The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Stop Watching TV and Start Reading

I doubt whether anyone at the end of his/her life has said, “Oh, if only I had watched one more hour of television – my life would have been complete.” Yet, reading produces far greater rewards for your life.

  1. Television is heavily liberalized and one-sided.

Let’s face it: Most television is junk. In today’s modern world, generally only one political side controls all the major television political news. Not only politics is affected by this subjectivity. Most channels are created to present people with very few morals and depressing stories – both fiction and non-fiction. Areas with higher television viewing have higher depression rates.

  1. Reading produces better intelligence.

Yes, this depends on what you read, true. Yet, even the simple act of reading will give you more rewards than watching television for that same amount of time. It requires more concentration and allows you to think in a quieter setting.

  1. Television produces unintelligence.

When most fictional television stories revolve around things that do not and cannot exist and most non-fiction stories are presenting false facts, the viewer is only being fed unintelligence.

  1. Reading gives better imaginative rewards.

The creative rewards are far greater with reading because you have to envision the story yourself instead of having it all passively spoon-fed to you through a screen. You actively participate with the story instead of watching it from a distance.

  1. Television commercials are only getting worse and influence you to spend more money

Most commercials are fake. They are designed by computer graphics artists that change the appearance of whatever the company is trying to sell, and the entire point of most of them is that your life is incomplete without their product, which isn’t true.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

FreeResourcesBanner2

 

RC Sproul has Entered Eternal Rest

Our beloved RC Sproul has passed from this world into the next, and has indeed met the holy God that he proclaimed to millions through the Word preached while he was on earth. What tribute could I give to this giant of the faith when so many have already spoken on his behalf?

I think that RC Sproul has been the most influential Christian in the Reformed faith since the Westminster assembly first drafted the Westminster Standards. If he were still here on this earth, he would undoubtedly immediately suggest that surely such great men such as Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge,  or J Gresham Machen would have to be placed before him. I could not begin to attempt to weigh such men against each other. What I do know is this: RC Sproul has definitely been the most influential contemporary theologian in my family’s understanding of what reformed teaching is, and even probably the most influential reformed theologian for myself in all of history. He was genuine, honest, and knowledgeable in doctrine and how to apply it, and he used the resources God had given to him well, not burying his talent in the ground, but producing many more talents to give back into the hands of his heavenly Father. May God raise up another man like RC Sproul to continue preaching in full strength and with similar zeal the truth and essence of reformed theology. I’m glad that Ligonier ministries is prepared to continue without their dear and faithful leader, and I also realize the difficult standard by which they must measure up to in his absence. God bless the Sproul family.

I could not end this note without also giving gratitude for RC’s optimistic eschatological teachings, as I am a Postmillennialist, and my father taught me much of what I know about the Olivet Discourse from RC Sproul’s sermons on it.

Let us pray that the reformed church is not hindered, thwarted, or caused to suffer in RC Sproul’s passing! The Word of the Lord endures forever.

Subscribe Form

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

RC Sproul and Lindsey Grahm: Latest from YouTube

Get the latest from my YouTube channel:

As I continue working on to the end of this year, one marketing venue I have been working to improve is my YouTube channel. It is still a little below professional quality, yet I have been cranking out several videos a week and probably have the quality about as good as it can get with my current camera. I plan to be switching tactics next semester and instead of creating six videos a week, create and release two videos a week. One will be less quality, and the other I will be implementing a new strategy to improve its quality. We’ll see where all that goes, but for now, I thought I would leave you with the last few videos that are hot off the presses!

 

This last video is very special to me now that our dear Rev. Dr. RC Sproul has passed from this life to be with His Holy Lord and Savior. When I created this video (it’s takes some time from filming to publication), I had no idea that within a few weeks, RC Sproul would die. I know his preaching has affected so many. The below text was a very small tribute I gave him in the comments section of a couple of the Ligonier Ministries YouTube channel videos:

I think that RC Sproul has been the most influential Christian in the Reformed faith since the Westminster assembly first drafted the Westminster Standards. He has definitely been the most influential contemporary theologian in my family’s understanding of what reformed teaching is. May God raise up another man like RC Sproul to continue preaching in full strength and with similar zeal the truth and essence of reformed theology. I’m glad that Ligonier ministries is prepared to continue without their dear and faithful leader, and I also realize the difficult standard by which they must measure up to in his absence. God bless the Sproul family.

I could not end this note without also giving gratitude for RC’s optimistic eschatological teachings, as I am a Postmillennialist, and my father taught me much of what I know about the Olivet Discourse from RC Sproul’s sermons on it.

