- Mt 24.43-44
- Lk 12.39-40
- 1 Ths 5.2
- 2 Pe 3.10
- Rev 3.3
- Rev 16.15
Friday, October 31, 2008
Or at least it sure sounds like it.
Below is a video that echoes much of what I wrote yesterday. His outline in this video covers six issues: Womanhood, Race, Abortion, a prophetic perspective, God's sovereignty, and the Gospel. It is worth your time.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
If you've read your Bible at all, you'll know that these are big-time political leaders found in the Old and New Testaments. These are just a couple. There are dozens more. What's unique about these fellas and their political counterparts is that they were pawns in God's huge, providential hand. God was always working through and against world politics to bring about His purposes for His covenant people.
The use of the two prepositions in the above sentence is massively intentional. Politics is never an end or a goal. It is a means. I know that we will always wrestle until "the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ" [Rev 11.15], but why do Christians live like one tiny slice of the political pie is the end all. Further, if you don't see eye to eye with them, you are often deemed a lesser believer in their mind.
Let me repeat those prepositions again. God works THROUGH and AGAINST world politics. That is the biblical paradigm. I don't feel as if many believers live like it is. Yes, render to Caesar what is Caesar's [Mk 12]. Yes, submit to authority [Rom 13]. But please, don't rush to the polls as if you are doing God a favor. We must be upstanding citizens, but we are strangers and aliens here [1 Pe 1 and 2] and our true citizenship is in heaven [Phil 3]. We have to live like that is true.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Maybe we don't take Church [that's an intentional capital "C"] as seriously as the Bible does. Maybe when Jesus said "I will build my church" He meant that that included adding and taking away. It was the design of God to kill Ananias and Saphira in Acts 5. He used that so that "great fear filled the whole church" [Ac 5.11]. This is, of course, one of many examples.
Still, we even think that church membership is some random and modern phenomenon that we do to look like other social groups. The church at Corinth had to have some sort of corporate understanding of someone being a covenant and community member or else they would have had nothing to excommunicate people from. Paul says of wayward church members that he "handed them over to Satan" [1 Cor 5].
This is a fragile, yet needed discussion. There are some pastors and elders that need to grow a backbone. 1 Corinthians 5, Matthew 18, and the pastoral epistles are replete with examples of how the church and its members must be taken seriously. Preachers who pad their membership roles or see how many they can stuff in the bleachers so that they can get on TV or write a book - these guys are earning bonus points for the "False Teacher of the Year" award.
All of this rabid tangent means nothing unless it can positively be fleshed out and not merely negatively called out. So, here's a beautiful chart I recently found from one of Wayne House's books.
He will build His church. He will purge and sanctify His people.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
These are videos of McCain roasting Obama and Obama roasting McCain. I'm glad they can take a break from the same nonsense they always talk about and just make fun of each other. I actually think McCain might have a better delivery on some of his jokes. It takes Barak a while to get in the comedic groove.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Dishrag Wilberforce Thompson passed from this life last night. He has gone to that great fishbowl in the sky where your master never forgets to feed you, all the betas get along, your water never needs changing, and you swim amidst real plants and not plastic ones. I really do think that there is a kind of beauty that I was actually sad about it. This is likely because when God told us to reign and have dominion, it was a delightful obligation.
Go read my wife's account of his passing as well. He was loved. He shall be missed.
Go read my wife's account of his passing as well. He was loved. He shall be missed.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
This verse simply says that Isaac carried the wood on the way to Mount Moriah. However, I just purchased a Jewish study Bible at Barnes & Noble. These are modern, liberal Jewish commentators who have no concern for the claims of Jesus. The study note in this Bible on Gen 22.6 reads as follows:
The image of Isaac's carrying the wood on which on which he is to be burned adds enormous power to the story. A midrash relates this to a Roman method of execution that was sometimes used on Jewish martyrs: "It is like a person who carries his cross on his own shoulder" [Gen Rab 56.3].
[more here on the binding of Isaac]
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Pulling for the South Carolina Gamecocks is a sanctifying reality in my life. We usually stink pretty bad and it's still great to pull for them. Today we missed four field goals and had four turnovers and still won 24-17.
