"Christians And The Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 3, No. 6:  February 8, 2002.
_______________________________________________________________

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION ONLINE: AN INTERNET RESOURCE
2. GOOD READING: DR. SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON ON AND OFF THE WEB
3. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER
_______________________________________________________________

The latest revision of this issue of "CATI" can be accessed
online at http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati69.htm.  The
Web page edition makes it especially easy to visit the links.

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  See
the end of this issue for more information on "CATI."
_______________________________________________________________

1. AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION ONLINE: AN INTERNET RESOURCE

Dr. Donald E. Wildmon is considered by some a "wild man" for
his zealous style of Christian activism (which includes the
urging of economic boycotts of offending companies), while
considered a hero by others for his courageous involvement in
fighting for moral decency over against various degenerative
influences in today's society.

Who is Donald E. Wildmon?  He is the founder and president of
the American Family Association (AFA), whose home page can be
found at the following address:

AFA Online
  http://www.afa.net/

But is he a "wild man" or a "hero"?  Perhaps he is a bit of
both, and perhaps both are to be commended, since too few
people in America today are willing to do anything about the
moral struggles of our culture.  (As Edmund Burke said, "All
that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do
nothing.")  And Donald Wildmon is certainly right (as he
argued in a recent editorial) that we need to beware of "The
Sin of Indifference" (his closing words are "We can make a
difference.  But only if we care.").

You and I may or may not agree always with Wildmon's approach
(he seems often to emphasize the application -- where such is
possible -- of legal, economic, or political pressure, whereas
we might prefer to see more emphasis upon changing our society
through the transforming power of the gospel), but we can all
benefit in various ways from the work he is doing.

His concerns are valid concerns, which all Christians share,
regardless of whether we have chosen to tackle them in exactly
the same manner.  One especially useful service that the AFA
performs is that of making significant information available
that is not easily available elsewhere.

For that reason, my own family subscribes to the AFA Jouurnal,
which always makes for interesting reading.  Before I take a
look at the AFA Web site, let me mention two Internet-related
articles in the latest (March 2002) issue of the AFA Journal.

Sometimes the news is good news, as in the article "Survey
Reports Increase in Library Internet Filtering" (page 10):

"Since the year 2000 the percentage of public libraries that
use Internet filtering on their computers has nearly doubled.
A new survey released by the Library Journal in early 2002
reported that 43% of libraries are now filtering Internet use.
That percentage compares with 25% in 2000 and 31% in 2001.
The survey also found that of those libraries filtering the
Internet, 96% filter all their children's terminals, while
about half also filter adult terminals.  These numbers are
significant in light of the fact that the American Library
Association (ALA) has consistently fought against Internet
filtering...."

You can learn more "Library Internet Filtering" by visiting
these pages on the AFA Web site:

Library Internet Filtering
  http://www.afa.net/lif/default.asp

American Library Association is No Friend of Our Children
  http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/3/afa/232001i.asp

Another Internet-related article in the March 2002 issue of
the AFA Journal is "Pornographers Snap Up Christian Websites"
(also page 10):

"What do former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, American
River College, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, and the
conservative American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) have
in common?  They've all had their Internet domain names taken
and used for pornographic websites.  If they want them back,
they have to pay the pornographers a ridiculously high fee to
restore their good name....  Focus on the Family Internet
research analyst Steve Watters said churches, ministries and
other pro-family organizations... need to remember that they
aren't buying a domain name as much as they are renting it."

So if your church has its own domain name, make sure that you
pay the necessary renewal fees as required if you do not want
someone else to "snap up" that domain name.  It can happen to
anyone!

It happened, for example, to Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
(PCA) when they changed their domain name and their earlier
domain name was taken over by an Asian pornographic site.  I
was grateful that I was notified/warned by Coral Ridge that
such had taken place, because I had published Coral Ridge's
original Web address in earlier issues of CATI, all of which
were (and are) available online.  (Needless to say, after I
was told of what had happened I went and changed those earlier
mentions so that the articles now include the up-to-date Web
address for the church!)

Let's now go from the AJA Journal to the AFA Web site.  Both
the Journal and the Web site deal with many issues, but for
this article we'll continue our focus on Internet-related
articles.

