Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feeling better

Well, I'm doing much better today. All week I had symptoms of the same malady (colitis) that landed me in the hospital last month. The difference was that this time I stayed home, rested, stayed hydrated, and got better without IV fluids, etc. I hope to resume blogging again Monday. Thanks to Keith and Carla for your encouraging comments, and thank you for visting this blog. May you be blessed in the visit.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I just don't feel good or have much energy today, so I won't be posting anything other than this message today. Thanks for visiting, and I hope to be back with you soon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Not taking ourselves too seriously

Christ the Truth: "Every human religion has humanity working before a watching God. The true God works before a watching humanity – Isaiah 64:4."

Worth reading

This really isn't much of an exaggeration about churches in the United States: the difference between typical Mother's Day and Father's Day sermons. The original link is also worth following.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Holy Spirit sermon prep

At Blog and Mablog Douglas Wilson offers some good, practical advice on spontaneity and sermon preparation. Here's the article's opening:
We must first smite and slay the extempore bias. From at least the time of Rousseau, we have been taught that that which is spontaneous is that which is honest, fresh, sincere, and untrammeled. On the other end, we have been taught that that which is prepared beforehand is stiff and insincere.

But like many very effective lies, there is an important truth here. You do want it to be fresh. But that is why you have to prepare to be fresh. You will get what you prepare to get. Freshness is no accident. When preparation results in stale messages, that is because you didn't seal the bag right. You want fresh, then prepare for fresh. This is the discipline of a pianist practicing scales so that she can sit down and play a glorious piece "spontaneously."
I don't remember now where I found the link to Mr. Wilson's article, but thank you, kind blogger, just the same.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good question, when you think about it...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Virtual theological library

Here's a site I recently found with lots of good, helpful links: Spring Hill College's virtual theology library.

Of the God who came to us

Dave Bish writes on why believers need the church: "It's a beginning to end story of the church from Eden to the renewed creation, centred but Jesus whose body was broken, whose blood was shed, so that he himself would be our peace."

Real gospel preaching

Here, from J.D. Hatfield, is a reminder on what constitutes a true gospel message:
Jesus Christ is the answer to sin, and His death appeases the wrath of God. Many other things presented as “gospel” do not require God to become incarnate, live a sinless life, die on a cross and rise again. Is it necessary for Christ to have been crucified? That is one good criterion for understanding if a message is about the true gospel. Some add Christ into the mix but their messages are just like they would be without Him, motivational talks, moral exhortations, feel good seminars. If you took out the biblical references or even added them it wouldn’t make any difference to the content of the teaching. . . .

The message isn’t healing, helping needs or even simply that Jesus is the Messiah; it is the cross and the resurrection. We do not change it, modify it, grow it, shrink it or do anything to make it better. Our task is simply to take it the way it has been given to us and to believe in its power to affect lives. The fact that so many try to make the gospel into something else shows the nature of it as a stumbling block. . .

Monday, October 18, 2010

Worldly vessels

James M. Kushiner: "So, will it not be more tolerable in the day of judgment for Artaxerxes and the ancient Persians than for those who dash little children against the rocks of abortion on demand and fund it?"

In Christ

Glen Scrivener reflects on the implications of two related concepts: "I am in Christ" and "Christ is in me." Here's a sample:
The gospel is “I in Christ” – through a gracious marriage union with Christ I instantly have His name. Therefore righteousness is a status instantly imputed to me as a gift in Jesus. The rest of my life involves a communion with Jesus in which I gradually exhibit more and more of His nature. But that is not my hope. My hope is not me living Christ’s life (by His power within me). My hope is Christ living my life (with me hidden in Him).
I recommend Glen's whole article.

