Count the Cost of Following Jesus When was the last time you heard of someone witnessing like this: Pick up your cross/noose/electric chair and follow me. Die daily. Sell all your worldly possessions and follow me. If you choose to say that Christ is Lord you will not know a moment’s peace the rest of your days which will be few by the way. Apostles Suffered The apostles were such evangelists. And they then suffered the fate that they warned about. They were persecuted, beaten and ultimately killed. Only John died a natural death. The rest were crucified, burned, stoned. . . Read more »
Scandal of Leaving the Straight and Narrow Did you read the recent expose in Christianity Today about the large New York City church and the shocking sins publicly committed and rank heresy preached directly from the pulpit? Any attempt to clean up the situation was thwarted by the fact that the members were all aligned with different pastors. You would probably know this church more by the fact that it was founded, and for years ministered to, by perhaps our country’s most beloved and respected pastor. How does a church so quickly fall into such traps given the firm foundation. . . Read more »
A Revelation on How to Read the Bible The day was Memorial Day, 2005 and I and many others were lounging on Laurence Windham’s ample porch and he was about to bless the food. Before he did so he gave us a new spin on the idea of that day; that we should thank God for the faithfulness and sacrifices of those that went before us. I was prepared for the typical mention of soldiers who fought in wars, but he went on to mention the prophets, the apostles, all the saints. My journey into the simple, separate and deliberate. . . Read more »
The Origin of Socialism An English naturist published a little book in 1859 that changed the world. The Origin of the Species it was called. Its author, Charles Darwin, an admitted agnostic, was trying to make sense of the world of his senses. If you take God out of any equation and look at the same data you’ll come to a very different conclusion. The success of this book and subsequent theories of human development can’t be overstated. All of life was affected. For those prone to such things it gave cover for eugenic experiments, for weeding out undesirables from. . . Read more »
Learning Your Family History As a young boy, one of my favorite things to do was to venture into my parent’s bedroom while my father was working at his huge desk. When he looked up from his law books I would ask him if he would tell me a story from when he was a boy. He always would and we’d lie on his huge bed (it turns out it was only a double bed but it was the biggest bed in my world) and he’d tell me about life on the farm in southern Indiana with his seven brothers. . . Read more »
This World is a Battlefield We who are the seed of the woman are to oppose the seed of the serpent. The orders for this battle were written very early on: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed” (Gen 3:15a). And there is seemingly no end to the areas of life in which we see possible conflicts and battlefields on which to fight them. Even within the evangelical, Bible believing, starched shirt-wearing church of the happy, clean, and polite, there is work to be done. We have chronicled many of. . . Read more »
What Does the Bible Say About Inheritance? When the Bible talks about an inheritance it doesn’t always talk about it in financial terms. But almost always it does. It is a reoccurring theme throughout the Bible. We are to give one; we are to protect the one we’ve been given; we are to think in terms of multi-generational generosity. Because this is how God thinks. When God first makes covenant with Moses He describes himself in these terms: The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and. . . Read more »
Changing Culture A reoccurring fantasy of mine is to be a witness as the Spirit moves in a great way in this country. Slowly at first, changing families, towns, perhaps regions. And then sweeping the country from coast to coast. Imagine the confusion, the frustration, the outrage as those who were comfortable, even happy, with the status quo woke up to a country where radical changes were happening. Where the Kingdom of God was seizing territory, seizing lives, seizing souls. And as Jesus was a revolutionary, so too should we be. Overthrowing institutions is the goal for those institutions that. . . Read more »
