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My real name is Charlie Albright. I am the pinnacle of evil who God has flooded with His mercy. Declaring my sinful self righteous and holy in His sight! Lavishing His grace upon me by the blood Jesus shed on the cross! Carrying me through this life and giving me satiatfing joy! Anything good about me is only because of His grace!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Resurrection!

So I am launching my blog anew. I know that I let everything go during the summer and during the semester never got back around doing anything with it. But now I am back and at a new site!


The blog is still under construction a bit but I hope to be posting while building the site. Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 10, 2009

There is Nothing you can do to Harm me

When John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407) was brought before the empress Eudoxia, she threatened him with banishment if he insisted on his Christian independence as a preacher.

"You cannot banish me, for this world is my Father's house."

"But I will kill you," said the empress.

"No, you cannot, for my life is hid with Christ in God," said John.

"I will take away your treasures."

"No, you cannot, for my treasure is in heaven and my heart is there."

"But I will drive you away from your friends and you will have no one left."

"No, you cannot, for I have a Friend in heaven from whom you cannot separate me. I defy you, for there is nothing you can do to harm me."



From Ray Ortlund

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How to Make Your Time at a Bible College Spiritually Beneficial


I was thinking of questions one day and this popped into my mind. If a person came up to me and asked how he could keep his passion of Christ alive while sitting through classes at a Bible College what would I say? We have all heard or come across those that found that their time at a seminary/bible college brought dryness to their souls. Sitting through classes for hours, reading the Bible for a class assignment, going to chapel services multiple times a week, having to read about the Bible and theology again and again has a way of zapping spiritual vigor right out of a person if they are not prepared to handle it. So how does one keep this from happening?

(Since I am attending a Bible College I am only going to use the term Bible College. But the same principles apply to Seminary as well. Also, this is coming from the perspective of a single guy speaking to incoming freshmen that are single. There are very important principles to keep in mind regarding one’s spouse which I will not deal with here)

Just like one has to understand the purpose and limitations of a tool one has to understand the purpose and limit of a Bible College to one’s spiritual life and future ministry position. One would not try to hammer in a nail with a screw driver. The tool is only meant to screw in screws. One would not pull out the circular saw to smooth out a flat surface of a board. One needs a sander to do that. If one does try to force a tool to accomplish something it is not deign to do he is only go to find the object he was working on broken and possibly wound himself in the process. If you want to build a cabinet you need other tools in your shop to get it done. You cannot rely on one to do everything in the building process. The same idea applies to Bible College, it has limitations but if used right will do the job that it was intended to do.

(Also note: Where as a Bible College/Seminary are good, they are not the best. The local church is the best place to train future ministers. But because local churches fail in this regard we have to live with the next best thing.)

Bible College is designed to provide the technical and theoretical knowledge needed to do ministry. For those that do not have this needed theological knowledge it is a place to attain it. One can get his view of theological issues crafted so that when they go to a local church he can preach with confidence. Languages of the original manuscripts are taught. It is also a place to hear other view points and discuss different methodologies and ministry practices. And it is a great place because the Bible is presented constantly. It is in every class and weaved into the fabric of study. Books are of a biblical nature if not directly about studying the bible itself. And if the professorship is good one will be assigned great books that will have an impacted on one’s view of God and what He commands.

There are, however, other things that need to be in your life if you want your time at Bible College profitable. Now Derek James Brown has given a great list about how to waste one’s theological education. His list is excellent and a must read. As wanting to be another voice of exhortation on this subject, I also want to come at this topic on the positive side (what one should do) as complement you his negative side (what you should not do). Hopefully both will be of service to you.

So what things do you need in your life to do to make the most out of Bible College and so so the tool properly?

1. Obviously there are the normal spiritual disciples of Bible reading and prayer. Where as this is pretty basic, it is easy to let these be pushed to the side in the rush to get other things done. But if you let the busyness of school over take your personal time of seeing and learning from God, then your spiritual vigor will begin to dry-up. You must spend time beholding God through His Word. I know myself, my mind so easily gets distracted by things, good things many times, that Christ and His truth falls out of focus. And this is especially dangerous in Bible College where it is easy to think that since you read a book about God’s work of creation you are good to go. But that is not usually the case. You must fight to retain joy in the Lord and your focus to be on Him throughout the day. The way to do this is to eat the Word and be dependent on him through prayer

There is also a danger to separate your personal devotions with your school work. Don’t let that happen either. Enjoy to the fullest the tremendous blessing of studying God’s Word for school. Use that book on God’s work of creation to cause your heart to spring forth in praise to the God who creates and rules! Let the lessons in the classroom grow your love for the savior. Now you will have to fight for this just like you have to fight for your personal devotions. There will be many times that you will read a book on, say the atonement, and your only goal will be to finish the book. You must stop and cause yourself to realize that the Lord of the universe sent His own Son to bear His wrath so that sinners who have faith might enjoy everlasting joy in knowing God.

