• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Government Spending Does Not Increase Production

Quoting Brian M. Riedl:

Spending-stimulus advocates claim that govern­ment can “inject” new money into the economy, increasing demand and therefore production. This raises the obvious question: Where does the gov­ernment acquire the money it pumps into the econ­omy? Congress does not have a vault of money waiting to be distributed: Therefore, every dollar Congress “injects” into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of the economy. No new spending power is created. It is merely redistrib­uted from one group of people to another.

Spending-stimulus advocates typically respond that redistributing money from “savers” to “spend­ers” will lead to additional spending. That assumes that savers store their savings in their mattresses or elsewhere outside the economy. In reality, nearly all Americans either invest their savings by purchasing financial assets such as stocks and bonds (which finances business investment), or by purchasing non-financial assets such as real estate and collecti­bles, or they deposit it in banks (which quickly lend it to others to spend). The money is used regardless of whether people spend or save.

A Moment With Charles Spurgeon

When the sunlight of God’s mercy rises upon our needs, it casts the shadow of prayer far down upon the plain; or, to use another illustration, when God piles up a hill of mercies, He Himself shines behind them, and He casts on our spirits the shadow of prayer, so that we may have confidence, if we are in prayer, that our prayers are the shadows of mercy.

Gabriel Duvall: “In Humble Hopes”

gabrielduvall“I resign my soul into the hands of the Almighty Who gave it, in humble hopes of His mercy through our Savior Jesus Christ.” (US Supreme Court Justice)

While We Enjoyed Thanksgiving

Quoting The New Hampshire Union Leader:

“While Americans sat through football games, planned their ‘Black Friday’ morning shopping, and all in all enjoyed a quiet and peaceful Thanksgiving, terrorists in India were slaughtering more than 200 innocent people. Westerners, particularly U.S. and British citizens, were primary targets. The fact that it was a peaceful American Thanksgiving went unnoticed by most. The fact that this has been the case since the Al Qaida attacks on America of Sept. 11, 2001, also went little noticed. That all of this coincides with and is a result of President Bush’s prosecution of the war on Islamist extremism is never highlighted. Our final editorial today notes general news media bias in favor of Barack Obama. Imagine what that media would have had to say, and where all the blame would have gone, had America been attacked at home again on Bush’s watch. We aren’t suggesting that President Bush’s strategy is the sole reason for our relative safety here at home. But it has certainly contributed in great measure. And before the new President and his eager Congress get to work dismantling what Bush has built, they better think very carefully. Bush’s much-maligned Patriot Act, with its access to international communications traffic; his seizure and confinement of enemy combatants at Guantanamo, and his buildup of security forces at home and abroad, all of these things have helped to keep America safer. America is not safe from attacks such as just occurred in Mumbai, India. Indeed, a credible threat to the New York subway system was being watched this weekend. But we are safer than we were seven years ago and President Bush’s administration deserves much of the credit for that this Thanksgiving weekend.”

Why Is There Weakness In The Church?


Quoting Geoffrey Thomas:

We are asking why, if the Word of God is life and power, are we seeing such evident weakness in the professing church? And we are suggesting a simple answer — because of a lack of discriminatory . . . preaching of that Word, preaching like that of Peter at Pentecost. He spoke directly to the consciences of men. He named their sin, held out the threat of God’s punishment, and would not be silent until they began to ask what they had to do. Of course, he spoke lovingly; he loved his hearers. We must love men more than they love themselves. And yet there was a faithfulness in his witness to them of their real state. . . . Our preaching will never approach the power of Peter’s at Pentecost unless we too put our heads through the gates of hell and tell the people that they are not ready to die — that they are unprepared for the great judgment, that soon these gates will close upon them in death, and that then there will be no offers of grace — because sinners do not know it.

What do the New Testament Christians ask for so often? What do we need in our lives and ministries? It is boldness, for “the fearful and unbelieving . . . shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire” (Rev. 21:8). One reason why the gates of hell are not falling before the church is our lack of boldness in preaching. We are not discriminating between Christian and non-Christian; our terminology and application are too general. We are not wielding the sword of the Spirit, but the baton of a conductor.

(Geoffrey Thomas, “Powerful Preaching,” Chapter 14 in The Preacher and Preaching, edited by Samuel Logan, Presbyterian and Reformed, 1986, p. 378)

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