Threats to Liberty, Morality & Peace It seems as if not a day goes by where some fundamental right we have as Americans isn’t under serious threat. Just the other day I saw where the Obama administration is trying to present their case for killing Americans on American soil they deem to be a threat. No discussion, no trial, just death. They could be our enemies after all. You’d think something like that might make quite a few headlines. But it’s crushed under the other headlines of other freedoms being attacked. We live in truly frightening times. And then there’s. . . Read more »
Loving Slavery We are a nation of slaves and we love it. We have pursued our masters with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our minds. And now we are fully content in our serfdom. We don’t feel the stripes on our back, the chafing of the chains, the loss of movement, the indignity. We don’t feel any of that. What we feel is jumpiness I guess, a nervous energy that never seems to go away, an addict’s itch. All we ask for in exchange for the chains is all the stuff. . . Read more »
Giving a Defense The role of the Christian, as far as I can tell from Scripture, is to simply act like one. Scripture is telling us how this comes about, what it is and what it means. That’s about ninety-nine percent of the job. The other one percent is “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (I Peter 3:15). We evangelicals usually get it the other way around and mess up the wording of the latter, translating it thusly: “always be ready to be on the. . . Read more »
Life is seasons. We all live in the God-ordered context of seasons; cold to warm, hot to cool, fierce heat to fading light, falling snow to frolicking lambs and back again. We accept this. We even enjoy it. The transitions are assuring and sometimes exciting as the mid-season days grow long and tiresome. But are we as accepting of seasons in our own lives? Seasons of Plenty We do have plenty of examples from Scripture of how God orders the lives of His saints to encompass the mundane as well as the terrifying, the years of fat cows being. . . Read more »
Top Ten Poor Restaurant Names 10. Bubba’s Slaughterhouse Emporium and Tearoom 9. Sam O’Nilla’s Irish House of Pork 8. Left Out Since Last Tuesday 7. Find a Hair, Dessert’s on Us Factory 6. Endangered Species Garden 5. T.G.I. Hitler’s Birthday 4. Outback: Is Where We Trapped and Killed Your Dinner 3. This Country’s Best Yack (TCBY) 2. Dunkin’ Puppies 1. Squid Barrel The Top Ten Worst Stocking Stuffers of All Time, I mean all time. 10. Dirt 9. Fire 8. Tyrannosaurus meat 7. Your enemy’s skull 6. Freshly yanked back hair with the roots still firmly attached 5. Your. . . Read more »
Something has been lost. Don’t we often have a nagging feeling within us that something has been lost? It’s not our glasses or the grocery list most of the time (unless you have small children or dogs or both like I do). What I’m talking about is deeper, more the core than the apple. In the movie, The Matrix, the protagonist, Neo lives with this nagging feeling that things are not as they should be and while there are clues to the dilemma, there are no answers. Until someone tells him the truth that his “life” was nothing more than. . . Read more »
If you have had your Basement Tape or other cd arrive broken we are very sorry and are looking for a better way to ship these to you. Too many of you have had this happen now that the nation has entered the cold months. If you have contacted us, your replacement will arrive shortly. If you have not, you can always email us to let us know what you need: info@HighlandsMinistriesOnline.org
As the temperatures drop, the CDs that we mail to you in the cardboard packages become more brittle and can break in transit. If this happens to you, simply send us an email (info@HighlandsMinistriesOnline.org) letting us know who you are and which CD you need replaced and we’ll put another one in the mail immediately.
We all have regrets. We look back at forks in the road behind us and wonder where we might be now had we chosen more wisely back then. Every misstep, however, is an opportunity to learn, to follow more faithfully in Jesus’ footsteps. How gracious that our Lord not only covers our folly, but is able to grow wisdom out of it? Below are ten things now me would seek to impress into the stubborn mind of then me. 10. Cultivate gratitude, put to death grumbling. I am persuaded the path to future blessing follows on the trail of giving. . . Read more »
Our Basement Tape conversation, Godliness, Contentment and Great Gain (#141) is now available for purchase as either a CD or mp3. “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:31-33).
