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Showing posts from April, 2019

this week 4/22

"God liberates us in order to rule us, and he rules us in order to liberate us."  (Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology) Why I gave up on Twitter and went back to Feedly .  Feedly is a news (and blog) aggregator that receives and organizes posts as they are published.  It's simple, chronological, and straightforward ( "just the facts" ).  Twitter has become a social media platform which enhances the promotion of  persons, organizations, and responses among them (example: "here's what so-and-so said about my book and how I replied, with a picture of me  and a quote from me, too." ).  So, I'm back to "just the facts" and I click on the links of interest and skip the online debates.  This lowers one's blood  pressure too!  Get Feedly here.   The real reason for declining attendance?   Often polls and surveys are used to suggest that declining church attendance can be reversed with a few easy, organizational steps, things that ca

delighting in the law

"Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day."   (Psalm 119:97 ESV) Following are some reading highlights from Jerram Barrs' Delighting in the Law of the Lord: God's Alternative to Legalism and Moralism   (Crossway, 2013) ...  "All biblical study of the law begins with the conviction that God’s own character stands behind the moral order of this world and behind the commandments that he gives to us his creatures. This is the fundamental reason why the Scriptures speak so positively about the law. Praising a set of commandments is an alien notion in our cultural context, but that is where the biblical view begins: with praise and thanksgiving for the law. Psalm 19 is an example of this high view of the law of God.         "God’s law is beautiful because it reveals God’s character. This is the most basic reason why we should love the law. "At the heart of God’s covenant there is always a relationship of love. ... God commits himself to

fullness of personal relationships

We love because he first loved us.  If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.  And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.   (1 John 4:19-21 ESV) “Hence life finds its real utterance not in the isolated development of the self, but in the fullness of personal relationships. Only in response to the needs of others can a man realize his own life. ...  Loyalty to the highest and love for the lowest—love to God and man—these are the marks of the men of all ages who have sought to interpret the mind of Christ.  Mutual service is the law of the kingdom.  Every man has a worth for Christ, therefore reverence for the personality of man, and the endeavor to procure for each full opportunity of making the most of his life, are at once the aim and goal of the new spiritual society of which Christ laid the foundations in His own

t s eliot on liberalism

After finishing The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis, by Alan Jacobs, I was interested to read more from T. S. Eliot, one of the figures discussed in this excellent book.      I have begun Eliot's Christianity and Culture (1948).  In the first essay, "The Idea of a Christian Society", Eliot addresses the nature and consequences of Liberalism in both political and religious forms.  Here are few highlights...               "By destroying traditional social habits of the people, by dissolving their natural collective consciousness into individual constituents, by licensing the opinions of the most foolish, by substituting instruction for education, by encouraging cleverness rather than wisdom, the upstart rather than the qualified, by fostering a notion of getting on to which the alternative is a hopeless apathy, Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negation: the artificial, mechanized or brutalized control which

donkeys, disciples, and the son of david

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once." This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'"  The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.  They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.  Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David!

the marks of truth

“The marks of truth, as Christianly conceived, are that it is supernaturally grounded not developed within nature; that it is objective and not subjective; that it is a revelation and not a construction; that it is discovered by inquiry and not elected by a majority vote; that it is authoritative and not a matter of personal choice.”   ~ Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind: How Should a Christian Think? (SPCK, 1963; Regent College Publishing, 2005)