Sunday, April 29, 2007

Is Jesus God? Part 7

Today we examine the way that John, the disciple who reclined on Jesus' breast (cf. John 13:23), described the person of Jesus in the book of Revelation. (If you have any questions about a particular text that addresses Jesus' identity feel free to ask it in the comments section.)

Revelation

The disciple who Jesus loved is also in accord with the other biblical writers regarding the deity of Christ. In addition to his masterful apologetic[37] regarding the life of Christ, John continued to bear witness to the fact that Jesus was God. This can be seen clearly in the book of Revelation[38]. In Revelation 1:8 we are told that God is “the Alpha and the Omega…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” This is clearly in reference to God the Father. The statement “the Alpha and the Omega” is a literary device called a merism[39] which highlights the fact that God is in control of all of history.[40] What is intriguing about this description of God is that the exact same phrase is used by Jesus Christ to describe Himself in Revelation 22:13.
Revelation 1:8
Revelation 22:13
This is an extremely strong claim that Jesus makes which points to Him being of “equal deity with God the Father.”[41] Not only is Jesus Christ divine, but by implication He is “sovereign over all of history and all of creation, Jesus is the beginning and the end.”[42]
John also points to Christ’s deity throughout the book of Revelation by showing that Christ is worthy to receive worship. In Revelation 5:12 we are told that thousands and thousands of heavenly beings and angels are worshipping Jesus saying “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” John then says (v.13) that he “heard every creature in heaven and on earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” “Christ is…accorded the universal worship offered to God the Father, thus clearly demonstrating his equality in deity.”[43] What makes this scene all the more significant as an attestation of Christ’s deity is what happens to John later in the book. In Revelation 19:10, John is so awestruck by an angelic being that he “fell down at his [the angel’s] feet to worship him.” However, John is promptly rebuked and told to “Worship God.” The fact that Jesus Christ is so clearly portrayed as being worshipped throughout the book of Revelation shows that Christ is God. Thus we see that John is in consensus with Paul, Peter, the author of Hebrews, and James regarding the deity of Christ.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Top 10 Plays #4

Some guy for the Lakers with a wrap-around dunk...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Is Jesus God? Part 6b

The author of Hebrews (not Paul cf. Hebrews 2:3) has so much to say about the deity of Jesus that it needed to be broken into two separate posts. Today's post is a continuation of yesterday's.

In case his readers still had any doubt, regarding the deity of Christ, the author gives them at least two more evidences in this first chapter that point to Christ’s deity. In Hebrews 1:6 the writer tells us that God (cf. 1:5) calls for the angels to worship Christ. We know from the canonical witness that only God is to be worshipped. Therefore we can assume that if Christ is to be worshipped, He must be God. The next piece of evidence that the author uses to affirm the deity of Christ is by taking an Old Testament quote—that referred to God—and applying it to Christ. Hebrews 1:10-12 is a quote from Psalm 102:25-27. In the Psalm it is clear that the author is praising God for his work in creation. The author of Hebrews takes this quote referring to God and directly applies it to Christ. The author wants his readers to know that Jesus Christ is the “eternal Lord of heaven and earth who created all things and will remain the same forever.” These affirmations place the writer to the Hebrews in agreement with Peter, Paul, and James regarding the deity of Christ.

Top 10 Plays #5

Kobe behind the back to Turiaf...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Is Jesus God? Part 6a


This is the sixth post in a series on the deity of Christ. Thus far we have looked at Paul, James, and Peter's understanding of the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Today we turn our attention to the letter of Hebrews.