The upcoming issue of Every Thought Captive magazine is titled: Seasons and contains such articles as: A Season of Waiting, A Time to Plant, In Defense of Dancing and Mourning. Because we all struggle with maintaining our balance in our Christian walk we wanted to examine the seasons of life, the ups and downs, the planting and harvesting, from a variety of angles. As we do with all our issues of this magazine we search the Bible for answers to how we survive and thrive on our journey to the Celestial City. Every Thought Captive is in its seventeenth year. . . Read more »
Dr. Sproul recently gave a sermon on Romans 7: 15-20 and tries to answer the question: Why Do Christians Still Sin? Listen here. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what. . . Read more »
The November issue of Every Thought Captive magazine is entitled: Contra Mundum, “against the world.” From the President’s Column: “We who are the seed of the woman are to oppose the seed of the serpent. The orders for this battle were written very early on: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed” (Gen 3:15a). And there is seemingly no end to the areas of life in which we see possible conflicts and battlefields on which to fight them.” Join the conversation as we talk about how to live “Contra Mundum.”. . . Read more »
The Reformation Day Faire Our speakers and musical guests include… Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. teaches at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida where he also serves as a teaching fellow for Ligonier Ministries. He is the founder of Highlands Ministries and former editor of Tabletalk magazine.Dr. Sproul is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, the most recent of which are The Call to Wonder; Believing God; Bound for Glory; After Darkness, Light: Essays in Honor of R. C. Sproul; and When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling. Rev. James McDonald. . . Read more »
A Basement Tape conversation on: Courtship God gave us marriage, wanting godly seed. We in turn want the same for our own children, that they would marry wisely, and raise up the next generation of soldiers of the King. How do we best prepare our children to marry wisely, and how ought we to lead them through this process? Join us as we consider together some fundamental principles of wisdom along the path to the joy of seeing our children marry in the Lord.
Dr. Sproul will be a key-note speaker on October 11-12 at the Family Economics Conference in Ocean Shores, Washington, This conference is hosted by Generations with Vision and Christian Heritage. Dr. Sproul is an expert in the subject of economics and his book, Biblical Economics, has been in print continuously for almost thirty years. Dr. Sproul has also developed a DVD series, Economics for Everybody and a curriculum on economics. Both are designed for students of all ages.
Dr. Sproul braved the cool mountain air of southwestern Virginia this past weekend to record a few Basement Tapes with Laurence Windham, Jay Barfield, Steve Murphy, and Eric Owens. Here, he and Basement Tape host, Laurence Windham enjoy a post-recording, pre-dinner moment.
Dr. Sproul is in Bristol this weekend finishing up the 26 part ABCs of Theology with X, Y and Z. If you have not yet started on this Basement Tape series you can find A through V starting here. W is for Worship will be available at the store by October 10th and X, Y, and Z will be produced over the next few months.
Ligonier Ministries’ 2013 Fall Conference: Creation & Re-Creation September 27-28 Beauty is the goal even of our Savior’s work in redemption, for He is working to present His bride—the church—to Himself without spot and wrinkle. In this session, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. will look at the scope of the Savior’s work in bringing beauty to the world through recreating all things, undoing the damage of the fall, and beautifying His bride, all of which is work He does as the Son to honor His Father.
After Darkness Light “For almost a biblical generation, the ministry of Dr. R.C. Sproul has been transforming the convictions of evangelicals,” says Edmund Clowney. He describes Dr. Sproul as “a morning star of a new reformation” whose teaching “brought robust Calvinism back into American evangelicalism.” It is customary to pay tribute to a scholar who has had an illustrious career with a festschrift, a collection of essays written in his honor. No modern-day theologian is more worthy of honor than Dr. R.C. Sproul, who has done so much to promote a thorough understanding of the Reformed faith among the laity. And. . . Read more »
We serve a God of divisions. He separated night from day, land from sea, and the seed of the woman from the seed of the serpent. In our day the church has lost sight of this most fundamental truth, we are at war with all God’s enemies. Join us as we talk through the calling of antithesis, that we are not just called to set apart, but are set apart, and that that truth changes everything.
The state of the church being somewhat in decline (at least here in America) it may occur to us that it’s wise to take our families where there is more salt and more light. May we? Should we? Must we? Join our conversation as we work through a few scenarios, acknowledging that wherever we go, there we are. And if we must go screaming “life, life, eternal life!,” or leave as friends, or stay, we need to do so while honoring those in authority over us and using wisdom to inform all these important decisions.
As we are fond of saying, because we believe it to be true, “Education is Conversation.” We learn as we discuss matters according to biblical principles. If you’re new to the conversation of the Good Life and want to “catch up,” this it the book for you. It contains the first seven years’ worth of R.C.’s Vision column from Every Thought Captive, the magazine of Highlands Ministries. Subscriptions to ETC, by the way, are only $25 a year.