Friday, October 15, 2010

'The most powerful word in the universe'

"If you know and speak the gospel, you are a channel for God's destroying of strongholds and resurrecting of lives. Every Christian who can articulate the gospel has the launch code and access to the button."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

On the church

Blomberg & co. on money

Koinonia Blog offers some sound perspective on discipleship, money, and economic systems.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Questioning the status quo

Royce Ogle: "Does it bother anyone but me that not one of the people we read about in the book of Acts would qualify to be a minister in almost all of our churches?"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'Works are the fruit, not the root of justification'

J. D. Hatfield has written a wonderful little essay explaining justification and the gospel.

Being fruitful & multiplying

"New life comes by the word of God... and if those who aren't Christians never have the opportunity to hear of Jesus we shouldn't be surprised if no-one believes. If we’re going to get anywhere this year and see changed lives – people who live like Christianity is real, live lives of love, and have the confidence to get God’s word into people’s hands, and to engage their questions, and explain about Jesus is going to have to be part of it. It was the pattern of the church in Acts 6v7– “the word of God increased, the number of disciples multiplied”. It’s the 1st commission, be fruitful and multiply – as sex makes babies, the word of God makes disciples."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Breaking up with Twitter and Facebook

Gentle and kind

Here's some very good advice on disagreeing without being disagreeable.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Clean idolatry

Dan Edelen takes a swipe at smashing the idol of cleanliness.

Perfect love

"Love for Christ will reveal to you the weaknesses in others, the illogical ideas of being solely devoted to a fellow sinner. When we love Christ we are not taken in by marketing, romantic gifts or word-heavy promises.

"On the contrary, we will see right through these things and detect the reality. We will not be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. We will not put our trust in men but in God."

Thursday, October 07, 2010

'Education, good jobs, respect . . . .'

Table thoughts

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Treasure trove of historical Bible commentaries

These links may be a repeat. If so, they bear repeating. Using commentaries from past centuries can help us see the Bible without the contemporary lenses that bias our outlook. Here are some of the best free, online commentaries from past centuries. You may have to scroll down or search for the author's name on some of these pages. Again, it should be worth the effort.

Andrew of Caesarea (Rev) (link to 100 mb .pdf file at this link)
Thomas Aquinas (Lam., Gospels, Gal. Philip., 1 Thess., Phm)
Thomas Aquinas (Rom, 1 Cor, 2 Cor, Eph, Col, Heb)
Aramaic targum (Sng)
Venerable Bede (Rev)
John Calvin (most, if not all books of the OT & NT)
John Chrysostom (Acts & Rom, 1 & 2 Cor, Jn & Heb; Gal, Eph, Phl, Col, Thess, Tim, Tit, Phm)
Cyril of Alexandria (Lk, Jn)
Dionysus Syrus (Rev)
Gregory the Great (Sng)
Jerome (Dan)
John of Damascus (Gal)
John of Damascus (2 Tim)
John of Damascus (Phm)
Khimi (Nah)
Martin Luther (Gal) (.pdf)
Martin Luther (Rom)
Origen (Jn)
Rashi (OT)
Theodoret (Jonah)
Theophylact (Mt)
John Wesley (every book of the OT & NT)
Victorinus (Rev) (.zip file)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Real-world leadership

Marcus Honeysett shares some very challenging thoughts on Numbers 13. That chapter of the Bible tells of how10 of the 12 men sent to reconnoiter the promised land came back frightened and recommended that the Israelites disobey God. Why do the actions of God's people more than 3000 years ago matter today? As Marcus points out, before being sent on the most important mission of their lives, these men were the leaders among their people, ostensibly strong and faithful. But...
Numbers 13 scares me because it shows it is possible to play the part of a respected leader, maybe for years, and yet not know God. And for it only get revealed when actual faith is demanded. At which point such leaders run for the hills and try to take the people with them.
Very good point. And how should a faithful leader live?
The heart of being a godly leader is to be obsessed and thrilled with God. To so have him before our eyes that he fills our gaze and utterly satisfies us with his presence. Our leadership is meant to come out of the overflow of that.

Friday, October 01, 2010

On the long haul

At Biblical Preaching, Peter Mead makes an excellent point about 'drip feeding' in preaching. Here's Peter:
I’m sure I am not the only person who finds themselves praying for one message to make a massive difference. When we are captivated by the God who speaks through a specific passage of Scripture, our yearning is for that impact to be felt deep and real by the listeners when we preach it.

But let’s not lose sight of the impact of a drip feeding ministry. Regular exposure to the God of the Bible, to His Gospel, to the blessing of His self-revelation in His Word . . . it has a massive effect on people, even if we don’t see the impact of every point, every message, every application.