Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2015

the gospel beautifies the church

Here are some great snippets from Ray Ortlund, Jr., from  The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ (Crossway, 2014)  . .. I want to be really forgiven of my real sins by a real Savior. God's final category for you is not your goodness versus your badness, but your union with Christ versus your distance from Christ. The beauty of human relationships, is the first thing that outsiders are likely to notice when they enter a church. The household of God must offer a clear and lovely alternative to the madness of this world. We either proudly believe we are too good to be judged, or we proudly believe we are too bad to be saved. When a whole church luxuriates in Christ alone, that church embodies a gospel culture. The beauty of love is the crown of a well-taught church. The gospel never advances without someone paying a price. The greatness of Christ creates courage in us.

he spoke and it came to be

For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.   (Psalm 33:9 ESV) Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things , and by your will they existed and were created.   (Revelation 4:11 ESV) "The Bible affirms, and perhaps it is the only book that does so, that all things, visible and invisible, have originated from God by a free act of creation.  The Bible doctrine of creation is something more than the Mosaic cosmogony. "For my present purpose it is indifferent how we interpret the first chapter of Genesis--whether as the result of direct Revelation, or as the expression of certain great religious truths in such forms as the natural knowledge of the age admitted of. I believe myself that the narrative gives evidence of its Divine original in its total difference of character from all heathen cosmogonies, but this is a view I need not press.  The main point is the absolute derivation of all things fro

pascal's wager

Carl Henry, as a young man undergoing conviction of -- but struggling with -- the truthfulness of Christianity, reasoned along the lines of Pascal's "wager" ( Pensees , #233)... This is a right use of that very good question, "what have I got to lose?" ...  "I somewhat understated my readiness by a fallback to Pascal's wager.   'If I go ahead, and there's nothing to it, I have nothing to lose,' I said; 'if I don't go ahead, and there is something to it, I have everything to lose.'"  ~ Carl F. H. Henry, Confessions of a Theologian , p. 46. ________________    Further thoughts from Pascal... #236  "According to the doctrine of chance, you ought to put yourself to the trouble of searching for the truth. For if you die without worshiping the True Cause, you are lost. -- 'But,' say you, 'if He had wished me to worship Him, He would have left me signs of His will.' -- He has done so, but you neglect t

God true to himself

"Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" (Genesis 18:25 ESV) "In our pagan way, we take it for granted that God feels as we do.  The idea that retribution might be the moral law of God's world and an expression of his holy character seems to us quite fantastic.  Those who uphold it find themselves accused of projecting onto God their own pathological impulses of rage and vindictiveness.  Yet the Bible insists throughout that this world which God in his goodness has made is a moral world, one in which retribution is as basic a fact as breathing.   "God is the Judge of all the earth, and he will do right, vindicating the innocent, if such there be, but punishing (in the Bible phrase visiting their sins upon ) lawbreakers (see Gen 18:25).  God is not true to himself unless he punishes sin. And un

on justice

Carl Henry on why evangelical Christians should be concerned for public (social) justice...  "Jesus' insistent requirement of the new birth and of a new lifestyle was set within the larger context of the 'gospel of the kingdom' that focuses on his victory over all the wicked powers arrayed against the will of God."  ~ Carl F. H. Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority , Vol. 3, p. 122. Click on full quote below...

all learning for the sake of worship

"All Christian learning must be for the sake of worship and service of God in the world, and we are deceived if we think that our own schematic skills or speculative theories or politico-economic proposals make the Bible meaningful or credible to the contemporary world. The case for Christianity does not rest on our ingenuity; it rests upon the incarnate and risen Lord.  The Bible is meaningful and credible as it stands; it is we, not the Scriptures, that need to be salvaged.  Unless evangelical education understands Christianity's salvific witness in terms of the whole self -- intellect, volition, emotion, conscience, imagination -- and of the world in its total need -- justice, peace, stewardship and much else -- it cannot adequately confront a planet that has sagged out of moral and spiritual orbit." ~ Carl F. H. Henry, Confessions Of A Theologian (Word Books, 1986), p. 76. 

Christ validates the Scriptures

Here are some reading highlights from Carl Henry's God, Revelation, and Authority , Vol 3. "In Jesus Christ the source and content of [ God's ] revelation converge and coincide."  (III:9) "The regenerate church is a transnational, transracial, transcultural beachhead for the transcendent kingdom of God." (III:68) "The Christian fellowship knows that Jesus' incarnation, death, and resurrection are the turning point of the ages."  (III:73) "The gospel is good news, news of Gods' grace to the unworthy, news of a victory of righteousness and love in which the people of God forever share.  It is the only news that endures." (III:74) "The pledged work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the apostles would involve a superhuman recalling of Jesus' teaching and a superhuman illumination in articulating it."  (III:92) "We have no way of returning to observe the historical Jesus except through the Bi

not one forgotten

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father." (Matthew 10:29 ESV) This summer we have enjoyed watching birds drinking and taking baths in the birdbath on our deck.  The sparrows especially take energetic baths, spraying water everywhere.  This means, of course, having to fill the bath from time to time to accommodate all the feathered guests.   It struck me that God the Father knows each and every sparrow in our entire world.  (I'm assuming this applies also to catbirds, blue jays, and doves, as well.)  And that not one of them dies apart from the knowledge and will of the Father.  What amazing attention to detail God has toward his creation! Then this morning I read again Isaiah 40.  And in verse 26 we are told God has names for all the stars -- billions upon billions of them.  And he maintains the existence of each one.  "Not one" of them is missing...   "Lift up your eyes on high