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Showing posts from April, 2010

Howard Hendricks on OT books chronology

When I was in seminary, Howard Hendricks (aka "Prof") gave us a little card with the books of the OT chronologically arranged. The scanned copy I have was a bit blurry and I wanted to make something like this available for our church class in OT theology ("Story of Redemption"). A few minor edits and here it is...

sunday quotes

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:12-17 ESV) “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food , and that it was a delight to the eyes , and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6) “Dost thou renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the sinful desires of the flesh, so that thou wilt not follow, nor be led by them ?” Answer. “I renounce them all.” (Book of Common Prayer, 1662) “The world system is committed to at least four major ob

remember me, said the criminal

Such a beautiful picture of the gospel here: One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43) While others are mocking, or mourning, or merely observing... one makes a simple request to the Man crucified beside him. The criminal confesses a number of truths... That he himself is worthy of judgment. (He fears God.) That this Jesus is not worthy of judgment, but is righteous. That Jesus will come into a Kingdom. And so he asks to be remembered. And he is given a word of promise from the King dying beside him -- that very day the criminal would stan

early premillennialism

In my studies today I came across these quotes by two prominent, early Christian writers (aka "church fathers")... "But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare." (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho , chapter 80, ca AD 150) "Our inquiry relates to what is promised in heaven, not on earth. But we do confess that a kingdom is promised to us upon the earth, although before heaven, only in another state of existence; inasmuch as it will be after the resurrection for a thousand years in the divinely-built city of Jerusalem, 'let down from heaven,' which the apostle also calls 'our mother from above;' and, while declaring that our citizenship, is in heaven, he predicates of it that it is really a city in heaven. This both Ezekiel had

secular logic and the handwriting on the wall

On April 15, 2010, United States District Court Judge Barbara Crabb, for the Western District of Wisconsin, struck down the National Day of Prayer statute, 36 U.S.C. § 119, as violating the Establishment Clause. Judge Crabb ruled that the statute serves no secular purpose, but rather calls the nation to engage in a religious exercise – prayer. This decision makes perfect sense from a secular viewpoint. It is logical in a pluralistic society which must accommodate atheists as well as all stripes of religious beliefs. But if U.S. leaders cannot call upon people to pray or acknowledge any kind of higher power, then this is problematic if in fact there is a Power who can (or does) bring blessing or disaster. So in a sense atheism has been "established" as our guiding governmental philosophy. In other words, we cannot say for certain that a religious exercise "serves no secular purpose", when in fact it may be supportive of the national welfare. To so rule against thi

a welcome awaiting

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you." (John 14:1-4) In Sunday's message David Kingston shared a story of the comfort that comes from knowing that Christ has overcome death and is preparing a place for us: What a comfort this is to us! For all of us, death is the unknown; the place from which no-one returns. But that is not quite right; Christ has returned from death, and moreover he waits for us and has gone ahead to prepare a place for us. There is a lovely story that illustrates this; I have used it before, but it bears repeating. It is about the nineteenth-century clergyman John Todd... When he was six years old, both his parents died. A kindhearted aunt raised him until he left home to study for the ministry. Later, this aunt became seriously ill, and in distress she wrote Todd a letter. Would death mean the e

communion with the Father in love

I read again some passages from John Owen's Communion with God (R J K Law's edited version, Banner of Truth, 1991) that are so helpful. I need to ponder these truths often... "Have fellowship with the Father in his love. Have no fears or doubts about his love for you. The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to him is not to believe that he loves you. " (p. 13) "Believers must receive the love of the Father. Communion or fellowship lies in giving and receiving. Until the love of the Father is received, we have no communion with the Father in love. How then is this love of the Father to be received in order that we may have fellowship with him? There is only one way and that is by faith. To receive the love of the Father is to believe that he does love us. God has so fully, so clearly revealed his love, that it may be received by faith. " (p. 16) "Many saints have no greater burden in thei

4.16 -- can we get over it?

Sometimes in our impatience towards others we say things like, "just get over it." And that may be applicable to a lot of things that are superficial, like a flat tire or an empty box of ice cream in the freezer. I've realized that what happened here on 4.16.07 has changed us for the rest of our lives, and that's very hard to explain to some people. In other words, I don't think we'll ever "get over" that snowy and ominous April morning. You just don't have a massacre in your community, at your school, and not be affected for a long time. The nearness of the brutal tragedy produces a tender wound that still aches even after the rest of the world is following other headlines. Maybe that's why many war veterans really don't want to talk much about the so-called glorious battles they fought. There are just too many reminders of loss, of numbing fear, of close friends lost, and of the cruel triumph of evil, even if it was only for a short


But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they on their part acted with cunning and went and made ready provisions and took worn-out sacks for their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended, with worn-out, patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes. And all their provisions were dry and crumbly. And they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a distant country, so now make a covenant with us." But the men of Israel said to the Hivites, "Perhaps you live among us; then how can we make a covenant with you?" They said to Joshua, "We are your servants." And Joshua said to them, "Who are you? And where do you come from?" They said to him, "From a very distant country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God. For we have heard a report of him, and all that he did in Egypt, and all that he did to the tw

Fenelon on sorrow

Do you wonder why God has to make it so hard on you? Why doesn't He make you good without making you miserable in the meantime? Of course He could, but He does not choose to do so. He wants you to grow a little at a time and not burst into instant maturity. This is what He has decided and you can only adore His wisdom even when you don't understand it. I am awed by what suffering can produce. You and I are nothing without the cross. I agonize and cry when the cross is working within me, but when it is over I look back in admiration for what God has accomplished. Of course I am then ashamed that I bore it so poorly. I have learned so much from my foolish reactions. You yourself must endure the painful process of change. There is much more at work here than your instant maturity. God wants to build a relationship with you that is based on faith and trust and not on glamorous miracles. God uses the disappointments, disillusionment, and failures of your life to take your trust away

what glory doth remain

What sweet of life endureth Unmixed with bitter pain? Midst earthly change and chances What glory doth remain? All is a feeble shadow, A dream that will not stay; Death cometh in a moment, And taketh all away. O Christ, a light transcendent Shines in Thy countenance, And none can tell the sweetness, The beauty of Thy glance. In this may Thy poor servant His joy eternal find; Thou calledst him, O rest him, Thou Lover of mankind! (John of Damascus, 675-749)

sunday quotes

“The early Christians did not invent the empty tomb and the meetings or sighting of the risen Jesus. … Nobody was expecting this kind of thing; no kind of conversion experience would have invented it, no matter how guilty (or how forgiven) they felt, no matter how many hours they pored over the Scriptures. To suggest otherwise is to stop doing history and enter into a fantasy world of our own." (N. T. Wright) “It is not enough for the skeptic, then, to simply dismiss the Christian teaching about the resurrection of Jesus by saying, 'It just couldn’t have happened.' He or she must face and answer all these historical questions: Why did Christianity emerge so rapidly, with such power? No other band of messianic followers in that era concluded their leader was raised from the dead-why did this group do so? No group of Jews ever worshipped a human being as God. What led them to do it? Jews did not believe in divine men or individual resurrections. What changed their worldview

there is but one day

I got me flowers to straw thy way; I got me boughs off many a tree: But thou wast up by break of day, And brought’st thy sweets along with thee. The Sunne arising in the East, Though he give light, and th’ East perfume; If they should offer to contest With thy arising, they presume. Can there be any day but this, Though many sunnes to shine endeavour? We count three hundred, but we misse: There is but one, and that one ever. (George Herbert, 1593-1633)