BELIEVING GOD DVD TEACHING SERIES Too good to be true? While Christians may express trust in God’s words, they refuse, in numerous ways, to stake their lives on what He says. In this teaching series, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. challenges Christians to take a second glance at twelve of the most significant promises in Scripture. As Dr. Sproul methodically unpacks each divine pledge, he invites every Christian with a teachable heart to discover anew the grandeur of what God has committed Himself to do for His people and to live in the joy of God’s promises. Twelve 23 minute messages on two dvds 1.. . . Read more »
In a recent interview with Ligonier Ministries President, Chris Larson, R.C. Sproul Jr. speaks candidly about his recent hardships, his new teaching series on God’s sovereignty in the midst of suffering, and updates us on how he and his family are doing. Questions What was it that prompted you to attend worship the morning your wife, Denise, died? (00:49) What enabled you to teach a series on suffering after having just experienced so much? (03:11) Why should we try to “own” the sovereignty of God in the context of suffering? (05:03) Why are those in the contemporary church struggling so much with suffering. . . Read more »
True Life Choice Join us for a joyful evening of powerful stories and inspiration as we celebrate 30 years of saving unborn lives and transforming families in Jesus’ name. Featuring Keynote Speaker: Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. September 19, 2013 Florida Hotel & Conference Center at the Florida Mall 1500 Sandlake Road Orlando, FL 32809 Doors: 6:30pm, Program & Dinner:7:00pm True Life Choice P.O. Box 547729 Orlando, Fl 32854 (407) 244-5529
Believing education is conversation, we gather monthly to have a conversation on topics related to the good life. Pastors R.C. Sproul Jr. and Laurence Windham along with their friends and special guests enjoy a stimulating conversation on a wide variety of topics relating to the Christian life. We have done this 138 times so far on subjects as varied as Tobacco, Games and C.S. Lewis. We also get more strictly theological in our “Alphabet” series on Theology. Some have said that these conversations are somewhat upsetting. Others life-changing. A few have said they are both at the same time. When. . . Read more »
Don’t look now, but I’m afraid we’re eager to have people look at us. Modesty is a concept that is all but forgotten in the church. On the rare occasion that it comes up, It is usually reduced to how much skin we’re exposing. Both bare midriffs and blogs, however, are most often the same thing beneath, a desire to draw attention to ourselves. In this conversation we consider modesty both as it relates to clothing, and how it relates to our hearts. We hope you’ll join us in this conversation.
Every Thought Captive is in its seventeenth year of publication. Starting in 2013 we publish ten issues per year. This is where the teaching of Dr. Sproul and Highlands Ministries is most clearly presented: in eight feature articles, in book and film reviews, in a liturgy for the month, in pictures of the good life, in the top ten list and more. We love putting this magazine out. It is our attempt to share with you what we think the “good life” is all about. We believe that God has called each of us to a truly joyful existence if we. . . Read more »
September 19: True Life Crisis Pregnancy Center Orlando, Florida September 27-28: Reformation Bible College Conference Sanford, Florida October 3-5: Recording Basement Tapes Bristol, Virginia October 11-13: Family Economics Conference Seattle, Washington October 18-20: Reformation Faire Peoria, Illinois October 26: Crisis Pregnancy Center Bastram, Texas (tentative) October 31- Nov. 3: Reformation Circle Meeting Dallas, Texas November 8: Lake County Crisis Pregnancy Center Eustis, Florida November 14-15: R. B. C. Board Meeting Sanford, Florida November 21-24: Theological Bootcamp Puerto Rico
We worship the same God. We read the same Bible. Some of us share the same confessions of faith. Why is it then that our lives are so very different? Why do we seem to have so much trouble agreeing? Shouldn’t the plain teaching of Scripture lead to common understanding and similar application? Join our conversation as Dr. Sproul, Rev. Windham and their friends discuss the errs of our ways.
