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Showing posts from October, 2011

principles of interpretation

Shared this with Cru study group leaders tonight: An Introduction to Biblical Interpretation Assumption :  the Bible has a dual authorship: divine and human (2 Peter 2:21; 2 Tim. 3:16).  Because of its human authorship it comes to us in human language and culture, and general hermeneutical principles apply (i.e., use of an historical, grammatical, rhetorical approach).  Because of its divine origin it is also authoritative, with integrity (without contradiction), and inerrant in the originals. Because this is God’s revelation we must  seek the ministry of the Holy Spirit for true understanding (1 Cor 2:13-16).    There are three related levels, or senses, of meaning : • The Literal (historical)… what did it mean to the original hearers at that time ? • The Spiritual (theological; typological)… what does it mean for all time ? • The Moral (ethical; application)… what does it mean for us at this time ? Some basic principles : 1. Take Scripture first in its plain

on natural law

"For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.  They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them..."  (Romans 2:14-15 ESV) Here are some excerpts from an interview with Jay Budziszewski on Natural Law... Law has rightly been defined as an ordinance of reason, for the common good, made by the one who has care of the community, and promulgated. Consider the natural law against murder. It is not an arbitrary whim, but a rule that the mind can grasp as right. It serves not some special interest, but the universal good. Its author has care of the universe, for he (God) created it. And it is not a secret rule, for God has so arranged his creation that every rational being knows about it... Our subject is called natural law because it is built into the design of h

at the pool of bethesda

Jesus comes to the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda.  By Bartolom√© Esteban Murillo, 1617-1682.

cool picture, cool pen

This is a scan from  Popular Science , November 1950 issue, which had an article on "How Your Fountain Pen Is Made."   This particular pen displayed is the Sheaffer Valiant Touchdown.  I have one currently inked, exactly like these pictured, which came from the Fountain Pen Restoration site.  It has a conical, triumph nib, and is  a really smooth writer .

debt crisis explained

the gospel transforms

For I am not ashamed of the gospel , for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 ESV) Here's a good quote from "Of First Importance" blog, from Michael Horton, shared with the Gravitate study on Romans... “The gospel transforms us in heart, mind, will, and actions precisely because it is not itself a message about our transformation. Nothing that I am or that I feel, choose, or do qualifies as Good News. On my best days, my experience of transformation is weak, but the gospel is an announcement of a certain state of affairs that exists because of something in God, not something in me; something that God has done, not something that I have done; the love in God’s heart which he has shown in his Son, not the love in my heart that I exhibit in my relationships. Precisely as the Good News of a completed, sufficient, and perfect work of God in Christ accomplished for me and outside of me in hist

theologize your kindle

Here are two excellent (and free) systematic theologies that you can download to your Kindle: Charles Hodge's Systematic Theology in 3 Volumes here .   Robert L. Dabney's Systematic Theology here .   Also, speaking of free, here are many of the works of Octavius Winslow (19th century English Baptist pastor, who was a contemporary and friend of Charles Spurgeon) available for download in various formats here .    

excerpts from luther on galatians

Here are some highlights from my reading of Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians , translate by Theodore Graebner. "The article of justification must be sounded in our ears incessantly because the frailty of our flesh will not permit us to take hold of it perfectly and to believe it with all our heart."   "We must learn that forgiveness of sins, Christ, and the Holy Ghost, are freely granted unto us at the preaching of faith, in spite of our sinfulness. We are not to waste time thinking how unworthy we are of the blessings of God. We are to know that it pleased God freely to give us His unspeakable gifts. If He offers His gifts free of charge, why not take them? Why worry about our lack of worthiness? Why not accept gifts with joy and thanksgiving?" "A person becomes a Christian not by working, but by hearing. The first step to being a Christian is to hear the Gospel. When a person has accepted the Gospel, let him first give thanks unto God with

cloud reader

One of the cool features of Kindle is the Cloud Reader app.

21 principles of effective leadership

Here are *21 principles of effective leadership that Nehemiah demonstrated in chapters 1 - 2 of the book of Nehemiah: • He established a reasonable and attainable goal • He had a sense of mission • He was willing to get involved • He rearranged his priorities in order to accomplish his goal • He patiently waited for God's timing • He showed respect to his superior • He prayed at crucial times • He made his request with tact and graciousness • He was well prepared and thought of his needs in advance • He went through proper channels • He took time (three days) to rest, pray, and plan • He investigated the situation firsthand • He informed others only after he knew the size of the problem • He identified himself as one with the people • He set before them a reasonable and attainable goal • He assured them God was in the project • He displayed self-confidence in facing obstacles • He displayed God's confidence in facing obstacles • He did no



And they said to me, "The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire."   As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days. ..    (Nehemiah 1:3-4a ESV) Principles of Leadership from Nehemiah #1 The principle of identification : the leader identifies with the people he is serving.  Nehemiah mourned the humiliation of his ancestral home, the “city of the great King” (Psalm  48:2).  “These are my people, my ancestors, my home…”  Even though he probably had never been to Jerusalem before, he felt the humiliation of being a part of the chastened people of God.  Good leadership begins with feeling – we identify with the people to whom we are sent (or to whom we belong).   Jesus left heaven to embrace our humanity and our humiliation. He too wept over the same city that Nehemiah did, mourning the future devastation of Jerusale

not theological mumbo jumbo

Good quote from the Of First Importance blog : "In the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Christ, man’s sin was more than visible. Man’s disobedience to God, his rejection of truth, his cruelty, his lies, his hate, his greed, his vested interest, his oppression, his exploitation, his abuse of power, his deliberate choice of evil — all were there on the cross for everyone to see, hear, and feel. That is why the biblical statement that Jesus became the sin of the world is not some theological mumbo jumbo. It is a statement describing historical fact. It was not Jesus who was judged and condemned on that cross; it was human sin.” (Vishal Mangalwadi, Truth and Transformation , 2009)

sunday notes and quotes

"The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth  belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes  from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no  one accepts his testimony. The man who has accepted it has certified that  God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for  God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed  everything in his hands.  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but  whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."   (John 3:31-36 NIV) “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic-on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse.”  (C. S. Lewis)

movie science and actual science


A couple of time lines from class today...

beginning nehemiah

Understanding and Applying the book of Nehemiah... 1)  Nehemiah recounts God’s providence in preserving the people of Israel as a minority in the midst of hostile nations.  In God’s sovereign plan the line of Judah and David would continue, and in the fullness of time bring forth the Messiah to bless the nations (Gen 12:3; 49:10; 2 Sam 7:16; Rom 1:3; Gal 4:4).     2)  "The restoration and rebuilding after the exile prefigure Christ’s salvation (Col. 1:13) and the building of the church (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20–22)."  (The ESV Study Bible ) 3)  Nehemiah shows us what the renewal of God’s covenant people looks like in the promised land.  “The essence of the kingdom is God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule.”  (Graeme Goldsworthy)   4)  Nehemiah gives us a biblical model for leadership .  “What kind of leadership does the Bible present as exemplary?  Even more concisely, what is godly leadership?  This question will help guide us through the book of Nehemia