Authentic Fire – Chapter 4 Review

Fred Butler and Lyndon Unger have been tag teaming chapter by chapter MIchael Brown’s tome Authentic Fire. Extremely interesting reading. If you haven’t been following you can start now by clicking the link below.You can find links to the other chapters from there.

Have a great day reading!


Authentic Fire – Chapter 4 Review.



“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

You say Tomato…

Still a lot of discussion across the internet amongst Evangelicals in regard to plagiarism. Here is my two cents.

What was the sin of Ananias and Sapphira? They sold a piece of property and donated a portion of the proceeds to the church, representing it as ALL of the proceeds of the transaction. How did the Holy Spirit react to their misrepresentation? Rather harshly, right? When you steal someone else’s work and misrepresent it as your own, modern society calls it plagiarism. Scripture might call it Lying. What about “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” is unclear in any way? Who is the plagiarist lying to? His publisher?, his readers?, God? What about “He who knows to do right and does it not, to him it is sin.” Any way you want to look at this issue..sin is involved. We human beings LOVE to rationalize our lies, misrepresentations, characterizations, telling less than the whole truth, because WE think it benefits us in some way. How many sins can we count? Selfishness? Lying?, Failing to do right when we know what to do? Pride? I am sure the list can go on and on. Grace is a wonderful gift from God. My belief is that Grace is designed to protect us from UN-intentional sin. Sins of ignorance. Is deliberate deception UN-intentional? Or is repentance required? To be clear, repentance is required either way when it is brought to our attention, whether by the Holy Spirit, or a talk show host. Sin is Sin. Public sin requires public repentance.

Prisoner of Love

Can there ever be too much love in your life? I declare that it is impossible to have too much love in your life. But wait, one might say, “Haven’t you every been smothered by a helicopter mother who hovers over you, second guessing your every decision, and willingly dispensing (unsolicited) life advice?” Or, haven’t you ever been plagued with a boss at work who is a micro-manager, serving for all practical purposes as a helicopter mother when she can’t look over your shoulder on the job?

IMHO neither of those particular instances are examples of love; rather they are examples of people who are working out their own inadequacies by projecting their insecurities upon you.

Well, then you might ask,”What then, are you calling “Love” that one can never get enough of?” Try checking out the Biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13:

“4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.”

After reading the scripture quoted above, the difference when compared to “smothering, micro-managing engagement” in another persons life, is painfully obvious, right? Scripture gives us numerous examples pertaining to maintaining proper relationships with our family and with our neighbor. If only we would pay attention, eh? It is hard for the average human to engage another in conversation without exhibiting our own painfully ingrained shortcomings. Our own inadequacies, fears, idiosyncrasies go on display. Have you ever tried to carry on a conversation with someone who won’t look you in the eyes? They may look at you when you are talking, but when their mouth opens in reply their eyes immediately start roaming everywhere but on your own eyes. I often wondered if this is exhibiting someone’s own inadequacies (they don’t want to look at you for fear of seeing disapproval or judgmental-ism, or disbelief) or whether it is a sign of untruthfulness as a lifestyle, and they are afraid if they look into your eyes while speaking, you will “see right through them” so to speak. Or are they simply shy and find it difficult to engage a person directly for unknown reasons.

In any case, the correct attitude or response on our part might well be found in  1 Corinthians 13.

A quick re-read of these verses before responding in the “comments” section of a blog might help moderate the language at the very least.

‘Til next time I am a Prisoner of Christ.

Prisoner of Christ

I have been a long time lurker at Pyromaniacs, the team blogging effort founded by Phil Johnson and expanded to include Dan Phillips and Frank Turk.  All three are articulate communicators, clear thinkers, and entertaining bloggers. They are primarily responsible for the opening of my eyes to the truths of the Gospel and the Gracious hope that Christ brings. It was here that I discovered that I did not choose Christ…He chose ME! It was here that I came to the realization that my sin had so damaged my heart, that I was incapable of finding God on my own. It was only through the mercy and grace of The Almighty that He granted to me SIGHT (I was blind and dead in my trespasses and sins) and a heart of flesh, and Faith to believe the Gospel message. Prior to His intervention in my life the words of the Gospel were foolishness. I was heretofore living my life under the mistaken belief that I was already a Christian, because I went forward at an “altar call” when I was thirteen years old. I lived my entire life (I am now 65 years old) believing that. I read my Bible. I could quote scripture with the best of them. I lead the congregation in singing during worship services. I taught Sunday School classes over the years. I wrote Christian songs and got them published and recorded by others. I produced Christian concerts in one of the largest American cities, working with 50 to 60 of the most well-known names in Contemporary Christian Music. I was even part owner of a Christian radio station, and part owner of a Christian record label. Oh! What a good boy was I! And then I met Jesus! He showed me my heart and it was ugly and wicked and darker than midnight. And I was a fool…fooling myself into thinking that “doing good things” meant I was a “good person” on his way to heaven. When did I come to see myself as God sees me? When I found myself in prison. When I had lost everything including my family. I realized I was as Paul lamented, “The Chief of Sinners” destined for ultimate destruction. When the Holy Spirit gets on your case and is trying to get your attention to turn you to Christ…LISTEN! There are consequences to sin, and though he ultimately brought me face to face with The Only One Who could forgive me, He did not prevent me from living through the consequences of my actions. If Prison doesn’t get your attention…what will? I was released three years ago and since then I’ve been on a journey getting to know The One who loved me so much he paid for my sin on the Cross. There is only one word for that. MERCY. I didn’t deserve it but while I was yet a sinner He loved me enough to die in my place. I can never repay the debt I owe Him. But I CAN live my life in such a way that it becomes apparent to Him how grateful I am.  And so can you!