Hebrews


The letter to the Hebrews is excellent in showing forth Christ’s supremacy over all things. One of the primary ways that this is done is by showing that Jesus Christ is indeed God. From the opening paragraph the letter upholds the uniqueness of Christ. In Hebrews 1:2 the author says, that Christ has been “appointed the heir of all things” and that He was the one through whom the Father “created the world.” By attributing the creation to Christ the author is pointing not only to Christ’s eternality but also to His deity. The author is making an allusion to Genesis 1:1 where we read, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In Hebrews 1:3 the author continues his attestation to Christ’s deity when he writes that Jesus is the “exact imprint” (carakth.r) of God’s nature. The author is saying that as the “carakth.r” of God’s nature that Christ “is exactly equal to God in every attribute.” After making such a clear statement regarding the deity of Christ one might think that no more evidence would need to be given. However, the author of Hebrews continues to be relentless in arguing for the deity of Christ when he writes that Christ is the One who “upholds the universe by the word of His power.” This is also an allusion to Genesis 1 where we are told that it was God’s words that led to the creation. Here the author says that it is Christ’s words that are upholding the universe. The author is attributing to Christ “something that only God could do” thus showing that in his mind Christ was indeed God.


Top 10 Plays #6

Wallace vs Wallace

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Answer to True or False Question: "Scripture never speaks of our faith or the fact that we would come to believe in Christ as the reason God chose us

True....Travis has answered with wonderful precision. (Click here to read his reply)

The Bible does not say that our faith (or that we would come to believe) is the reason that God chose us. This is an absolutely wonderful truth. Paul makes clear in several places that God's choice of us had nothing to do with what was in us or would come from us. For example in Romans 9:11-13 we read the astonishing statement that God chose Jacob and not Esau. God's choice was before Jacob or Esau were born or had done anything good or bad. Why was this the case? Paul tells us the reason in verse 11. It was in order that God's purpose in election might stand. In other words, God's choosing of Jacob had nothing to do with Jacob. Jacob was chosen strictly because of God's grace and kindness. Paul makes this truth clear in Ephesians 1:5-6 as well. Notice that the reason that Paul gives to the Ephesians for their being chosen by God is not because of their faith or because of something intrinsic in them. Rather, God's choice of the Ephesians is according to the purpose of His will which resounds to the exaltation of His AMAZING GRACE (cf. Ephesians 1:5-7). The fact that Jacob, the Ephesians, and you or I come to believe is because God has previously chosen us. Our faith is not the reason that God has chosen us, rather it is the evidence that He has chosen us. This eliminates any grounds for boasting on our part and magnify's God's grace. The disposition of our hearts to turn away from self and trust in Christ is a gracious gift from God. Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound That Saved a Wretch Like Me!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pelosi on Partial-Birth Abortion...

This is one of the most disturbing quotes that I have read in a long time. Granted context is key for determining meaning, but from other things that she has said this seems to be an accurate representation of her view. I have included a link below the quote to the article where this statement can be found.

“This is about a procedure that any parent would want her daughter to have access to if she needed it. And to frame it as an abortion issue is doing a disservice to medicine and to our young women and our country. So I hope we can get the focus back on the fact that this Supreme Court is deciding what medical procedures are necessary for child-bearing women.” --Nanci Pelosi


San Francisco Chronicle
(HT: Justin Taylor and Denny Burk)

Free Seminary Classes Online....

Bill Mounce has put together an amazing website that offers Seminary Lectures online for free! You can listen to Dr. Bruce Ware's Systematic Theology class, Dr. Tim Tennet's lectures on Islam and other world religions, Gerald Bray's lectures on Church History, Robert Stein and Craig Blomberg on Acts to Revelation, and more. This is a great resource for those who hunger to have a more in depth understanding of the Christian faith. The amazing thing about this is it is all free! I personally have found this site to be a huge blessing. If you are looking for a great place to start listening may I suggest either Dr. Ware's Systematic Theology or Dr. Tennet's lectures on Islam.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

True or False: Post Your Reply and Reason(s) for your Reply in the Comments Section...

True or False
"Scripture never speaks of our faith or the fact that we would come to believe in Christ as the reason God chose us."

Great Overview Article on Church History...

Sam Storms has written an excellent article that gives a quick overview of Church History. The article takes less than four minutes to read, but provides a helpful framework for understanding the different eras.

Great Resource for Prayer...

There are numerous resources on the web that can serve as great tools for those who have a heart for the world. One of those resources in particular that I have found extremely helpful is a site devoted to the country of Yemen, Yemen is one of the least (if not the least) evangelized countries in the entire world. If you find it difficult to pray for the world without having specific information this site should be a great blessing to you.

R.C. Sproul Article on Grief...