Subscribe Form

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

En Route to Christmas

Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells
All seem to say: throw cares away
Christmas is here bringing good cheer
To young and old, meek and the bold
Ding, ding, ding, dong, that is their song
With joyful ring all caroling
One seems to hear words of good cheer
From everywhere filling the air
Oh how they pound, raising the sound
O’er hill and dale, telling their tale
Gaily they ring while people sing
Songs of good cheer, Christmas is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
On, on they send, on without end
Their joyful tone to every home

Shopping, shopping, shopping; stringing up Christmas lights; either hunting for a live tree or putting up the traditional fake tree that you have used every year for a long, long time; sending out invitations to extended family members; thinking about the recipes new and old you will use on that day of feasting; and preparing for the festivities to come. . .

Hello Friend,

As we prepare for this Christmas season, it is important to remember the story of new life in our Lord Jesus Christ. This world lay condemned, doomed for all time in sin and misery. But hallelujah, God did not leave this world in sin and misery. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism states in Question 21, “God, having out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.” And as the next question answers, the only redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ.

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,” . . . “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” ~Ephesians 2:1,4-10

One of my two favorite pieces of imagery from the New Testament (it competes with another that I may share later) is when the curtain temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Friends, through the person and work of Jesus Christ, we have access into the Holy of Holies to come boldly before the throne of grace. There is not a better way God could have shone His people that the atoning sacrifice of His son was enough. Jesus Christ had drank the cup of the Father’s wrath to the dregs, crying “It is finished!” – payed in full. We owe no more debt to God for Christ’s work.

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,” ~Matthew 27:50-51

“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” ~Matthew 28:6

The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” ~Revelation 11:15

 

 Joy to the world! the Lord is come:
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heav’n and nature sing,

. . .

God Rest ye merry gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray;

. . .

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

Subscribe Form

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

The Common Means of Grace

Q. 88.
What are the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?

A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption are, his ordinances, especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.
~Westminster Shorter Catechism

Friends, there is no better way to pursue the Lord than in pursuing the means He has given to us. He has given us His Word, the sacraments, and the blessing of prayer. In these means, He promises to sanctify us, as Jesus says in His High Priestly Prayer: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:17.

There is no better way to follow the Lord than in following the simple, ordinary means that He has given to us. These means are old as Christianity itself, and they work always just as well. In these common means, we pursue the Lord’s strength and blessing, and He works in us through His Spirit to purge away the dross and refine us in truth.

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

Prudent Forms of Reform

The thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.” ~Russell Kirk’s tenth principal in The Politics of Prudence.

The difficulty with most radicals is that they are too quick to destroy enduring truths that have stood the test of time. There are those who desire to destroy the government establishment and become anarchists, and there are those who desire government to be controlling everything a citizen does. Both forms alike can be equally dangerous because of its quick-changing motion in a society. Rather, Professor Kirk argues that healthy society must be influenced by Permanence and Progression: Permanence being “those enduring interests that gives us stability and continuity”, and Progression being “that spirit and that body of talents which urge us on to prudent reform and improvement”.

The Conservative argues that anarchy will descend into either chaos (which dissolves a society into oblivion) or to the rebirth of only a more formidable government. On the other side of the coin, Totalitarianism is impossible to maintain and will invariably lead to rebellion and revolution. Our founding fathers when setting up the Constitution of the United States understood both of these extremes, being well versed in governmental control both ancient and modern to their times. Rather, they set up a system of government that gave the people a republican state that was neither tyrannical nor non-existent, an elective state that held the people accountable but was not controlling their lives. And most importantly, this system of government allowed for slow and prudent reform as the American nation grew and matured.

Since true conservatism is the negation of ideologies, it is impossible to adhere conservatism with fast and rapid change within a society’s structure. This is because conservatism understands that reform does not come through social programs, but rather through a renewed interest in those enduring truths (or “permanent things”, as The Professor called them) that will always live in a healthy society as long as the earth remains.

The Voice of Many Waters

This article was originally posted on my Authorsville website, but I thought it fit well here as well. Enjoy!

The Sound of a Waterfall

His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; ~Revelation 1:15

And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. ~Revelation 14:2

When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. ~Ezekiel 1:24

Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me. ~Psalm 42:7

The Lord on high is mightier
Than the noise of many waters,
Than the mighty waves of the sea. ~Psalm 93:4

What is it about the sound of water that is so powerful and yet so soft, mighty and yet peaceful, shaking and yet soothing, fierce and yet gentle. From the mighty thundering waterfall to the small tinkling stream or babbling brook, the sound of water is often used in Scripture to describe the voice of God. At times, it is thundering and quaking as in some of the examples above, or at other times, it is, “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). His voice is a gentle hush, a whispering trickle, a sprouting stream. His voice is a thundering echo, a hastening river, a torrent of waterfall that is spilling over the edge of a cliff and rushing forward.

