Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

quote of the day

Charles Spurgeon:
When you are so weak that you cannot do much more than cry, you coin diamonds with both your eyes. The sweetest prayers God ever hears are the groans and sighs of those who have no hope in anything but His love.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"He's Alive"

I'm glad Aunt Patty spent $85 on her new Easter hat. I even like Mr Bob's new pastel blazer he got for $45. The little girls plastered in soft yellows and the little boys with bright plaid pants. It's tough to compete with Easter attire.

But I did.

[the inverted text reads "He's Alive"]

There are louder and happier ways to say He has killed death and lives forever, but not many :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

were you there when they rolled the stone away?

Saturday Before New Creation

On the day after Good Friday and before Resurrection Sunday, Scott Clark writes,
Today, God is, as it were, silent but he is not asleep. The tomb is ugly, but it is also sanctus. Today is the in-between time. The first act is finished but the curtain, though torn, is not closed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ready for spring


John Updike:
Make no mistake: if he rose at all it was as His body; if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules reknit, the amino acids rekindle, the Church will fail. Let us not mock God with metaphor, analogy, sidestepping transcendence; making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages; let us walk through the door.


Every time I give myself to the book of Ephesians, I'm always floored. Whether it's how bold and blatant grace is in chs 1-2 or how imperative and precise godly living is in chs 4-6, I'm consistently awed by everything in Ephesians.

One of Paul's main themes is that the Ephesian Christians must walk. This is is the word Paul uses to talk about what their lives should look like [2.1, 2.10, 4.1, 4.17, 5.8, and 5.15]. Most of these exhortations to walk come in the second half of Ephesians. One of the predominant ideas in the first part of Ephesians is that we are "in Christ" [esp see 1.3-14]. I sense that these two themes are meant to be understood in relationship to each other. Meaning, all of Paul's "in Him" language sets up the walking he encourages them to later. The "in Him" is the relational sphere in which the walking must take place.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


From Stanley Hauerwas:
Humility derives not from the presumption that no one knows the truth, but rather is a virtue dependent on our confidence that God’s word is truthful and good.


Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
Brethren, there is an abiding fullness of truth in Christ. After you have heard it for fifty years, you see more of its fullness than you did at first. Other truths weary the ear. I will defy any man to hold together a large congregation, year after year, with any other subject but Christ Jesus. He might do it for a time; he might charm the ear with the discoveries of science, or with the beauties of poetry, and his oratory might be of so high an order that he might attract the multitudes who have itching ears, but they would in time turn away and say, “This is no longer to be endured. We know it all.”

All music becomes wearisome but that of heaven; but oh! if the minstrel doth but strike this celestial harp, though he keepeth his fingers always among its golden strings, and be but poor and unskilled upon an instrument so divine, yet the melody of Jesus’ name, and the sweet harmony of all his acts and attributes, will hold his listeners by the ears and thrill their hearts as nought beside can do. The theme of Jesus’ love is inexhaustible, though preachers may have dwelt upon it century after century, a freshness and fullness still remain.

Tom Wright to the next generation of ministers

crawling and caffeinated

Tom Wright on the use of the Bible in the Church


2 Cor 13.11


Be made complete.
Be comforted.
Be like-minded.
Live at peace.

The God of love and peace will be with you.

the reason i love my wife


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brian "Head" Welch

My class enjoyed this today. It also provoked some interesting and good discussion.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

classic Brian McLaren

Brian McLaren has a new book, "A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith." Out of these 10 issues, there are 5 or 6 that must be discussed with biblical sensitivity and freshness. However, it doesn't appear as though he accomplishes that.

His 10 questions are:
  1. The narrative question: What is the overarching story line of the Bible? For McLaren, the familiar story line of creation, fall, redemption, consummation (with heaven and hell as a result) is a grotesque Greco-Roman distortion of the biblical narrative. God the creator, liberator, reconciler is the real story line.

  2. The authority question: How should the Bible be understood? Not as a constitution, argues McLaren, with laws and rules and arguments about who’s right and wrong. Rather, we go to the Bible as a community library, where internal consistency is not presumed and we learn by conversation.