As I reported in a past issue of CATI, Yahoo was in and out
of the pornography business.  Well, I'm sorry to report that
Yahoo (a very popular Web portal) is apparently back in the
pornography business again, according to AFA Online.  On the
site you are asked to sign a petition to Attorney General John
Ashcroft making this statement:

"We are particularly concerned about the safety of our
children on the Internet, where they're subjected to child
pornography and solicitation in a massive way. Yahoo! is one
of the world's largest Internet portals and we believe they
should be investigated for federal child pornography/obscenity
violations as well as facilitation of prostitution. We implore
the U.S. Department of Justice Department to use its resources
in combating this cyberattack on our nation's children."
  http://www.afa.net/yahoo/petition.asp

The following articles present some of the reasons for the AFA
petition:

Yahoo! Offers Violent Hardcore Porn To Kids And Adults
  http://www.afa.net/press_releases/pr100301.asp

Yahoo! Brings Back 'Rape Directory'
  http://www.afa.net/activism/aa110101.asp

Yahoo! Defends Policy That Allows Child Porn And Rape Clubs
  http://www.afa.net/press_releases/pr111201.asp

Yahoo! Porn Clubs Involved In 2nd Teen Kidnap And Torture
  http://www.afa.net/press_releases/pr010702.asp

Parental Warning: Yahoo! Dangerous to Your Child
  http://www.afa.net/activism/aa010902.asp

For those who want a Christian alternative to Yahoo!, the
AFA offers some suggestions:

'Netrepreneur' Offers Christian Alternative to Yahoo! Mail
  http://www.afa.net/culture/pc072701.asp

Yahoo OUT! Praize IN!
  http://www.afa.net/culture/pc020702.asp

Digression:  It can at times be good for us to look for
alternatives to places which sell, rent, or do things of
which we do not approve.  So far, so good.  But I am not
persuaded that it always makes sense for us to cease to deal
entirely with those whose practices we cannot commend.

For example, my wife and I are film buffs.  We rent most of
our films from a video store that (like most video stores?)
also rents films which we may consider objectionable.  But
it is also true that this video store offers good films that
are not available elsewhere in the Philadelphia area (except
for one other store, which likewise offers the bad along with
the good).  We rent what we consider to be "the good stuff,"
and in this way we cast our vote for "the good stuff" at that
store.  (We also rent some films that turn out to be losers
in spite of positive critical reviews, but that's a different
story. <grin>)

Let's move on from renting videos to seeing films in movie
theatres.  Yes, I do have an option to boycott a movie theater
because of its showing of a film that I may find objectionable.
But -- in addition to my not going to see that film -- does it
make sense for me to boycott that theatre when it is showing,
say, Chariots of Fire or Joseph:  Prince of Egypt?  If the
theater makes money from the bad film but no money from the
good film (because of a comprehensive "Christian" boycott of
the movie theater), is that not discouraging that theater from
showing more good films?  In short, if only non-Christians go
to the movie theater, will not one result be that the theater
will simply show more films that non-Christians want to see?

Thus I have mixed feelings about a total Christian boycott of
Yahoo.  In spite of Yahoo!'s failings (and some of the AFA's
complaints may indeed be valid), it remains true, however,
that Yahooligans, for instance, is one of the better sites on
the Web for children.  It's not perfect, but it still has much
to offer.  Must we boycott that site as well?  (The AFA does
admit that Yahoo! "apparently does [use a pornography filter]
on its Yahooligans! children's site.")

I have a similar problem when the AFA calls for a boycott of
a major bookstore chain, such as Barnes and Noble, because of
its carrying certain titles.  I may indeed not approve of
everything that Barnes and Noble carries -- and I may indeed
want to voice my complaint in some appropriate manner (I don't
even have an objection to legal action, if appropriate) -- but
does that mean that I cannot buy at that store books of which
I do approve?

End of digression.

I invite you to explore on your own the Web site for the
American Family Association.  In spite of my reservations
about some of their strategies and tactics, I do think that
they are making available much information that Christians
ought to know about various family-related issues (including
culture, education, entertainment, politics, and such subjects
as the sanctity of life, the Biblical definition of sexuality
and the family, etc.).

We need to think carefully and prayerfully about such things,
and they should motivate us to action.  Whether or not that
action is precisely that which is recommended by the American
Family Association is your decision before God.  We do want to
make the Internet -- and indeed our society -- friendlier to
the family, and we should be doing things that promote that
goal.

