Gospel + Church - Culture = FundamentalismCulture + Gospel - Church = ParachurchChurch + Culture - Gospel = Liberalism
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, to fully enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops; but God is the ocean.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
In the name of God, I, John Calvin, servant of the Word of God in the church of Geneva, thank God that He has shown not only mercy toward me, His poor creature, but what is much more, that He has made me a partaker of His grace to serve Him, through my work. I confess to live and die in this faith which He has given me, inasmuch as I have no other hope or refuge than His predestination upon which my entire salvation is grounded. I embrace the grace which He has offered me in our Lord Jesus Christ and accept the merits of His suffering and dying, that through them all my sins are buried; and I humbly beg Him to wash me and cleanse me with the blood of our great Redeemer so that I, when I shall appear before His face, may bear His likeness. Moreover, I declare that I endeavored to teach His Word undefiled and to expound Holy Scripture faithfully, according to the measure of grace which He has given me.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
No individual is called a "judge" in the book; the only time the term is used in that way it refers to God [11.27]. This is a significant part of the book's message: It is YHWH who is the true Judge of His people, and He controls their fortunes, both for blessing and for punishment.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Every Christian needs a half hour of prayer each day, except when he is busy, then he needs an hour. [St Francis of Sales]
Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden. [Corrie ten Boom]
Don't pray for lighter burdens. Pray for stronger backs. [Anonymous]
Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life. [Jonathan Edwards]
The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. [Samuel Chadwick]
Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness. [Martin Luther]
He expresses his frustration with how Easter Sunday is treated theologically and ecclesiastically. Wright says that
Easter week ought to be an eight-day festival, with champagne served after morning prayer or even before, with lots of alleluias and extra hymns and spectacular anthems. Is it any wonder people find it hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus if we don't throw our hats in the air? Is it any wonder we find it hard to live the resurrection if we don't do it exuberantly in our liturgies? Is it any wonder the world doesn't take much notice if Easter is celebrated as simply the one-day happy ending tacked on to forty days of fasting and gloom?Regarding "new creation" as a hermeneutic we employ rather than a experience that is simply spiritual, Wright relates justice, beauty, and evangelism to this "new creation" hermeneutic and Jesus' resurrection. Of beauty, he states,
We are moving away, I think, from the old split in which it was expected that good Christians couldn't be good artists and good artists couldn't be good Christians. We now have, thank God, some wonderful Christian painters, sculptors, and even poets who are showing the way forward. I want to offer a proposal about where the artistic endeavor belongs - within the discipline of the Christian mission, within the map of creation and new creation.[Along these same lines, my father-in-law is an art professor. He always says that the first thing anyone knows about God when they read the Bible is that He is an Artist: "In the beginning, God created..." There's some aesthetically satisfying image-bearing that needs to happen because that is true.]
Wright's subtitle is: "Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church." His purpose in this book is accomplished. He gives excellent and corrective insights throughout. However, Wright also seems to ease the weight of a couple issues that should be equally related to eschatology, resurrection, and mission.
Concerning the rapture, he dishes out some academically tactful blows to those who swear Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey should be canonized. Isn't it logical to study how the apocalyptic genre functioned in Second Temple Judaism rather than interpret Revelation with the lens of CNN? Wright does excellent Jewish and Roman background work to bring many of the second coming passages to light. Speaking on 1 Ths 4.16-17 and how Paul mixes metaphors when speaking of Jesus' coming, Wright says,
In the next chapter, 1 Ths 5, Paul says that the thief will come in the night, so the woman will go into labor, so you mustn't get drunk but stay awake and put on your armor. As the television programs say, don't try this one at home.Overall, this is a great read. Tom Wright's correctives are quite helpful. I thank God that the world's leading New Testament scholar is not a flaming liberal whose denial of the supernatural is as simple as eating and breathing. On several occasions, Wright says things like, "I am compelled by the New Testament..." We should be as well. Don't be a stuck-up Calvinist and hate him.
[He is also friends with Bishop John Inge, who did my wedding. He gives "Uncle John" a shout-out in his last chapter. This gives me 4 cool points.]
