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.

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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!

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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

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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!

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Happy Thanksgiving from Conservative Cornerstones!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I hope you enjoy the above video. Remember to dedicate time tomorrow to be thankful to God for everything that He has done for you and for America. May America remember and turn back to the Lord, and may God bless your day!

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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!

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A Note from the Proprietor

Hello everyone,

I’m going to keep this site open for now in the hopes that soon people will start discovering it and have a desire to guest blog on it. In the meantime, I plan to share whatever wholesome or conservative tid-bits I can here and try to keep this blog alive.

At the moment, here is an audio recording of my book The Williams House, and another of my book Treasure on the Southern Moor. I hope you enjoy!

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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!

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Welcome Guest Bloggers – Example 5: Autumn Time

If you desire just to share something about nature, you can do it on this blog! Below are some pictures I took today of the falling and changing leaves during this festive time of year. I hope you enjoy!

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!

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Welcome Guest Bloggers – Example 4: Prudent Forms of Reform

This post was originally posted on my Conservative Cornerstones website, and I am reblogging it here for the demonstration of another example of what a guest post might look like. All conservatives welcome!

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.

 

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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!

Welcome Guest Bloggers – Example 3: Social Media and Why I Don’t Use It

The below article originally came from my Conservative Cornerstones website, but I thought it would also serve as a good example for this blog.

So, I know that most people tell you that in order to market ANYTHING online, you MUST be active in social media venues. I’ve read many, many articles on why and how it’s impossible to promote your business online without using social media. I’ve heard it referred to as the oil that makes the engine run, a necessary item without which your online business cannot grow. Friends have told me of its fantastical uses and how it can help stay in touch with friends, grow a following, connect with individuals that can aid your business, etc.

Is this true? Is there any way to grow an online market without using social media? Who is doing this? Is anyone doing this?

Well, yes, the short answer is that there are many people who are having success online without using social media. How? Well, before I get into the how, I must define what social media is. What is it?

In short, I define social media as a specific way of networking with other people. A social media website is one in which (1) sets up a profile of who you are / what you’re doing and (2) allows you to “connect” with other “walls” (i.e. profiles) to stay up-to-date with how those profiles are changing through the use of “friending” them. I have the last phrase of that sentence in bold for a specific reason. The way in which a social media site networks to individuals is different from how, say, a blog “networks”. When someone subscribes to a blog, it’s very much like a newspaper or magazine subscription. It’s simply a way of the individual saying, “I like what you write and want to receive more of your publications.” In no way are the newspaper writers (i.e. bloggers) saying to the subscribers the same thing. It is not a two-way tunnel. The subscribers receive the updates that they wanted, and the writer is not constantly bogged down with having to check up and read every one of his subscriber’s life news (a win-win). Sure, they should be genuinely interested on whether the subscribers are happy or not, but let’s be honest, what newspaper writer, in addition to all the stresses of having to write good content, wants to be bogged down by every single subscriber’s personal life? Social media networking, on the other hand, is a two-way street. When one profile connects with another, a tunnel of communication and update “swapping” is created. It is much like two individuals meeting one another and saying, “we share common interests; let’s keep in touch!” Examples of social media sites would be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. I would not rate YouTube as a social media website, because again, its way of networking is like a newspaper and not like a telephone call.

So, you ask me, “What’s wrong with this? It seems to make the connections more personal, and isn’t personal what we want?”

The answer is no . . . not always. That is, sure, if you want to spend hours every day scrolling through the selfie pics your friends have taken over the last day or two, then yes, social media is just for you. I’m not saying that everyone who owns social media does this, but those who are doing this aren’t abnormal in this venue because they are doing exactly what the social media engine is designed to do. They are using the two way tunnel to swap information back and forth at generally a daily level. Personally, I would much rather enjoy a glass of lemonade with a friend on my front porch than spend my time on a digital screen every day looking at pictures they’ve taken of themselves throughout the day. This doesn’t mean I don’t like to keep up-to-date with my friends’ lives, but how much is too much?

However, I digress because this article is not about personal connections. It’s about business, and that’s exactly my point. For the use of marketing a product, people used to understand the clear lines between business and personal connections. And . . . after all . . . wasn’t the Internet’s original intent designed as a marketplace? Why does “dot com” stand for “commercial”, and why is there no “dot per” for “personal”? That’s because the internet was originally designed for businesses and non-personal information to be easily accessed and connected, and it had an added feature of connecting personally. And, let’s be honest, no business can spend the time (or should even want to spend it) going through personal pictures/notes of what every one of their individual clients has done throughout the day.