To me, supporting a crisis pregnancy center is more productive
than taking part in an anti-abortion rally (although I have no
objection to people doing both), and I'm more inclined to put
emphasis upon the preaching of the gospel and prayer than on
political persuasion (although I believe that Christians ought
to be involved in politics), but I think I agree with the AFA
and Donald Wildmon that indifference and inactivity are not
live options for the Christians in these vital areas.

Again, my article doesn't do justice to the breadth of material
on the AFA Web site.  Check it out for yourself!:

AFA Online
  http://www.afa.net/

You may also like to explore the following "AFA-related Web
sites" (or Web pages):

AFA Accomplishments 2001
  http://www.afa.net/accomplishments/default.html

AFA Filter.com
  http://www.afafilter.com/cust.htm

Agapepress.org
  http://www.agapepress.org

American Family Radio
  http://www.afr.net
				
In God We Trust Poster.com
  http://www.ingodwetrustposter.com

It's Not Gay.com
  http://www.itsnotgay.com

One Million Dads.com
  http://www.onemilliondads.com

One Million Moms.com
  http://www.onemillionmoms.com
_______________________________________________________________

2. GOOD READING: DR. SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON ON AND OFF THE WEB

Do you love to read?  Some people don't.  Fred Zaspel, pastor
of Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, is
one of them:

"I love books, but, ironically, not because I love to read. I
don't. It's just that I love to learn. There is a lot of fluff
and a lot of good stuff out there  more of each than ever.
And to find the good stuff and read it is both a pleasure and
a privilege indeed."
  http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bookrev/bkrviews.htm

Well, I love books and I love to read and I love to learn, and
the last is what it's all about, as Zaspel says.  But how can
you distinguish the "fluff" from the "good stuff"?  "Of the
making of books there is no end," and most of the books seem
not to be worth the reading.  Since our time for reading on
earth is limited, we should spend it with the best authors, but
what authors today are the ones from whom we can learn most?

Zaspel has two to recommend, and this article will concentrate
on the second one that he names:

"I love my friends, and when my friends are men who can
effectively minister the Word of God to me  well, I am even
more thankful for them. Among my very favorite authors are
two such friends.... One is D.A. Carson.... Another favorite
author is Sinclair B. Ferguson....  Now senior minister at
St. George's-Tron Parish Church in Glasgow, he is formerly
professor of theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in
Philadelphia."
  http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bookrev/favauthr.htm

Although I myself did not have the personal privilege of
having Sinclair Ferguson as a teacher when I was a student at
Westminster Seminary, I have much appreciated reading what he
has written and hearing him speak.  If you yourself have not
yet discovered him, I think you'll find it worthwhile to make
his acquaintance.

Zaspel tells us more about this friend and favorite author
of his:

"He is a true heir of 'the old Princeton theologians' 
careful and thorough in his theological reflections but a
theologian of the heart (to borrow his description of
Augustine) if ever there was one. And his books are like his
preaching  when you're done with them you have not only
learned but you are clearly directed to Christ, deeply
blessed, and would like to get alone and pray. We have some
in our church who will tell you that they have been richly
blessed in that the first Christian literature they read for
some time after their conversion, other than their Bibles,
were books by Sinclair Ferguson. We ... encourage people to
read them all. Read Sinclair Ferguson. You will be better for
it."
  http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bookrev/favauthr.htm

Here's an example of a specific book about which Zaspel is
enthusiastic:

"... Ferguson's The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction
(Banner of Truth) is a true gem.... It has long been a
complaint of mine that Evangelical pastors lack both the
understanding of and the passion for the great Biblical
themes of salvation. This book helps on both scores. Ferguson
gives a clear, rich, and accurate exposition of major
soteriological themes, such as regeneration, the plan of
redemption, conviction of sin, calling, faith, justification,
union with Christ, perseverance, and glorification  all with
the precision of a theologian and the heart of a fervent
Christian and pastor.... Highly recommended. Read and enjoy!"
  http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bookrev/sotirgy.htm

That Sinclair Ferguson is an outstanding Christian author who
is definitely worth reading is definitely worth knowing, but
I do have some bad news for readers of this newsletter:  For
some reason, material by Sinclair Ferguson on the Internet is
fairly scarce (although my detective work did turn up a number
of Ferguson-related items that may be of interest to you).