Lastly, thinking critically and spiritually is a challenge. It is also a necessity. It is what I tell my students they must do, it is what all Christians must do, and it is what I feel that Tom Wright does in his new book. Take that approach and go read. Shalom.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Why should I fear the darkest hour
Or tremble at the tempter's power
Jesus vouchsafes to be my TowerThough hot the fight, why quit the field
Why must I either flee or yield
Since Jesus is my mighty ShieldWhen creature comforts fade and die
Worldlings may weep, but why should I
Jesus still lives and still is nighThough sin would fill me with distress
The throne of grace I dare address
For Jesus is my RighteousnessThough faint my prayers and cold my love
My steadfast hope shall not remove
While Jesus intercedes aboveAgainst me earth and hell combine
But on my side is power divine
Jesus is all and He is mine
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I believe that many who find that “nothing happens” when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
B. Best friend? WIFE, ANDY, ?
C. Cake or pie? PIE
D. Day of choice? FRIDAY
E. Essential item? BOOKS, GUITARS
F. Favorite color? BLUE, GREEN, HAPPY COLORS
G. Gummy bears or worms? SOUR GUMMY BEARS
H. Home town? HOPKINS, SC
I. Favorite indulgence? OLD PUNK AND SKA
J. January or July? JULY
K. Kids? FIRST BUN IN OVEN
M. Marriage date? JULY 29, 2006
N. Number of brothers and sisters? 1 BRO - DANIEL, THE MAN
O. Oranges or Apples? SWEET, SMALL ORANGES
P. Phobias? FINANCIAL STUFF. I JUST NEED TO TRUST.
Q. Quote? ROMANS 8, MATTHEW 5-7
R. Reasons to smile? MERCY, HOPE, SARA, MUSIC
S. Season of choice? SPRING, SUMMER
T. Tag 5 people: IF YOU READ THIS, YOU IS TAGGED
U. Unusual fact? I HAVE OVER 1000 TIC-TAC BOXES
V. Vegetable? COLD CARROTS OR CELERY
W. Worst Habit? PROBABLY SPITTING
X. Xray or ultrasound? I DON'T GET IT?
Y. Your favorite food? CHEAP, TASTY FOOD
Z. Zorro, Zoo, or Zaxby's? ZOO
Friday, November 21, 2008
My dad told me to make a list of books I might like for Christmas. Usually, I'm quick to say I don't need anything. Somehow though, I can always justify moving books from the want column to the need column. This puzzles and sometimes bothers me. Owell.
- VINTAGE CHURCH [Driscoll and Breshears]
- THE ART OF READING SCRIPTURE [Davis and Hays]
- COMMENTARY ON THE NT USE OF THE OT [Beale and Carson]
- THE UBS GREEK NEW TESTAMENT: A READER'S EDITION
- JESUS WANTS TO SAVE CHRISTIANS [Bell]
- THE MORAL VISION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT [Hays]
- WORLDLINESS: RESISTING THE SEDUCTION OF A FALLEN WORLD [Mahaney]
Maybe I got it from him. Me and Pops like to go to http://www.dealoz.com/ and drool over books we don't have. This website gives you the cheapest place online to find the price, the shipping, and the total to whatever book you're hunting - all on one page! Don't thank me because if you're like me, it will be your doom!
She sits on the love seat and I might be on the couch. Perhaps she has the computer and I have a couple of books. Regardless of the precise circumstances, 25-30 minutes could pass without a word spoken between us.
What's the deal with this? Why did I get up from the ideal place to study [the study!] to move into the living room with Sara? The answer is clear, but complex. I love her. But doesn't love mean communication, words, information exchange, affection exchange, etc? Yes, but there is something more there.
Job's three friends [Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar] were good friends when they sat with him and didn't say a word. They began to show themselves morons when they opened their mouths.
Let's chase Derrida's dog for a second. Do words have meaning? For example, what is the meaning of "meaning"? You understood those questions. Therefore they must have some sort of meaning. Why does the certain arrangement of letters call you to action and then an arrangement of letters such as "pasygerzysod" have absolutely no significance to you?
I bet if your 16-month old girl said "pasygerzysod" to you that it would mean something. Why though? I don't exactly know what Derrida would say about this, but it's safe to say that words only have meaning when they are nestled in a context. That context only has meaning [denotation or connotation] because of relationships - human relationships.
