David Westerfield

Theology. Culture. Technology.

SocialMedia’ing Ourselves to Death

“The average American teenager who uses a smart phone receives her first phone at age 10 and spends over 4.5 hours a day on it (excluding texting and talking). 78% of teens check their phones at least hourly and 50% report feeling ‘addicted’ to their phones. It would defy common sense to argue that this level of usage, by children whose brains are still developing, is not having at least some impact, or that the maker of such a powerful product has no role to play in helping parents to ensure it is being used optimally. It is also no secret that social media sites and applications for which the iPhone and iPad are a primary gateway are usually designed to be as addictive and time-consuming as possible, as many of their original creators have publicly acknowledged.”


Love Takes Practice

“While some of our habits are acquired by choosing to engage in certain practices (e.g., signing up for drivers’ ed. or registering for piano lessons), many are acquired without our knowing it. And this might happen especially when we are unaware of it. If we are inattentive to the formative role of practices, or if we treat some practices as thin when they are thick, then we will be inattentive to all the ways that such practices unwittingly and unintentionally become automated. We will fail to recognize that they are forming in us habits and desires, oriented to particular ends that function to draw us toward those ends at an affective, unconscious level such that we become certain kinds of people without even being aware of it.

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Covenant Versus Dispensational Theology

I recently had a good discussion with a friend about some of the reasons I left a Dispensational church. I previously documented a number of reasons here in my journey from Dispensationalism to Reformed Presbyterianism, but I also wanted to look up resources that speak to the issue and found a few articles and sites that are worth perusing. It’s interesting to note that the major founders of Dispensationalism left Presbyterianism in particular.

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Resources for Augustine’s Life and Doctrine

I’m currently reading through Augustine’s Confessions with a group at Trinity Presbyterian and looked up some resources concerning Augustine’s life and work. Enjoy!

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Resurrection and Redemption – Richard Gaffin

Recently, between reading Union with Christ by Rankin Wilbourne and Resurrection and Redemption by Richard Gaffin, the concept of union with Christ as resurrected as the central theme in Paul’s soteriology has been an enriching study. Here’s a quote from Gaffin:

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Unpacking the Ninth Commandment

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

In these words is contained an entire volume that could be written on slander, lying, gossip, shaming others, and so on. Do we delight in speaking ill or even thinking ill of others, even if it’s true to one degree or another? Too often this manifests itself on social media, even in seemingly harmless ways (“humble shaming”?), but also in loose talk within conversations, even and especially with people in church many times. The Westminster Larger Catechism unpacks what is required and restricted within the ninth commandment. Quite convicting. Thankful that Jesus covers this by His great love through the accomplishment of our salvation in fulfilling this aspect of the law. And yet I pray that through His resurrection to new life that is now ours, that we would turn from our loose natural talk that demeans others, and as Paul says in Romans 3:31, uphold the law by this faith in His promises in the gospel.

Below is  link to a great article related to this and the section of questions related to the ninth commandment in the Westminster Larger Catechism.

Further reading: https://cccdiscover.com/this-is-why-gossip-is-the-most-unacceptable-sin/

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Five Solas of the Reformation – Gregg Strawbridge

Sola Scriptura: The Scripture Alone is the Standard

The doctrine that the Bible alone is the ultimate authority was the “Formal Principle” of the Reformation. In 1521 at the historic interrogation of Luther at the Diet of Worms, he declared his conscience to be captive to the Word of God saying, “Unless I am overcome with testimonies from Scripture or with evident reasons — for I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils, since they have often erred and contradicted one another — I am overcome by the Scripture texts which I have adduced, and my conscience is bound by God’s Word.” Similarly, the Belgic Confession stated, “We believe that [the] holy Scriptures fully contain the will of God, and that whatsoever man ought to believe unto salvation is sufficiently taught therein…Neither may we consider any writings of men, however holy these men may have been, of equal value with those divine Scriptures nor ought we to consider custom or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils, decrees or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God… Therefore, we reject with all our hearts whatsoever does not agree with this infallible rule” (VII).

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Artificial Intelligence Weaponization Possibilities

From an interview with James Cameron, director of the Terminator and Alien movies, amongst many others, and Tim Miller.

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Resources for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

With this year being the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Reformation (though there were quite a number of precursors leading up to that point), there are a number of great resources that are celebrating what God has done in history in recovering the gospel, while expressing the urgent need for ongoing reformation in our present day in the church (universally).

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The Covenant of Grace in a Nutshell

“The covenant of grace, with respect to us, consists of the absolute promises of God, in which the mediator, the life to be obtained by him, the faith by which we may be made partakers of him, the benefits purchased by him, and the perseverance in that faith, in a word, the whole of salvation, and all the requisites to it, are absolutely promised.”

Herman Witsius, The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man

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