  3. The God question: Is God violent? Believers used to think so, but we ought to grow in maturity from fearing a violent tribal God to partnering with a Christlike God.

  4. The Jesus question: Who is Jesus and why is he important? Jesus is never violent and does not condemn. He did not come to save people from hell. Jesus, says McLaren, is peace-loving and identifies with the weak and oppressed.

  5. The gospel question: What is the gospel? It is not a message about how to get saved. The gospel is the announcement of a “new kingdom, a new way of life, and a new way of peace that carried good news to all people of every religion” (139).

  6. The church question: What do we do about the church? Churches—in whatever form and whatever we call them—exist to form people of Christlike love. This is the church’s primary calling, to form people who live in the way of love, the way of peacemaking.

  7. The sex question: Can we find a way to address human sexuality without fighting about it? We need to stop hating gay people and welcome them fully into the life of the church. The “sexually other” may be defective in traditional religion, but they are loved and included in a new kind of Christianity.

  8. The future question: Can we find a better way of viewing the future? No more “soul-sort” universe where our team goes to heaven and the bad guys go to hell. The future is open, inviting our participation. In the end, God’s mercy will triumph and all shall be well.

  9. The pluralism question: How should followers of Jesus relate to people of other religions? “Christianity has a nauseating, infuriating, depressing record when it comes to encountering people of other religions” (208). There is not us/them, insider/outsider. Jesus accepted everyone and so should we.

  10. The what-do-we-do-now question: How can we translate our quest into action? The human quest for God has known many stages. Those in the more mature stages of the quest should gently invite others to grow into fuller maturity, but without being divisive.

Kevin DeYoung has an excellent, healthy, and clear response. Here.

you can't not post pictures of the only SC snow all year

Getting ready.

My pretty lady.

The mighty James, braving the cold.

The youngest family in Dalewood.

the day i felt like the coolest teacher in the world

Sara and I were making the journey to Columbia on Tuesday about lunch. Mr James was sleeping soundly in the back. My phone buzzes and the text was from one of my Honors Systematic Theology students who was making a college visit. It said,
I'm at CIU and just sat in a Romans class. The prof was trying to explain Greek stuff and I already knew all of it, even the vocab!
Call it nerdy. Call it prideful. I call it pure delight in my soul :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Longing for His appearing. And singing about it.


Gory Romance

Valentine's Day 2010 with my lovely Sara. Her report :)


A friend wrote this. It might be one of the most convicting and poignant things I've ever read. It put 10,000 spotlights on my pride.

a beautiful breakdown of Rom 5.1-5


the book that i'm writing that i'll really never get around to

Teaching has really made me want to write a book. I don't have cute letters in front of my name so it will likely not happen. I've got a thorough bibliography, a table of contents, specific charts and paradigms, a thesis, etc, etc.

I want it to be a book that that appropriately blends reading the Scriptures narratively, doctrinally, devotionally, and theologically. My title would be "A King and A Kingdom: God's Story of Grace and Truth."

I've bounced the idea off several people. And, of course, my students are all thumbs up. We shall see. Here are the chapters:
  1. Scripture [what it is and what it isn't]
  2. Glory [the grand goal of it all]
  3. Inclusio [the royal narrative oreo]
  4. Covenant [the relational remedy]
  5. Covenant(s) [the story unfolds]
  6. Jesus [the covenants fulfilled]
  7. Gospel [the kingdom is here]
  8. Soteriology [this all means something about Salvation]
  9. Pneumatology [this all means something about the Spirit]
  10. Ecclesiology [this all means something about the Church]
  11. Eschatology [this all means something about the End]

more places james likes to play


This is an address that Wright gave in England on Feb 10, 2010. The intro is more directly for those he is speaking to. The biblical analysis and practical application are more broad.