Here are a (very) few articles by Ferguson available online,
to give you an idea of his substance and style:

Discernment, Wisdom, and the Will of God
(adapted from the book Discovering God's Will)
  http://www.pdinet.org/sgo/v17no2/discernment.html

Discovering God's Will
  http://www.the-highway.com/articleOct97.html

John Owen on the Spirit in the Life of Christ
  http://www.banneroftruth.co.uk/articles/2001/04/owen_on_the_spirit_in_the_life_of_christ.htm
    OR
  http://www.hnrc.org/gr/Resources/resources.html

(The Owen article is also available in PDF and Word formats
at the latter address.)

Unfortunately, that's about it. <sigh>  As you can see, you
can't read much of Ferguson online, although you do have some
opportunities to listen to him online in Real Audio:

Free Offer of the Gospel
  http://www.mountzion.org/audio.html

Marrow of Modern Divinity (1): Historical Details
Marrow of Modern Divinity (2): Danger of Legalism
Marrow of Modern Divinity (3): Danger of Antinomianism
  http://www.mountzion.org/audio.html

The Saint and the Law
  http://www.mountzion.org/audio.html

Whenever I have read anything by Sinclair Ferguson or heard
him speak or preach, I have never been disappointed.  I was
disappointed, however, to find so little by him available on
the Internet (especially compared with other contemporary
Christian authors and speakers).

Although the Internet contains little by him, it does contain
some helpful material about him (otherwise this article would
be very brief).  Following are some places on the World Wide
Web where you can find comments on (and reviews of) many of
Dr. Ferguson's books (along with a few surprising resources
turned up on the Internet):

The Big Book of Questions & Answers
"Questions! Questions! Questions! Children are full of them.
Where did I come from? What is God like? Is there only one
God? The Big Book of Questions & Answers is a family guide
to the Christian faith. It contains a wealth of activities,
prayers, and Bible references."
  http://www.wts.edu/bookstore/facsyste.html

The description of the book is from the Campus Bookstore of
Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.  (You'll find
similar comments at http://www.renewing.org/bigbookofque.html
on R.C. Sproul's Web site).  There are, of course, many places
where you can obtain the book.  But the WTS Bookstore does
offer something rather special on their Web site:

"Listen in Real Audio as Dr. Ferguson discusses his book with
Dr. John Yenchko, host of the New Life for the Family radio
broadcast and pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church, PCA,
Glenside, Pennsylvania."
  http://www.wts.edu/bookstore/facsyste.html

That discussion takes place not in one interview, but in six,
which you can hear at the preceding Web page!

That book was followed by another (again, the description is
from the Bookstore at Westminster Seminary):

The Big Book of Questions & Answers about Jesus
"What is Jesus like? What did Jesus do when he was little?
This book is a wonderful follow-up to the first book in this
series, which covered questions and answers based on questions
from the Westminster...Shorter Catechism....  This interactive
resource material will bring families closer together as they
learn about Jesus Christ."
  http://www.wts.edu/bookstore/features11282000.html

At the time of my writing this, that page also tells of WTS
Bookstore's currently offering the book for $7.19, which is
"40% off the $11.99 retail price."  I understand that the
Campus Bookstore has some special offers available online
that are not available to walk-in customers.  If that is so,
that is another reason to take advantages of resources on
the Web.

Children of the Living God
[reviewed by Jean LeStourgeon]
"...Ferguson's book...is a mere 127 pages. But, do not think
that you will be able to devour this spiritual food in a brief
sitting. This book is full of meat and requires one to chew
every little bite, slowly and deliberately. Prior to the
Reformation, the [principal] view of the Christian life was
one of fear and bondage rather than Sonship. Ferguson's reason
for writing the book is chiefly to bring to light not only the
doctrine of the Fatherhood of God but also the doctrine of
Christian Sonship."
 http://www.christiandiscipleship.com/ArchivedPages/BookWorks/2001/BookWorksOctNov2001.html

The Christian Life
[reviewed by Philip G. Ryken, Tenth Presbyterian Church (PCA),
    Philadelphia]
"I have one more book to recommend.... The book is called The
Christian Life..., and it was written by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson
.... I want to recommend it because it is one of my favorite
books. In fact, I think every Christian who wants to grow
spiritually ought to read it. It contains short, biblical,
practical chapters on topics like faith, repentance,
justification, and the glories of heaven."
  http://www.tenth.org/wow1999-12-05.html

And here's another description of the book:

"[This book] expounds such key biblical themes as grace,
faith, repentance, new birth, and assurance with clarity and
contagious enthusiasm."
  http://www.banneroftruth.co.uk/Books/20thCentury/christian_life.htm

By the way, I should perhaps mention that some of the comments
in this article may come from publisher's blurbs, so they may
not always be "objective."  I include them because they do at
times provide useful information on the content of the book.