The following is a recent article by R.C. Sproul on Grief in the current edition of TABLETALK

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Top 10 Plays #8

Nate Robinson's block on Yao Ming. What is so amazing about this play is that Nate Robinson is 69 inches tall (5'9)on his tip toes while Yao Ming is 90 inches tall (7'6)

The Playoffs the Way I See Them...

Eastern Conference
Detroit vs. Orlando (Detroit 4-0)
Cleveland vs. Washington (Cleveland 4-1)
Toronto vs. New Jersey (New Jersey 4-3)
Chicago vs. Miami (Miami 4-2)

Western Conference
Dallas vs Golden State (Dallas 4-1)
Phoenix vs Los Angeles (Phoenix 4-2)
San Antonio vs Denver (San Antonio 4-1)
Houston vs Utah (Rockets 4-3)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Top Ten Plays #9

With the Pistons trailing by three points Rasheed Wallace launches an improbable shot from seventy-five feet out.

The Top Ten Plays of the Year #10

I plan on posting the top ten plays from this years basketball season. Keep in mind the following is from a Professional Basketball Game. Do not try this at home! These guys make millions. Michael Ruffin is the one who wants to crawl into a hole and hide. By the way he made $1,803,600 this year.

(HT: Alex Chediak)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Is Jesus God? Part 5

This is part 5 of the series on the deity of Christ. Today the focus will be on James's understanding of the deity of Jesus.

James 2:1
One of the more intriguing references to Christ’s deity in the New Testament comes from one of Jesus’ own brothers, according to the flesh. One of the main reasons why this is such an intriguing attestation of Christ’s deity is because James seems to have been very slow to believe that Jesus was God. In fact we are told that during Christ’s earthly ministry, James did not believe in Him.[26] The amazing statement that James makes concerning Jesus is found in James 2:1 where James writes, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” This statement by James shows that not only has he come to embrace his earthly brother as the Messiah (i.e. Christ), but he has also recognized His divine nature as well. James was steeped in the Old Testament Scriptures and so when he writes that Jesus Christ is the Lord of glory it would seem that he is making a significant connection with the Old Testament description of Yahweh as the Lord of Glory. It appears that James’ mind is:

Fixed on those Old Testament passages in which Jehovah is described as the “Glory”: e.g., “For I, saith Jehovah, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the Glory in the midst of her” (Zech 2:5) In the Lord Jesus Christ, James sees the fulfillment of these promises: He is Jehovah come to be with His people; and, as He has tabernacled among them, they have seen His glory. He is, in a word, the Glory of God, the Shekinah: God manifest to men.[27]

In other words, when James is referring to Jesus Christ he is “following a common NT pattern of, in which attributes and titles given to God in the OT are applied also to Jesus Christ. As the manifestation of God’s presence, he is ‘the glorious one.’”[28] Thus, James is also in agreement with Peter and Paul that Jesus Christ is indeed God.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Business and Missions

God has gifted many people in the body of Christ with the ability to do business well. He has often given many people with business-gifting a passion to use their gifts to take the gospel to the Nations. For those that are interested there is an upcoming conference this October in China. The information is below. If you want more information click here

(HT: Business As Missions Blog)

The Global CEO Network is heading to China! Tom Sudyk and the team has announced two gatherings for the fall of 2007.

The first meeting will take place Oct 17-19th in Washington DC. One month later in November the group will host another conference October 31-Nov 2 in Shanghai, China. This will be the second time the network has hosted one event in the United States and followed it up with a separate gathering in Asia.

If you would like more information about these meetings you can email Sara Maher at info@globalceonetwork.org.

Is Jesus God? Part 4

This is part four of the current series that is being done on the deity of Jesus of Nazareth. Today we will be examining Peter's understanding of the person of Jesus. In specific we will be looking at 2 Peter 1:1. (When this series is complete I hope to make the entire paper available with footnotes, the bibliography, and the corrected Greek font.)

