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Showing posts from July, 2010

Plumer on the Christian life

Here's an excellent chapter by William S. Plumer on "The Christian Life" from his work, The Christian , published in 1878. The work in full is found here . When we speak of the Christian life, we may refer either to the gracious principle implanted in the heart of the regenerate, or to the ordinary methods of its manifestation. Let us look at both. The life of God in the soul of a believer is a great mystery. In any case life is somewhat unknown to us. But the life of a child of God is very far removed from the cognizance of the careless. Believers themselves are God's hidden ones. They are fed and nourished by the hidden manna. The secret of the Lord is with them. He shows them His covenant. Their life is hid with Christ in God. True, when Christ, who is their life, shall appear, then shall they also appear with Him in glory. But now they are unknown to the world, except as their light shines in the darkness. The Christian life is supernatural. It is something far a

on the tongue

Sunday's message was on James 3:1-12. What a great effect can come from such a small thing as the words of human speech. From eternity God is a communicating God, and he speaks creation into existence. Cross-references mentioned are as follows: And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. (Genesis 1:3) "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." (Proverbs 18:21) "The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught." (Isaiah 50:4) "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound..." (Isaiah 61:1) "For out of the abundance of the heart

pen rotation and some Parkers

Every few weeks I rotate the 4 to 7 fountain pens that are inked and ready to write. Cleaning and filling fountain pens is a little ritual like, I suppose, a tea ceremony, only you end up with some ink on your fingers... Today I took a picture of my best Parker pens, which represents a bit of Parker history from the 1920s to 1960s. All of the pens, with one exception, were made in the U.S. And they write exceptionally well. From left to right: 1) Duofold senior, "Big Red", 1928. 2) Striped Duofold major, green and gold, 1943. 3) Vacumatic junior, amber, 1930s. 4) VS, button filler, rust, 1947. 5) Challenger, red marbled, 1934-37. 6) 51, vacumatic, cordovan brown, 1948. 7) 51, aerometric (made in UK), navy gray, 1957. 8) 51 Demi, navy blue, aerometric, 1948 9) 21 Super, black, 1956-60 10) 45, black, c. 1961+

a brief critique of relativism

Here's an excellent and succinct critique of postmodernism's philosophy of relativism. It is an update on Dostoevsky's, "If there is no God, then all things are permissible." But more: If there is no God, then we as humans are not even knowable. Some excerpts (actually, most of the article...) Nietzsche was right. None of the existing philosophies explains anything. We are on our own. We are our own projects with no models that come from elsewhere to guide us. Modern philosophical relativism is a perfect alternative to a world of meaning. It now usually goes under the name of post-modernity. It is presented under the idea of freedom. This freedom in turn is based on the idea that no stable nature can be found. No question of a cause of nature’s order thus arises. Human beings are not intended to be human beings, as if that were an intelligible idea. Indeed, the human condition is that there is no human condition. Since human beings are not any particular kind o

Piper on loving God

Here's a helpful video Q&A with John Piper where he offers some very important cautions about the “New Calvinism.” These cautions are not only helpful for those in that theological tradition, but for all Christians who may love the things of God -- theology, worship, experience -- more than God himself. Well-said, John!

the atheist and the rabbi

"When Hitchens told the audience that night that religion is 'a wish to be loved more than you probably deserve,' I countered that such a theme is always adopted by those deriding religion: I am a nonbeliever because I am reasonable, they say, and you are a believer because you need a crutch. Beware, I told the group, of people who explain their own beliefs by reason and others' beliefs by psychology. Hitchens insisted he was being accurate, not comprehensive; there are many other reasons to distrust religion apart from its spurious comfort. "When a person does something good in religion's name, Hitchens dismisses religion as the cause, but when people do evil, it is religion's fault. I reply that people don't need religion to make them do bad things. Rather, they need religion to lift them above the bad things they would otherwise instinctively do." --David Wolpe in The Washington Post

two nations

Listening again to Tim Keller's message from the 2006 Desiring God conference, " The Supremacy of Christ and the Gospel in a Postmodern World. " He cites this interesting quote to summarize the changes that's taken place over the past 50 years: "There is a fundamental schism in American cultural, political, and economic life. There’s the quicker-growing, economically vibrant…morally relativist, urban-oriented, culturally adventuresome, sexually polymorphous, and ethnically diverse nation…and there’s the small town, nuclear-family, religiously-oriented, white-centric other America, [with]…its diminishing cultural and economic force…. Two nations…" --Michael Wolff, New York magazine, Feb 26 2001, p. 19.