Water is not only a substance God has given to us as a means of life. It is also a symbol to us of who God is. He says, “They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,” Jeremiah 2:13. And again, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” ~John 4:14. And again, “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” ~Psalm 36:9. Jesus says, “‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” ~John 7:37-39

As the above text says, the Holy Spirit is also compared with living water. “And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.” ~1 John 5:8. As the Spirit continues to sanctify us, it is very much like the washing with water that cleanses our bodies. This is also a great symbolism in the holy sacrament of Baptism. One of the signs of the covenant uses water to symbolize what the Lord does with His people; He washes them and makes them clean.

As you watch the below YouTube video with a waterfall stream and listen to its sound, think about the below verses:

Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.
~Isaiah 55:1-3.

~From the Proprietor ~ Joshua Reynolds

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

A Followup from Yesterday – God’s Eternal Decree

Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A. God, having out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.

I thought I would do a followup post from yesterday on the special grace of God extended to humanity through the plan of salvation. After the first Adam fell, plunging all of mankind into an estate of sin and misery, only the Divine could rescue them from that estate whereinto they fell. Jesus Christ is called the “Second Adam” because he reversed the effects of the “First Adam” by doing what the first Adam failed to do, namely, keeping the law of God perfectly and without error. Yet, keeping the law of God was not the only requirement. A mere angel could not atone for sin because as the Scriptures say, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7). Only God has the power to impute righteousness in place of sin.

This is that plan of salvation spoken of in the WSC question above, that God came down and dwelt with man and gave His life a ransom for many. The true atonement came at Christ’s time on the cross, for there He suffered the eternal wrath of the Father, to the point of crying out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46. It is no wonder that there was darkness over the course of that time, for the Eternal Word, Who upheld (and is upholding) the universal in His hands every moment was at that moment suffering damnation in our place. Yet, it was only for a time.

How do we know that the sacrifice amounted to anything? How do we know that the Father thought it to be enough? How do we know that the sacrifice was accepted? He is risen! The Father rose His Son from the dead, and as such, Jesus Christ has become the firstfruits of our own resurrection to come. May we take hope and comfort in that, which leads us into eternal glory. As 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

R.C. Sproul on Man’s Sin and God’s Grace

I came across the below video today and realized that I think I had watched that entire panel on the Ligonier Ministries YouTube channel. Contrary to how this video is labeled, I think Rev. Dr. Sproul answered the question very well and accurately. To think that God has been severely harsh with mankind is not only ignorant but arrogant. He has dealt with us with exceeding grace, and our response should be one of thankfulness.

“This creature from the dirt defied the everlasting, holy God.” ~R.C. Sproul. The fact that God in His mere good pleasure decreed a plan of salvation is gracious beyond what humankind can fathom. Even the angels marvel at this plan of redemption.

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Russell Kirk on Centralized Government

But these United States, accustomed to territorial democracy, have no class of leaders and administrators competent to undertake the consolidated direction which the centralizers propose. I do not discern a class of men here competent to rule wisely this immense nation, once territorial democracy and the federal framework – both principal schools of national leadership – should be undone.

. . . I do not know how we could expect the most expert of statists to direct paternally and justly the concerns of this nation, once local volition and private self-reliance had been seriously weakened. A man has but twenty-four hours in his day, and can read only a limited number of papers. Such centralization defeats its own object, in persons as in departments. The man-killing job of the Presidency – to which the centralizers would add numerous fresh responsibilities – may be sufficient illustration of my meaning.

To destroy territorial democracy and the federal system in America is quite possible . . . but it is less easy to provide some alternative satisfactory scheme of politics. Once the principle of volition, with the sense of participation and local decision, vanishes from American life, Americans are liable to become an unmanageable people.
~Russell Kirk in The Politics of Prudence

In short, Professor Kirk’s argument is that no bureaucracy could handle the extent of America’s issues on a minute scale. He was not in any regard speaking against having a federal government in general, as he was an avid proponent of the Constitution. Yet, that Government should be limited to federal decisions. He quotes several examples of government decisions that should have been kept to local authority, and generally, as we should expect, those decisions usually ended in failure. The Professor goes on to state that centralized government, if pursued and carried to its end, will always invariably lead to a socialist and communist state, such as Russia was or Vietnam is now. And being conservatives as the Professor was and I am, we would agree that such would be disastrous.

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!