Some have said that 93% of communication is non-verbal. That seems obscenely high to me. Others say 70% and few even say that 55% is a safer estimate. Still! - that means that over half of what you're saying you're not really saying!
Now let me feebly attempt to sift all of this gibberish into a point. Why does my wife want me to sit in the room with her? Why were Job's friends only good friends when they kept their fat mouths shut? Why do we question whether or not words have meaning? Why do I say so much without saying anything? Here's the skinny:
There is a design in the human psyche, soul, and spirit that necessitates relationship. But this is not "relationship" in a vague sense. This relationship must include presence. My wife knows that we are married from the other room. She's got some shiny rocks on her left hand to remind her. But she wants my being to be there. Job knew his friends were his friends when they were far away. But he had to sense their nearness [Job 2.11-13]. We want to communicate and we want to be communicated to. Presence does this. I'm not saying it does it fully. But presence means relationship and presence is communication.
Perhaps this is why He is Emmanuel. This is why YHWH led them by cloud and fire. This is why He gave the Tabernacle. This is why He came. This is why He has given us His Spirit. And this is why He will be with us until the end of the age.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
- WHO has known the mind of the Lord
- WHO has become His counselor
- WHO has first given to Him...
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
- He that is more frequent in his pulpit to his people than he is in his closet for his people, is but a sorry watchman [John Owen].
- The doctrine of a minister must credit his life and his life must adorn his doctrine [Jean Daille].
- Ministers are not cooks, but physicians and therefore should not study to delight the palate, but to recover the patient [Jean Daille].
- Brethren, it is easier to declaim against 1000 sins of others than to mortify one sin in ourselves [John Flavel].
- Three things make a preacher - reading, prayer, and temptation [John Trapp].
- Unholiness in a preacher's life will either stop his mouth from reproving or the people's ears from receiving [William Gurnall].
Friday, November 7, 2008
- A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
- It Is Well with My Soul
- How Firm a Foundation
- Oh the Deep, Deep Love
- Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
- How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
- How Sweet and Aweful Is the Place
- My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
- I Will Glory in My Redeemer
- Arise, My Soul, Arise
- The Power of the Cross
- My Song Is Love Unknown
- And Can It Be That I Should Gain
- There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
- Before the Throne of God Above
- In Christ Alone
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Also, since when did good works get a bad rap?
Probably since we deduced from the Protestant Reformation that Judaism and Catholicism are both merely morality-based expressions and attempts at a relationship with the God of the Bible.
Or, probably since we have set the post-Enlightenment human psyche as the goal and end of all thinking. When this happens, human motives behind works take a seat on the throne.
But all of this - works, motives, justification, sanctification, salvation, etc - all of this takes its proper order and place when our focus is correct. Our focus is God Himself [2 Cor 3.17-18]. This means we must "hear with faith" [Gal 3] and walk by the Spirit [Gal 5, Rom 5-8] as we have our eyes perpetually fixed on what God has done in Jesus.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
There is a young girl in heaven now, once a member of this church. I went with one of my beloved deacons to see her when she was very near her departure. Fair and sweetly beautiful she looked, and I think I never heard such syllables as those which fell from that girl's lips. She had had disappointments, and trials, and troubles, but all these she had not had a word to say about, except that she blessed God for them; they had brought her nearer to the Saviour. And when we asked her whether she was not afraid of dying,
"No" she said, "the only thing I fear is this - I am afraid of living, lest my patience should wear out. I have not said an impatient word yet, sir; I hope I shall not. It is sad to be so very weak, but I think if I had my choice, I would rather be here than be in health, for it is very precious to me; I know that my Redeemer liveth, and I am waiting for the moment when He shall send His chariot of fire to take me up to Him."
I put the question, "Have you any doubts?"
"No, none, sir; why should I? I clasp my arms around the neck of Christ."
"And have not you any fear about your sins?"
"No, sir, they are all forgiven; I trust the Saviour's precious blood."
"And do you think that you will be as brave as this when you actually come to die?"
"Not if He leaves me, sir, but He will never leave me, for He has said, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.'"