Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2012

Jesus validated all of the Bible

Excellent and concise summary by John Stott from Urbana 1964 as to why accepting Jesus means accepting the authority of both the Old and New Testaments. The Christian is under both instruction and authority. He looks to Jesus as his Teacher to instruct him, and as his Lord to command him. He believes what he believes because Jesus taught it, and he does what he does because Jesus said to do it. He is our Teacher to instruct us, and we learn to submit and to subordinate, our minds to his mind. We do not presume to have views or ideas or opinions which are in contradiction to the views and ideas of Jesus Christ. Our view of Scripture is derived from Christ's view of Scripture, just as our view of discipleship, of heaven and hell, of the Christian life, and of everything else, is derived from Jesus Christ. Any question about the inspiration of Scripture and its authority therefore resolves itself to: "What did Jesus Christ teach about these points?&

where loyalty is tested

"If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefront besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point."   (Martin Luther)

to glorify

"Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him." (John 17:1b-2) "This is always the ultimate purpose for all existence: that it might glorify God. Glorifying means to manifest or display a person's hidden virtue or wisdom or power or beauty, to bring out that which is hidden away in him or her. And here our Lord is asking that He be glorified, that things hidden in Him might now be made manifest in order that He in turn might manifest the beauty and the glory and the wisdom of the Father."  (Ray Stedman)

no black shirts needed

I think it's time to go eat at Chick-fil-A.  What a backlash they received for one statement in support of the biblical view of marriage.  Not even a statement anti-anything.  All of a sudden, it's not about reason or truth anymore, but about bullying and boycotts. Salon says, "Chick-fil-A Starts a Culture War"  (Wow, and here I thought traditional marriage had been around a long time.)  A Chicago alderman wants to block Chick-fil-A from business.  Even the Muppets have dumped Chick-fil-A. Read what the CEO really said here . Here's what the media is saying about Chick-fil-A.     The reaction has been quite hostile.  "It’s fascism, actually," noted Elizabeth Scalia in the  Patheos Catholic portal .   It's the increasing use of law, power and outright intimidation to bring people into line with a national social agenda.  No black shirts needed, just a loud voice.      James Schall writes, "But distinctions do matter. We were

the goodness of God

Here are some notes from Don Emerson's class yesterday in the Attributes of God, specifically God's goodness... "The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love, The Lord is good to everyone, He showers compassion on all his creation.”  (Psalm 145:8-9 NLB)  Definition of God’s Goodness :   “The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of  goodwill toward men.  He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open,  frank, and friendly.”  (A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy) “God’s goodness means that God is the final standard of good, and that all God is and does is worthy of approval.”   ( Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology ) Relationship Between God’s Goodness other attributes (from Wayne Grudem):  -- God’s mercy is God’s goodness toward those in distress.  --God’s grace is God’s goodness to those who deserve punishment.

the complex role of a shepherd

The Pastoralized blog has an interesting post entitled, " Why Pastoral Work Is So Complex (And Why You Shouldn’t Try to Simplify It) "   (Caveat: only Jesus is the true Prophet, Priest and King, though I agree that pastors are called to share in his ministry in all three areas.) Pastoral work is inherently complex because it’s three jobs, not one. We are a prophet (teaching and preaching), a priest (ministering relationally and in prayer), and a king (providing leadership and vision). True shepherding takes place when these three roles overlap in a minister of the gospel. There is no other job in the world that requires so much from one person.  Trying to remove one of these roles is like removing a component from an atom. If you take away the electron, you no longer have an atom. If you stop preaching, you no longer are a shepherd. Shepherds feed their sheep. ... Read the entire article here .  