I love watching the games with my dad. We react the same to every important play. It's kinda genetically cute. Dad and I will be there next week to cheer us on to victory against the undefeated LSU.
Forgive me if you think I'm over-spiritualizing temporal enjoyments, but "every good and perfect gift is from above" [Js 1.17]. So, thanks Lord for little stuff.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Genesis 22 is one of the most glorious texts in all of Scripture. I was reading some Jewish liberal commentaries on it the other day and even they have to bow the knee to its beauty. Here are some things to note.
- 22.1 - This is God testing Abe. Abe couldn't have a kid, but God promised him one. Then God gives him one and tells him to go kill it. That is testing. We think testing is a few bucks short on one month's mortgage.
- 22.5 - Abe told his servants that both he and Isaac would worship and then return. This is either faithful boldness or ignorance. The NT prefers the former.
- 22.6-7 - Isaac carried his wood up the mountain to the place where he was to be sacrificed by his father. That sounds strangely familiar?
- 22.8 - I love this. It says that YHWH will provide a lamb for Himself. Yes, Abe is being tested. But this is about God's plan and His covenant that will be carried out for His sake [cf. Ps 23, Ezk 36, Is 43.7, etc].
We went over this as I taught my 10th grade Redemptive History class the other day. When we finished, I had the kids write a poem from the point of view of either Abe or Isaac. Some were, of course, 10th grade-ish and done just to be done. Other students put forth great effort. One young lady was quite frustrated and scratched out huge sections of her paper several times. Everyone near her could tell she was flustered. When she handed it in, she even told me that it was dumb and she wasn't satisfied. It was actually really good. One line she wrote perfectly captures the breadth of emotions that were likely rushing through Abraham:
"With hand out-stretched in praise and fear..."
Isn't that beautiful?! The question is: Why do we never find ourselves in places where that spectrum of emotions is on display? Is it because of our lack of faith? Is it because God doesn't do crazy stuff like that anymore [at least that's what we'll say to pat our weak faith on the back]? Those feelings - praise and fear - both say something about God, something great about God. If our faith is merely conditioned to our good or bad circumstances, then the world will only see a circumstantially-conditioned God and King [which is no God or King at all, but only a good idea].
So, maybe we should pray to find ourselves in places like Abe did. I don't know. But I do know that the God of the Bible will provide for Himself and that He alone is worthy of both praise and fear - and both at the same time.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
My wife had game night with the ladies tonight. So, I went to the Silver Chair, thinking I was going to be able to hit the books and study some. Fat chance. But it's ok. I was radically blessed. I got to sit and chat with some brothers for a while. The following is a non-exhaustive list of what our conversation included:
- how most modern music is dumb
- how music serves as one one of the greatest proofs for the existence of God [read more here]
- rabbinical and traditional Jewish interpretations of the OT and how unique they often are
- Paul's hermeneutic of creation
- how to diminish and augment chords
- how Jesus was known for drinking in Matthew 11 and why people are so afraid of that
- why old hymns are so dang good and pregnant with glorious truths
- men's and women's roles in the church and Deborah as a judge in the OT
- how cool it was to wear nasty hair and paint your finger-nails black and try to be punk rock when you were in college [this probably subconsciously made us think that we are really punk rock b/c we talked about the old days when we tried to be punk rock]
- how Mark Driscoll is often tact-less and right
- how the Gamecocks are the greatest
- about the false dichotomy between love and truth [1 Cor 13 says they're a happily married couple, ya know]
- about the stench that comes from theoretically upright, yet lifeless orthodoxy [and how we crave to be snapshots of love AND truth like Jesus was]
- about how youth ministers and worship leaders are not biblical/NT church offices
- and a bunch more
There are several great things about all that we discussed. First, cigars were present. It made it a bit sweeter. Second, the soft crispness of October's first Friday was light years past satisfying. Third, and most import, there was a near-tangible feeling of the Holy Spirit's presence when I got up to leave. He is there and He is not silent.
Listening to Him, learning from Him, and walking with Him are not easy, but indescribably fulfilling when they are experienced. He is faithful and good.