2. The Local church. It is absolutely essential that you are part of a local congregation. And I don’t mean just in attendance. You must be focused on serving a local church. This is critical! If the local church is not important to you and you are not active in a local congregation your endeavors at Bible College will be futile at best and harmful to the kingdom at worst. The local church is essential in three key areas:
(a) It is the body in which you grow. Studying the Bible in the class room is great but it can never replace being under the preached word and in a community who spurs each other onto good works. You must be under the watch-care of Spirit filled pastors, lay leaders and fellow Christians. God saves individuals into the community of called out ones. Bible College does not exempt you from this reality.
(b) It will give you an outlet to serve. You need to be an active part of the body. The place to do this is the local gathering of the body. And the body is dependent on its parts serving the greater whole. A very important part of being a minister is service, it is pretty much definition of our task. And the local church is the place to do it. Also, you must have the humility to do whatever service you can. Sitting around waiting for a teaching position to open up is not service, it is a demonstration of pride! You have crafted the plan for your life and you are just sitting around until God comes and fulfills it. No! By grace, you come to people and say, I have no idea what I am suppose to do, so how can I best serve you? A Christian who has this heart will do much more for the kingdom of Christ than the latter. “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.” (1 Cor. 41-2) Train to be a servant, not a professional and so serve Christ’s church with a willing and humble heart. And finally,
(c) It is the goal of your theological training. What I mean by this is that service to the local church is the very reason you are at Bible College! You are not attending here to be the next John Piper or D.A. Carson. You are learning Biblical knowledge so that you may impart the glories of God to assembly works, school teachers, business men, third shift shelf stockers, mothers, fathers, waitress, nurse practitioners, electrical engineers, janitors, etc. The very reason you are sitting through these classes, debating long into the night about the extent of the atonement, reading in that coffee shop for hours is to cause men and women to worship and be satisfied in the majesty of Christ as revealed through the word that you are learning. What you are doing here is kingdom work! It is not a piece of paper that you will hang in your office (even though that is what some search committees might think), it is being filled with the knowledge of the Holy One to teach to others.

3. Get real life mentoring from an older, godlier saint. Get an older saint (the older and godlier the better!) into your life to spur you on, give you guidance, and set a real life pattern for life before your eyes. I have found this to be of so much benefit and so lacking in today’s evangelical culture. To be able to have an older man give me wisdom on issues ranging from fighting sin to how one pursues a woman to marry is a treasure. Also there is the immeasurable benefit when I get to watch how he manages his house hold and serves his family. Real life examples are so important to my future as a husband and father and minister. So when you get involved in a local church take initiative to ask an older godlier person of the same gender as you to mentor you.

4. Keep the glory of God central. You’re at Bible College for a reason, not to just go to classes and get a piece of paper. You are here to show yourself well approved to serve a local body for the glory of the One who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light. You are not here to be viewed highly in the sight of men, to become smarter than your average church goers, or to be the next major figure in the evangelical culture. You are here to please your Savior by becoming a humble, well equipped shepherd and teacher of His flock that He bought with His own blood.

Hopefully by doing these things the tool of Bible College will be kept in its place for you. If used with these other things your time at Bible College will produce rich rewards of sanctification and growth in the knowledge of the Lord. There are other principles that can be added to this list as well but as I search my mind and my past two years of being up here at Boyce College, these come to mind as the most beneficial. Soli Deo Gloria!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life - Lecrae





Lyrics:

I know a lot of people out there scared they gone die
Couple of em thinking they'll be livin in the sky
But while I'm here livin man I gotta ask why, what am here fo I gotta figure out
Waste my life
No I gotta make it count
If Christ is real then what am I gone do about
All of the things in Luke 12:15 down to 21
You really oughta go and check it out
Paul said if Christ ain't resurrect then we wasted our lives
Well that implies that our life's built around Jesus being alive
Everyday I'm living tryin show the world why
Christ is more than everything you'll ever try
Better than pretty women and sinning and living to get a minute of any women and men that you admire
Ain't no lie

We created for Him
Outta the dust he made us for Him
Elects us and he saves us for Him
Jesus comes and raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
He made us so we could bless Him and to the world we confess him
Resurrects him
So I know I got life
Matter fact better man I know I got Christ
If you don't' see His ways in my days and nights
You can hit my brakes you can stop my lights
Man I lost my rights
I lost my life
Forget the money cars and toss that ice
The cost is Christ
And they could never offer me anything on the planet that'll cost that price.