theology and ministry

I have long believed that there is a vital and integral relationship between theology (biblical truths, good doctrine) and pastoral care.  Much of pastoral ministry is bringing people to see and appropriate biblical truth for themselves.   And the doctrines in view are not merely those that we feel are aimed at us, being personally relevant to our situation, but are those truths which are eternally relevant, being about God, his nature, the person and work of Christ, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. Andrew Purves expresses this well in his book Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition:   "One cannot be a pastor without being a theologian, in the sense of being a faithful and disciplined student of the Word of God.  Gregory's view [ Gregory of Nazianzus, ca AD 463 ] prevailed for a long time in the church, and probably only in recent times has pastoral work come to have such an ambiguous connection to the chur

holiness which condemns also saves

"My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath."  (Hosea 11:8-9 ESV) There is a temptation to associate God's holiness strictly with his judgment.  That is, he is pure and good, and therefore hates evil.  Yet, in his words through Hosea it is precisely his holiness which also brings compassion and forgiveness.   Likewise, those who come to God through Christ see in the gospel God's forgiveness and compassion, but more: they also begin to see his holiness in its fullest sense... There is no real intimacy with the gospel that does not mean a new sense of God’s holiness, and it may be long before we realize that the same holiness that condemns is that which saves. There is no new insight into the cross that does not bring, whatever else come with it, a deeper sense of the solemn holiness of

authority and relevance

"The modern world detests authority but worships relevance. Our Christian conviction is that the Bible has both authority and relevance, and that the secret of both is Jesus Christ."   --John R. W. Stott, Culture and the Bible

a person never to be conquered

"A Christian is an impregnable person. He is a person that never can be conquered. Emmanuel became man to make the church  and every Christian to be one with him. Christ's nature is out of danger of all that is hurtful. The sun shall not shine,  the wind shall not blow, to the church's hurt. For the church's Head ruleth over all things and hath all things in  subjection.  Therefore let all the enemies consult together, this king and that power, there is a counsel in heaven which  will disturb and dash all their counsels."    (Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed )

more on reading Lit

Here are more highlights from Tony Reinke in Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading (Crossway, 2011).   On imagination and the gospel: We imagine because God imagines. In fact, before the world began, everything merely existed in God’s imagination. Entire chapters could be devoted to God’s imaginative genius on display in creation: the design of the sun, planets, plants, a nimals, molecules, DNA, and more.  But God’s imaginative genius is also displayed in the gospel. Think about it. The gospel  weaves together a genealogy of dodgy characters into an unlikely ancestry for the Savior. The gospel was foretold by  centuries of ancient prophecies, many of them fragmented and scattered throughout the Old Testament, to a people who could  not make sense of it all. In time, the genealogy and the prophecies merged together into a cohesive plan that led to the  birth of the incarnate Son of God. So ingenious is the gospel plan, that when men and Satan conspired to kill and bury the  Sav

reading Lit!

Here are my highlights, so far, in reading Tony Reinke's book, Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books (Crossway, 2011)... On reading, as a Christian : Once God enlightens our spiritual eyes, we can read books for the spiritual benefit of our souls—whether it’s the Ten C ommandments, a thick systematic theology, the poems of John Donne, C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, or a microbiology  textbook. To read any book for eternal benefit, we must behold the glory of Christ. His glory lies at the bottom of all sound  knowledge and learning. Christian book reading is never a solitary experience, but an open invitation to commune with God. By opening a book we can  stop talking and we begin listening. We can turn from the distractions of life. We can focus our minds. Sometimes we can even  lose all sense of time. Although it’s difficult to protect, this reading environment can be the atmosphere that sustains the  life of interaction with God. On the primacy of langua

the art of giving

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35 ESV) Miroslav Volf, reflecting on a lesson learned from the adoption of their two sons... "Like our sons, all of us were a gift when we were born – a peculiar yet most beautiful of gifts, a gift that at first only  receives, a gift that gives back only the joy parents might feel in giving and the delight they might experience in the  child’s flourishing.  Often enough, tiredness chokes up joy, and worry extinguishes delight. But still, most parents do their  best to give, and they do so knowing well that their gifts will never be returned in full, but perhaps will be paid forward,  that children will give to their own children or to others they encounter on their life’s journey. We know it is good to  receive, and we have been blessed by receiving not only a