Daniel: Mastering the Old Testament/Communicator's
    Commentary
"For those on the firing line in the pulpits, classes, study
groups, and Bible fellowship clusters, here is a distinctly
different kind of commentary. Dr. Ferguson has combined
detailed examination of the text of Daniel with a theologian's
ability to give an ordered elucidation of theological content.
Mastering the Old Testament combines rich resources of the
historical setting and textual interpretation with practical
application to aid in contemporary Bible study. This
commentary provides critical textual exposition, corollary
verses or illustrations from other portions of the Bible, and
classical or contemporary life-situation illustrations."
  --somewhere on Amazon Books Web site at http://www.amazon.com/

I got that description from Amazon Books.  The URL for the
page is ridiculously long, but (1) you should be able to find
the page easily by doing a search for the book at Amazon, and
(2) they most likely got the description from the publisher
(it certainly sounds like a publisher's sales pitch).

Deserted by God
[reviewed by Fred Zaspel]
"Ferguson is a theologian, but he's more than that. He is a
pastor with a pastor's heart, a true theologian of the heart.
I've heard him preach on the theme of suffering on several
occasions, and it has always been blessed. This book, which
is a series of studies in the Psalms, is a book intended to
minister to those who, in suffering, feel that God has
deserted them. Most of us have been there, and who better than
the Psalmist to teach us. A very, very good book for pastors
in sermon preparation (be careful -- you will be tempted to
steal these sermons!) and for anyone looking for the comfort
God gives His people by revealing Himself to them and teaching
them about Himself. Highly recommended."
  http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bookrev/suffdiff.htm

Discovering God's Will
"Ferguson shows how God's will is shaped by his ultimate
purposes for us and is made known to us through his Word.
This title draws out fundamental principles by which God
guides us, applying them to practical situations like
vocation and marriage, and underlining important biblical
counsels."
   http://www.wts.edu/bookstore/facsyste.html

The Grace of Repentance
"Sinclair Ferguson looks at the biblical definition of
repentance, how some modern churches are repeating medieval
errors, and the necessity of reformation. Whereas current
teaching often belittles repentance, Ferguson believes that
not only is it essential for salvation, it is the concrete
expression of divine regeneration. When we see what we truly
are--innately, inescapably sinful--we know our deep need for
God's abundant grace."
  http://www.discerningreader.com/gracofrepsin.html

Grow in Grace
"This title explains how God helps us to develop as members
of God's family. Taking Jesus himself as the model for our
growth, it explains some of the principles of spiritual
development, and gives 'case histories' to illustrate how God
works in our lives to mature us as Christians. The biblical
teaching in the book will appeal to all Christians, while its
straightforward explanation of the patterns of God's work in
his people makes it ideal for new Christians."
  http://www.wts.edu/bookstore/facsyste.html

A Heart for God
"Ferguson guides us, step by step, to see the greatness of God
in his majesty and creative power; to sense the tenderness of
his care and the marvel of his love."
  http://www.banneroftruth.co.uk/Books/20thCentury/heart_for_god.htm

The Holy Spirit: Contours of Christian Theology
"Ferguson seeks to recover the who of the Spirit fully as much
as the what and how. [His] study is rooted and driven by the
scriptural story of the Spirit in creation and redemption....
Foundational issues are surveyed and clarified. Hard questions
are explored and answered. Clarity and insight radiate from
every page. Here is the mature reflection of a Reformed
theologian who will summon respect and charity from those who
disagree."
  http://www.discerningreader.com/holspirsinfe.html

Ferguson's book on the Holy Spirit is a major contribution,
as the following endorsements show:

"Because this book is thorough and reliable, fresh and full
of insight, and its tone is pastoral and constructive, it is
among the best treatments of this subject."
  --David Wells, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary

