"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 firstname.lastname@example.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 Like to know what this is? This is the sixty-ninth issue of a free newsletter devoted to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy," but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the "Internet"). Like to subscribe to this free email newsletter? Just send an email to email@example.com (but be sure to include your name in the note). Like to read past CATI issues and articles (or even search CATI for a particular subject)? Go to http://cati.org and you'll find an archive of past issues (arranged in reverse chronological order), a partial index of articles (arranged alphabetically by topic), and a search engine specifically for use with CATI. Like to pass along this issue to others? You may. Permission is hereby granted to pass along any issue of CATI to someone else, provided that it is passed along in its entirety with no changes made. (For now, I prefer that you send the complete issue, although I may in the near future provide guidelines for passing along individual articles.) Like to use material from this newsletter (say, on a Web page or in a publication)? For permission to do that, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org (explaining what you'd like to use and for what purpose). Reasonable requests are usually granted. Like to unsubscribe? That's also easy. Just send an email to email@example.com (but if you decide to unsubscribe, you'll be missed, so any thoughts about the newsletter that you would be willing to share at that time would be much appreciated). Like to tell your friends about CATI? That is not only much encouraged, but also an encouragement to the editor! CATI is a lot of work (albeit a labor of love) and (since it is a free newsletter and I intend it to stay such) provides no financial income, so what keeps me going with this personal endeavor is knowing that people are finding it to be helpful, instructive, and enjoyable. (Comments from readers are always welcome, so let me hear from you!) Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.