through some very hard times socially, economically, medically, financially and things have been very very very hard. There have been times when I’ve surfed the web and I thought about looking at bad websites and being brought into ungodly diversions. Before this past year came though, some friends had admitted to me that they had gotten addicted to porn. Two of them were active in ministry. The other has a call to ministry. I’ve also had moments when I’ve looked at inappropriate pictures and I’ve had to pull myself away from it again and again.

The temporary high that people can get out of this sort of thing is no justification for the sense of guilt, condemnation, and defilement that ensues as a result of indulging in such a vice. Jesus said, “Whosoever looks upon a woman to lust commits adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). That is the way it is with pornography. If we want to walk with integrity, purity, and mental holiness: then removing pornography is absolutely essential.

Christian men and Christian dads should be especially keen on this subject. Not only to keep themselves away from this trap, especially during times of trial and tribulation, but also to guard their children who might be surfing on YouTube, Pinterest, or Google Images. One of the worst things somebody can do is look on Google Images for pictures; sooner or later somebody’s going to see a picture of somebody who’s naked. I have tried several porn blockers in order to filter content that comes on to my computer. I’ve tried NetNanny, X3Watch, and K9.

None of them fully works but CovenantEyes. When it comes to protecting your computer and your phone there is no app that is better than CovenantEyes. You can go to covenanteyes.com and they charge you about $20 a month; and you don’t even feel the brunt of it. This is essential if you have a spouse: allow your spouse to have the username and password, so that they have complete control over access to it. You don’t want to put yourself in a compromising situation where you’re going to uninstall the program during a time of temptation. When it comes to protecting your cell phone there’s an extra measure that needs to be taken, and that is through something that you can get from GooglePlay: AppLock. What AppLock does, is it prevents you from being able to access the Settings on your Android phone, as well as from accessing CovenantEyes. You will not have this temptation anymore if you do this.

I encourage all Christian men everywhere to take action immediately in this area, as it is not only an issue of you having integrity, or having a walk with God, or being a good dad, and being a good husband, but honestly you have the danger of hellfire underneath you every second that you are addicted to pornography: see Matthew 5:27-30. Don’t allow it to eat away at your soul. Do it! Philippians 4:8: “Whatsoever things are pure and noble: think on these things.”

There’s another thing: normal television censorship. There’s a program called VidAngel, and on this website if you use it in conjunction with Amazon Prime or Netflix, it will filter any sexuality or profanity or violence that you don’t want to see in a movie. It will seamlessly remove it from the movie! Make sure that your computer is running well enough and all the disk space is cleared up. Recently they had a problem where the system was slowing down for many people, but if you ever have problems with VidAngel, you can contact customer service and they’re always on the ball. ClearPlay might be a better option for you – they have a DVD player that is not reliant on computer performance or subject to flaky internet streaming – its about $230 per year.

Let’s do everything we can to remove pornography and even any sort of sexual impurity or profanity out of our lives. This should not be entering into our minds. Let’s not do anything that will give the devil a foothold! (Eph. 4:27).

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The Possibility of a Real Ministry – John Boruff

I have experienced frustration with pastors, churches, and ministry pursuits in the past 10 years. And I still have an optimism and a hope within me, a faith within me that it is possible to have a real Biblical ministry that does not compromise with the Bible. I know, I know some of you purists out there think it’s still impossible but I might be the unquenchable optimist and put into the same category as Michael J Fox in that he maintains there is a cure for Parkinson’s disease, and in like manner so I believe that there is a cure for the modern evangelical church.

That cure is and always has been revival, precipitated by the presence of God moving on one particular preacher, who becomes very popular and goes under the category of an evangelist and a revivalist. Let’s see, it started with Richard Baxter, then it moved on to John Wesley, and then it moved on to Charles Finney, and then it moved on to Evan Roberts, and then it moved on to William J. Seymour, and then it moved on to Smith Wigglesworth, and then it moved on to Leonard Ravenhill, and then it moved on to David Wilkerson, and then it moved on to Steve Hill, and then it moved on to Mike Bickle and it will continue to move on to some other men of God.

I pray for the full release of evangelical revival in some man’s ministry: that he would be protected and preserved by the Word of God, and that people like Paul Washer who have a strong Baptist heritage, and preach strong, would not waver to the right nor to the left, nor get trapped in the dry waters of cessationism and false security. It is my prayer and my heart’s desire for genuine evangelical friendships to develop out of genuine evangelical revival under genuine evangelical preaching under genuine evangelical ministers.

But it has to come through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, it can’t be planned: this is where Jonathan Edwards and Charles Finney differ, but maybe both of them are right. Maybe that its a combination of the planning and ingenuity of men to bring about revivals in the presence of God. One thing I know is that my confidence is in the God of history and that the God of revivals is still the God today and Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

And so since God has always done periodic outpourings of the Holy Spirit to keep the church going, it is likely that there will be another revival, and there will be another revival after that, and another revival after that until Jesus comes back. In these revivals miraculous gifts will appear, holiness will increase, and the Gospel will be more thoroughly understood as a message of repentance from sin and faith in the blood of Jesus rather than just a simple message of God’s love. This spark of faith is within me, even though I fight against sin, even though sometimes I’m dragged down by depression, even though I have no real friends nearby me, even though I feel like the whole world is against me, somehow someway I still feel like it is possible to experience a ministry like this: if you want it hard enough. Do you want it bad enough to wait for years and years? I do.

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Review of Percy Parker’s Abridged Version of “The Journal of John Wesley” – John Boruff

I just finished listening to an audio version of Percy Livingstone Parker’s abridged version of The Journal of John Wesley. It was better than nothing: good for a general overview of Wesley’s life. But I was disappointed in many areas; it appears that this version was originally produced in 1902 and then it was reproduced by Moody Press in 1951. So it was very “mainstream” evangelical. Very watered-down and stripped of most of its Arminian and charismatic elements. In fact, 60% of it is simply Wesley’s natural observations about things during his travels throughout the United Kingdom.

I was surprised and disappointed at how de-supernaturalized this version was. In Jack Deere’s Surprised by the Voice of God, he explains that John Howie’s The Scots Worthies received similar treatment throughout its various editions. I think that the original Journal of John Wesley was something like 8 volumes long, but this was condensed into a little over 500 pages. There was almost no theology in this abridgement, other than some of the sermon topics that he preached on, which briefly come through as Scripture verses on the judgment of God or salvation.

I’m happy that I have a copy of Daniel Jennings’ The Supernatural Occurrences of John Wesley, because it offers a good counterbalance to the very non-Pentecostal nature of this version. With that being said, there are still some supernatural mentions in this version: trances that people had of Heaven and Hell; a story of a man being followed by the devil and then converting afterwards; and people falling down under the power of God during Wesley’s preaching. Sometimes dreams and visions are mentioned. Once there’s a story where Wesley is administering the Lord’s Supper and an angelic harp was heard for about 5 minutes and people were crying.

I’m sure there were other supernatural references, but they’re nothing that really stand out in my mind at this point. The majority of this version is very naturalized; it is a very watered-down version made to appeal to a large audience and was made by Moody Press, which is a Baptist book publisher. Christian perfection is never explained, the fact that Wesley had a rocky marriage never came through, a lot of important controversies were left out, the witness of the Spirit barely mentioned, etc. At least it had the “heart strangely warmed” Aldersgate experience. I recommend getting the complete and unabridged version called The Works of John Wesley by Baker Books, 1996, 3rd ed.

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