The world, Paul tells us, knows what’s coming. Romans 1 not only highlights the universal guilt of all men, but, ironically, defines that guilt as the denial of what we know. We know that there is a God and that we fail to meet His standard. We know, in short, that we are in trouble. But, we seek to suppress that truth in unrighteousness. The lexical background of the Greek word translated assuppress suggests something like a heavy metal spring that we try to hold down as long as we can. I believe, however, that we get closer to the spirit. . . Read more »
The Basement Tapes are conversations between Dr. Sproul and Rev. Laurence Windham and their friends on the good life that Christ has called us to. We have #137 so far with no end in sight. Recently we had a conversation on V is for Vim, Vigor and Vitality, #22 in our “Alphabet Series” on theology. The Reformed are pejoratively known as the “frozen chosen,” Christians in general seem to lack the joy of their salvation, we all know what it’s like to lose the bounce in our spiritual step. And yet we have been given the pearl of great price,. . . Read more »
We all have them to one extent or another; sometimes they are a constant burden on our conscience, other times they are not but perhaps should be. Maybe it’s our fault, our perhaps theirs. Join us as we have a conversation about Broken Relationships and try and discover what we as Christians should do about them.
BEING AS CHILDREN Scripture commands that we mature, that we grow, that we move into wisdom, and that we be as children. This series considers the meaning and joy of embracing our inner child, arguing that this is the mark of maturity. 6 CDs or MP3s: (Each lesson is 45 minutes to 1 hour in length) no.1 The Marks of Immaturity no.2 Trust no.3 Wonder no.4 Eager to Please no.5 The Children of God no.6 The Call to Maturity
Dr. Sproul is in Bristol, Virginia this week to hold one of our Couples Camps. We will not only talk about how to be a kingdom-building, King-serving family, but we will talk about it in the context of such families. We will follow three distinct but related areas of inquiry: the biblical view of the family, the sovereignty of God, and the unstoppable spread of the Kingdom of God. If you missed this year’s camp, keep your eye open for future camps announcements.
You don’t get to where I am without a lot of mistakes along the way. Where I am is a middle-aged man, husband, father, friend, etc. I’m sure that many of you feel the same way. With the increase of hairs in the drain comes an increase in reflection and often that involves a bit of regret. Or a lot of regret, like the shooting of that egret. One of my biggest regrets is not being so much us that I saw them for what they were, the enemy. That is where much of the church is today I’m afraid.. . . Read more »
We called this issue [kuh-MYOO-ni-tee] to emphasis the point that we Christians today don’t understand what this is. We know what activity is. We know what fellowship is. We even know what love is all about some of the time. What we fail to comprehend is the wonderful, challenging, painful, joyful world that exists within a Christ-centered community. I speak as one who didn’t understand and even today has a difficult time fully embracing it. I didn’t understand it when I joined my church, Saint Peter Presbyterian, in 2005, but it is what caused me to not only join that. . . Read more »
In an age where masculinity is either despised or caricatured, it’s tough to know where to stand. We walk through this world like Dorothy, mumbling, “Alcohol, tobacco and firearms, oh my!” This series of conversations looks not at what the culture has to say about these blessings, but at what the Bible has to say about them. So pour yourself a moderate drink, smoke yourself a moderate pipe, and keep a vigilant eye out for bad guys as you join the conversation. The ATF Series in 3 CDs or MP3s: #48 Alcohol, #49 Tobacco, #50 Firearms
In the West, Christians have greater access to the Bible today than at any other time in history. Most believers in the United States own several printed copies of the Bible and also have the ability to read it on a myriad of electronic devices. It is both tragic and ironic, then, that multitudes of professing Christians do not read or study their Bibles consistently. Biblical literacy in the West is at its lowest point in centuries. Even among those who do read the Bible, large portions of it remain uncharted territory. In this message, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. will discuss one. . . Read more »
Eric Owens is the President of Highlands Ministries. A graduate of Geneva College and the Reformed Theological Seminary, Eric joined the Highlands staff in 2006. He's married to Lindsay and they have two young daughters, Caoilfhionn (Kee-Lin) and Shire and a son, Cotton. Author's Email Author's Website