"In characteristic fashion Sinclair Ferguson has once again
provided thoughtful readers with a wise, comprehensive,
balanced and thoroughly biblical treatment of an important
area of theology--the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. All the
major questions and texts are treated, and the chapter on
'The Cosmic Spirit'...is itself worth the book's price."
  --the late James M. Boice, Tenth Presbyterian Church,
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

"Sinclair Ferguson has done an extraordinary piece of work.
This is the most comprehensive treatment of the person and
work of the Holy Spirit from a Reformed perspective since
Abraham Kuyper."
  --R. C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries

"This excellent volume...is a very able exposition of the
orthodox Reformed understanding of the person and work of the
Holy Spirit. The style is attractive without losing accuracy;
thus the book is more readable than many theological volumes
that tend to be skeletal. The wholehearted commitment to
Scripture is manifest through abundant references and crisp
exegesis of some difficult passages.... The author is well
informed, lucid in the presentation of his views and in the
discussion of alternative positions. More than many other
theologians he is serene in his conscious obedience to the
teaching of Scripture and therefore generous toward those
with whom he differs."
  --Roger Nicole, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando,
      Florida

Here's where I found the preceding endorsements:

  http://www.gospelcom.net/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/review/code=1536

If you're considering using Sinclair Ferguson's The Holy
Spirit as a textbook for a small group or a Sunday School
class, you may find these Sunday School worksheets by Eric
Pyle, Grace Presbyterian Church (OPC), Norman, Oklahoma, to
be useful:

Eric, Pyle, The Holy Spirit (Worksheets for Sunday School
    Lessons)
  http://www.two-age.org/church/school.htm

John Owen on the Christian Life
"While this is the first book-length study of Owen's theology
ever to be published, Sinclair Ferguson's main aim has been
to make Owen more accessible. As well as providing an
exposition of many areas of Owen's teaching, [Ferguson's book]
also serves as a 'reader's guide' to Owen's writings. In both
these ways it will serve pastors, teachers and all serious
Christians in their study in those areas in which John Owen
has proved to be a true doctor of the church."
  http://www.banneroftruth.co.uk/Books/Puritans/owen_on_christian_life.htm

Know Your Christian Life: A Theological Introduction
"A theological classic, on the Holy Spirit's work in
salvation."
  http://www.gateman.com/acmi/docs/litintro.html

Let's Study Mark
"Another superb commentary from Sinclair B. Ferguson."
  http://www.wts.edu/bookstore/features11282000.html

At the time of my writing this, Westminster Seminary Bookstore
is selling the preceding book for $8.99, which is "40% off the
$14.99 retail price."

Let's Study Philippians
"This is the first of a series of commentaries written to
encourage ordinary Christians to read, understand and apply
God's Word. Designed to be used by individuals, in family
devotions or by groups, each [features] an exposition of the
text of Scripture and a group study guide. The Letter to the
Philippians is full of Christ and overflows with a contagious
sense of great joy. Sinclair B. Ferguson shows how Paul
fostered this joy among these new Christians and responded to
problems which threatened their fellowship and witness by
anchoring them in the truth of Christ."
  http://www.banneroftruth.co.uk/Books/Commentaries/Let's_study_phillippians.htm

The Pundit's Folly
"Scientific discovery, technological revolution and the
pursuit of material affluence have been the hallmarks of
the western world in the late 20th century. For many people
a sense of personal significance and lasting satisfaction
remain as elusive as ever. Is the pathway to them impossible
to find? 'The Pundit's Folly' answers this question by means
of the experiences described in the Old Testament book of
Ecclesiastes (the Pundit of the book's title). It unmasks
the false promises of happiness which the world offers and
uncovers the dissatisfactions, longings and needs of the
heart in order to point to the source of true satisfaction
in Jesus Christ. Written specifically to help non-Christians,
'The Pundit's Folly' is a tool for evangelism; but its
Biblical content and explanation of the Christian gospel
will provide encouragement to those who are already
Christians to witness to Christ and to live unreservedly
for him."
  http://www.inforamp.net/~jwhitley/PURITANS.HTM

Read Any Good Books?
[reviewed by Fred Zaspel]
"I highly recommend that you get the little Banner of Truth
booklet by Sinclair Ferguson, entitled Read Any Good Books?
Ferguson provides some very good direction for Christian
reading  simple, practical, and worth-while advice for
reading to the greatest profit. There is so much out there,
you may want some help in using your time (and money) most
beneficially; and with this little booklet you will find the
best advice available.... Highly recommended."
  http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bookrev/bkrviews.htm

The Sermon on the Mount
"The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best known section
of the entire Bible. It answers some of the most pressing
questions that every Christian encounters....  This book
deals with these issues in a crisp, concise and readable way.
It provides an ideal introduction to Jesus' great manifesto
for life in his kingdom."
  http://www.wts.edu/bookstore/facsyste.html

The preceding covers most of the published books and booklets
written by Sinclair Ferguson.  Let me finish this article by
mentioning two resources for learning from Sinclair Ferguson
apart from books.