(refrain)
Don't wanna waste my life


Suffer
Yeah do it for Christ
you trying to figure what to do with your life
You makin money hope you doing it right because the money is Gods you better steward it right
You Stay focused, you ain't got no ride
Your life ain't wrapped up in what you drive
The clothes you wear, the job you work
The color your skin naw, you Christian first
People get a living life for a job
Make a lil money start living for a car
Get em a wife house kids and a dog
When they retire they living high on the hog
But guess what they didn't ever really live at all
To live is Christ yeah that's Paul I recall
To die is gain so for Christ we give it all
He's the treasure you'll never find in the mall
Your money your singleness marriage talent and time
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
That's why it's Christ in my rhymes
That's why it's Christ all the time
My whole world is built around him He's the life in my lines
I refused to waste my life
He's too true ta chase That ice
Heres my gifts and time cause I'm constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If he's truly raised to life
Then this news should change your life
And by his grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Easily Edified

I read this quote for Justin Taylor’s blog

“The Mature Christian is easily edified”

And that quote really struck my heart.

What it is saying is that the mature Christian does not have to have anything expect gospel truth to find his or her spirit up lifted. He or she does not have to be in the best situation, hear it from the speaker, or put in the most artistic language to be edified.

This convicted me because how many times have I found myself saying in my heart, “This is great truth, but if the pastor would just be a better speaker my heart would be jumping at this truth.” Or how many times has my mind just stayed dull during gospel saturated music because the music style just wasn’t upbeat enough. I know I can get this way during worship services when the regular worship band is not in and it is just a guy with a guitar up on stage. I found myself more than once amazed at my spiritual immaturity at having my heart remain still during songs like “And Can it Be” because there is not a very good back beat. So many times I am not easily edified!

But I am "easily" so many other things. So as Justin Taylor accessed about himself so the same can be said of me, I am

easily annoyed
easily irritated
easily impatient
easily hurt
easily angered
easily distracted
easily arrogant



Oh, Lord, make my heart soft to your gospel and hard to sin!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Two Papers from Class

Here are two papers that I wrote this past semester for Interpreting Acts class. We were assigned to chose two passages in the book of Acts and write a 7 to 10 page commentary on it. the class was to give the context of the passage, write short commentary on it and then apply the meaning of the passage to today's context.

So I wanted to share the two papers I wrote in hopes that they will benefit you spiritually and allow people to helpfully critic my writing if needed.

CONVERSION OF SAUL: ACTS 9:1-9

THE INVASION OF THE GOSPEL AMONGST THE PAGAN INTELLECTUALS:ACTS 17:16-34

I have another paper I will be getting back soon with hopes of sharing it then.

(Note: the Conversion of Saul paper did not stay corrected when published for some strange reason. So the Bibliography and notes are messed up, but they should still be discernible. Sorry.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two Articles of Interest

I want to high light two articles that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

The first one is by Dr. Seyoon Kim on the centrality of the cross in one's theology and the necessity of penal substitution to our understanding of the cross. I would level it a very important read regarding the question of penal substitutionary atonement. Dr. Kim gives and superb defense of this glorious doctrine. It is entitled "The Atoning Death of Christ on the Cross." You find it here.

From the conclusion
Thus, when the doctrine of Christ's penal substitutionary atonement on the cross—and the doctrine of justification that issues from it—is properly expounded, it can integrate the Christus victor motif in itself and provide the adequate basis for sanctification or imitatio Christi…Evangelicals, if they are to be true to their historic identity, should not succumb to any polemics based on distorted versions of the Biblical doctrine of Christ's penal substitutionary atonement, nor yield to the attempts to marginalize it for the sake of the (independent) Christus victor theory or the (biblically questionable) moral influence/example theory. Rather, they must uphold the doctrine, expounding it fully and celebrating the grace of God that it highlights.



The second is by Dr. James Hamilton on the book of Song of Songs. It is entitles, "The Messianic Music of the Song of Songs: a Non-Allegorical Interpretation." You can find it here.

I found Dr. Hamilton's take to be insightful and refreshing. There seems to be two extremes regarding the book of Song of Solomon, one is to just make it into a big allegory of Christ and the church and the other one is to make it into a steamy honeymoon scene. I personally don't like either of those. "Rather, this study pursues an interpretation that sees the Song in the light of the messianic expectations evident in the OT canon." (from the article). I liked the balance where both the reality of the figures is kept and a connection with God's salvific plans is made. And I believe Dr. Hamilton has done both.

You can find more of Dr. Hamilton's writings at his blog.