Email is convenient because it allows us to write letters to each other without much post problems or waiting-time-duration. This works for both business and personal use, and I think that’s great! You can say to your friends, “Hey! Instead of writing once a month, let’s email once a week!” This is a two-way tunnel that does not come with any of the added pressure of “wall updating” that broadcasts personal information to everyone you have ever connected to through that venue. Or, if you’re a business, you can say, “Hey, let’s share email addresses so that if you have any problems with your product, you can contact us and we can respond the same day!” Again, this is an example that, though using a two-way street of communication, does not come with the constant open connections that you automatically have with every one of your “friends” on a social media site like facebook. The email address is there if they need it, but in no way are they expected to be constantly emailing – quite the opposite, in fact.

The problem is that the way social media is designed is personal – too personal. I find this to be a problem whether or not you are wanting to set up personal or business contacts, but for the purpose of this article, it is especially bad for business. No, I’m not saying that businesses shouldn’t adapt a “personal” flair. After all, businesses are only around because of humans, and humans are . . . personal. However, businesses are being pressured into subjugating themselves to a venue that is just not designed for best business operability. They are doing this because personal conversations are owning the internet right now, and so in order to speak in this marketplace, they think they need to adapt the same style.

But it doesn’t have to be this way!

As stated earlier, there are many who are making an online market successful without the use of social media. I used to have a LinkedIn account, which, by the way, is designed for business use, and do you know what I found? It did not help me overall in the slightest. Sure, I thought it was cool at first to connect with what I thought to be a few celebrities in the field I was then pursuing. But it did not help them find me important enough to listen to my voice. Instead, I spent so many hours attempting to gain more contacts that didn’t know me from Adam and would never lift a finger for me if I wanted them to – nor should they be all-so-interested in what I’m doing because they have hundreds of other connections that are wanting their same attention. This is because the social media market is flooded and people resort to abusing the system, “friending” someone just to increase a number count. Rather, I only want people to follow my writings who are actually going to take an interest in what I say. If they’re not reading me, then we’re wasting time and resources to stay in touch.

If you are having similar unsuccessful results in the business online marketplace, or are tired and rundown with social media (and there are only a very few people I talk with who are using social media and NOT rundown with it) then consider changing tactics to use the internet as originally intended. You can leave your social media sites and find other ways to market online, and there are a great many other, more effective ways!

Below is a list of website types that, given the definition I’ve given above, do not fit in social media. I strongly recommend you do at least several of them if you, like me, are reading this to avoid the pitfalls of social media.

  1. Blogs: Whether it’s through WordPress (what I’ve chosen), Blogger, or some other platform, blogging is a great way to promote your business without the pressures of and wasted time that goes into social media. And the good thing about blogs is that there is not a limited number you can have! If you aren’t getting the following you need on one blog, you can create another that talks back and forth with it. By so doing, you’re creating your own inter-network that allows traffic to explore more, and gives them more opportunities of chancing upon you.
  2. YouTube: YouTube, or any other video provider, is much like a blog except the media format is visual and not textual.
  3. General Websites: It is generally required to have a place that compiles your business together and let’s the customer/client explore what you do. This is like your official front door on the market street, though this website needs to be promoted through other venues listed here as well as word-of-mouth.
  4. Other pre-established marketplaces: These are websites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc.
  5. An Email list: I have this one in bold because I think it’s very important. An email list allows you to send your information on the doorstep of everyone who signs up for it. As previously stated, email is a great tool for both personal and business uses. Here, you allow individuals to personally sign up for your emails, and then you can send them the latest updates and products that you have, and they go right into the customer’s “mailbox”!

A brief note about email: I recently took a webinar with someone who has mastered online marketing techniques (Jeff Goins), and though he uses social media to a certain extent, he admits himself that at least for writers (he is an author) someone who signs up to an email list is 100 times more likely to buy your product then someone who “friends” you on social media, and he had this tested.

If you’re going to succeed online without social media, you must use all the resources you have available. This isn’t bad, though, because you get to succeed without succumbing yourself to the hours it takes to keep/maintain social media sites and the peer pressure that follows, and your efforts will be far more rewarding. Social media is arguably ineffective for businesses when considering the number of connections you spend obtaining, because most of these connections are not consumers. The ratio between connection and consumer in social media can be depressing for the business owner. Yet, if you can market your product online by using more specific tools, why not?

“But, but, but! Marketing online without social media is uncommon these days.” What days? You have to remember that “these days” only refers to the ten to fifteen years that social media has been around, and only in the last few years have businesses been pressured in joining up. The internet has been around longer, and the fact that it is considered “uncommon” to market without social media only means that there is a bigger spot in the marketplace for you to enter if you utilize other, more effective and specific venues.

This is why you cannot find me on Facebook or Twitter. Instead, you may see me in the evening time if you’re driving down my street, and I’ll be on my porch, having completed my online marketing work for the day, drinking lemonade or tea with a friend or a book and enjoying the atmosphere of nature. Would you care to join me? There is always an extra seat.

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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!