First, I understand that the following tapes are available
from The Proclamation Trust at http://www.proctrust.org.uk/:
"Foundation of the Christian Life," "Pattern for the Christian
Life," and "Focus in the Christian Life."  (If you're aware
of other sources of tapes of Sinclair Ferguson -- and I'm sure
there are such -- write to me at cati@traver.org, so that I
may include that information in a future issue.)

Second, three courses by Sinclair Ferguson are taught at
Reformed Theological Seminary Virtual Campus:  Doctrine of
the Holy Spirit; Systematic Theology II: Ecclesiology and
Sacraments; and Theology of John Owen.

What is this "Reformed Theological Seminary Virtual Campus"?
I'll let them describe the program:

"RTS is committed to offering a seminary education based on
the authority of the inerrant Word of God, and holding to the
principles of the Westminster Confession of Faith. The Virtual
Campus of RTS is a part of that vision, and was created to
make a quality seminary education available to men and women
wherever they are. Obligations to family, church, and work
make it impossible for many people to attend seminary classes
on a traditional campus. The Virtual Campus offers RTS courses
through tapes, notebooks, and the Internet, making it possible
for students to pursue seminary training from home."
  http://www.rtsvirtual.org/newhome/rtshome.htm

Here is where you'll find the home page for the RTS Virtual
Campus (which offers a Master of Arts in Religion degree as
well as several certificate programs):

Reformed Theological Seminary Virtual Campus
  http://www.rtsvirtual.org/

And here is where you'll find information on the notebooks and
tapes for Sinclair Ferguson's courses:

RTS Virtual Campus: Tape and Notebook Price List
  http://www.rtsvirtual.org/prices.html

My assumption would have been that the sale of tapes would be
limited to enrolled students.  I did note, however, that the
FAQ ("Frequently Asked Questions" page for RTS Virtual Campus
included this Question and Answer:

"Can I audit Virtual Campus courses?
Many students do take advantage of Virtual courses for
personal enrichment, and all course materials are available
for retail prices at the online bookstore."
  http://www.rtsvirtual.org/newadmissions/admissions.htm#FAQ

Here is the home page for the bookstore:

Reformed Theological Seminary Bookstore Online
  http://www.rts.edu/bookstore/

Click on "Search," and then on the next page check of "Author
Last Name," fill in "Ferguson" (without the quotation marks),
and click "Search."  You'll note that along with books and
booklets by Sinclair Ferguson, notebooks and tapes for the
three Sinclair Ferguson courses also appear on the results
list.

IMPORTANT: I have not confirmed at this point whether those
course materials are available to those who are not officially
enrolled as students at RTS, but if you're interested in these
materials, it may be something worth asking about.

In conclusion, we've seen that in many ways the Internet can be
a rich resource for the Christian to use, but not everything is
on the Internet.  It is also true, however, that the Internet
can provide useful information about those good things that are
not on the Internet (e.g., all the excellent books and booklets
written by Sinclair Ferguson).

Like Fred Zaspel, I love books, and although I'm thankful for the
books that are available on the Internet, for me online books
cannot take the place of traditional (ink-on-paper) books.  The
Internet, if properly used, can be an aid to finding good books
and can be an encouragement to good reading.  Yes, the Traver
family may have a computer or two in their home, but they also
have twelve thousand books, so the computer and the Internet are
no real threat to the reading of books in our house.

It could be said that "of the reading of books, there will be no
end," since (at least until Christ returns) the Good Book (which
is even better than Ferguson's books, which are as good as they
are only because they seek to restate what is said in the Good
Book, the Bible) will continue to be read, and for good reason
(see 2 Tim. 3:14-17).

But I think it's probably unnecessary for me to say such
things here, because I know that CATI readers are readers....
_______________________________________________________________

3. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER

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Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.