I love the majority of his biblical sketch, but then his application of it makes me raise an eyebrow and slightly furrow my brow. Still, fun read.

the end of the law

I've recently been reading "The End of the Law: Mosaic Covenant in Pauline Theology" by Jason C Meyer. He has great discussions about the old-ness of the Old Covenant and the new-ness of the New Covenant. He does excellent exegetical work in 2 Cor 3-4, Gal 3-4, and Rom 9-11. The discussion may be seemingly peripheral, but it's ripple effects are very significant.

In the introduction, Meyer begins with an old Puritan proverb/poem/hymn. Spurgeon attributed it to John Bunyan, but others believe it to be John Berridge. It's really beautiful.
To run and work the law commands
Yet gives me neither feet nor hands
But better news the gospel brings
It bids me fly and gives me wings

what can i say? he loves it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

quote of the day

John Wesley:
When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bible Verses on Military Guns?



What is the definition of "history"?

Does history have any innate meaning?

How do we now history has any meaning?

What gives history its meaning?

Is history objective fact?

Or... Is history facts paired with interpretations of those facts?

Mounce on Sunday and Sabbath in the NT


Dr Piper reciting Philippians

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

i declare?

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

good biblical interpretation

From "The Art of Reading Scripture" edited by Ellen Davis and Richard B. Hays [pg 3].

Faithful interpretation of Scripture invites and presupposes participation in the community brought into being by God's redemptive action.

Scripture is like a musical score that must be played or sung in order to be understood.

an RC Sproul quote I totally agree with

I’ll retire when they pry my cold, dead fingers off of my Bible.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

hymn of the day

By Anne Steele [1717-1778]
My God, my Father, blissful Name
O may I call Thee mine
May I with sweet assurance claim
A portion so divine

This only can my fears control
And bid my sorrows fly
What harm can ever reach my soul
Beneath my Father's eye

Whate'er Thy providence denies
I calmly would resign
For Thou art just and good and wise
O bend my will to Thine

Whate'er Thy sacred will ordains
O give me strength to bear
And let me know my Father reigns
And trust His tender care

If pain and sickness rend this frame
And life almost depart
Is not Thy mercy still the same
To cheer my drooping heart

If cares and sorrows me surround
Their pow'r why should I fear
My inward peace they cannot wound
If Thou, my God, art near

God made San Diego really pretty

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

COLOSSiANS 1.13-20

Paul's hymn about Jesus in Col 1.15-20 is filled with ideas and thoughts that are almost too wonderful to comprehend. For example,
He is before all things and in him all things hold together.
How does that work? How do all things, living or non-living, have their ongoing sustenance in/by Jesus? Or here's another one,
All things have been created through him and for him.
So, Paul, you're saying that not only did this Jesus cause all that is to come into existence, whether the seemingly infinite galaxies or the subatomic particles, but all things are somehow for Him? Hmmm. Wow.

While the majority of this passage is masterful and elegant in content,
style, structure, etc, Paul ends in 1.20 on a minor chord. He says that Jesus
Made peace through the blood of His cross.
Now if you're living in the Roman Empire in the first century, the cross is not cute or even religious. The cross was for guilty criminals whose heinous deeds were known to all. Crucifixions were done publicly so as to shame the guilty. People were more than welcome to mock those being crucified to make themselves feel better.

If one was to think of the cross in light of the Roman Empire, they would think of it as the dark, dirty underbelly of justice. Those people were getting what was coming to them. The cross was a symbol of retribution. No one would ever dare think something as dumb or demented as peace being made through the cross. However, this was precisely the case.

This cross is saying something about the depth of the stain of sin [1.14, 21-22]. This cross is saying something about the greatness of the love of the Father [1.12-13]. There is something so radical and counter-cultural about the cross of Jesus that it changed Paul's thinking to its very core. It must effect the same in us.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Driscoll pokes fun at what the office of "pastor" has become in many churches. Here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

James' Newest Baby Sitter

Look what my friend Matt gave me today. I think it is from the 1970s. It has programmed drum loops [i.e. waltz, tango, rumba, and dozens more]. James loves to shake what his mama gave him. Of course, I'll enjoy making music with it and Sara has already loved toying around with it too.