2 Peter 1:1

Paul is not the only New Testament writer to boldly affirm the deity of Christ. The Apostle Peter is also passionate about upholding the amazing truth that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed God. This is seen, perhaps most clearly, in 2 Peter 1:1 where Peter writes, “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. What is interesting about this phrase is that the grammatical construction is the exact same to the one that Paul employed in Titus 2:13 (see above for fuller description). In the Greek, the word translated God (qeou/) has an article while the word translated Savior (swth/roj) is anarthrous. Schreiner has rightly commented regarding the grammatical construction of this verse:

The grammar clearly indicates that Jesus Christ is called ‘God’…The structure of the clause accords with the famous rule of G. Sharp, that when two singular nouns, which are not proper nouns, fall under the same article, they refer to the same entity. The phrase used here fits every part of this definition. If Peter wanted to distinguish Jesus Christ from the Father, he would have inserted an article before the noun ‘Savior.’[25]

Peter has made quite clear, as can be seen from the grammar, that he is in agreement with the Apostle to the Gentiles concerning the person of Christ. In other words, both Paul and Peter understood Jesus Christ of Nazareth to be God.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Christian and the Metropolis...

Tim Keller is a pastor in Manhattan (NYC) who has written much about the need for Christians to be engaged in the life of the city. The following article is a helpful assessment of the need of the hour in the city. Note do not read the following article if you are unwilling and unopen to God's purposes for the city.

Is Jesus God? Part 3


This is part three in a series on the Deity of Christ. Today we will examine another description of Jesus of Nazareth from the writings of Paul. Specifically our focus will be on Titus 2:13.

Titus 2:13

The next key text that we will examine from the Pauline corpus comes from the Pastoral Epistles. Specifically we will be examining Titus 2:13 where Paul is giving a reason for believers to live obedient lives. He motivates them by reminding them of their present place in the history of redemption and of the future hope. He says they are “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” The main question that we will address in this text has to do with “whether the Apostle Paul intended to refer to one person (Christ) or to two persons (the Father and Christ)…”[15] If Paul is referring to one person then this text indeed becomes a clear affirmation of the deity of Christ. It is the contention of this author that Paul is referring to one person (Jesus Christ) in this verse. This contention is based upon two primary factors.
The first factor for why Paul is referring to one person has to do with the grammar of the verse. The phrase that is translated “Our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” comes from the Greek expression “tou/ mega,lou qeou/ kai. swth/roj h`mw/n VIhsou/ Cristou/(.” In the Greek language if there are two nouns connected by the conjunction kai., and the first noun is preceded by an article while the second is anarthrous (“not preceded by the article”[16]) then “there is a close connection between the two [nouns].”[17] If the two nouns in question are “personal, singular, non-proper nouns,”[18] then “the two nouns always refer to the same person.”[19] This is exactly the grammatical construction that we have in this verse. The two nouns are “tou/…qeou” (God) and “swth/roj” (Savior). The first noun has the article (tou/) and the second noun is anarthrous. In addition to this both of the nouns are personal, singular, and non-proper nouns. This means that the two nouns are referring to the same person, namely Jesus Christ (VIhsou/ Cristou/).[20] Thus the grammar of this verse points to an “explicit affirmation of the deity of Christ.”[21]

The second factor for understanding Paul as referring to one person in this verse is that “the New Testament writers consistently speak of in terms that emphasize the manifestation of Jesus Christ in his glory, not in terms that emphasize the glory of the Father.”[22]In fact the word that Paul uses to describe the appearing (evpifa,neia) is always used by him in reference “to Jesus’ second coming and never to God [the Father].”[23] This means that “the appearance of God” that Paul is talking about is the appearance of Jesus.[24]

In light of these factors, (i.e. the grammar that Paul uses and his continual emphasis on the Son’s return) Titus 2:13 is best understood as being yet another Pauline text that affirms that Christ is indeed God.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Secularist Perspective on the Biggest Problems in the World.

Notice there is not the slightest mention of sin. He recognizes the result of sin as the biggest problem, but not sin itself. However, from a secular perspecive this is quite an interesting view. He is definitely not jumping on the global warming bandwagon. Many political activists are pushing climate issues and unable to see the trendiness and illogic of that being the primary focus. Bjorn Lomberg provides an interesting perspective.
(HT: Joshua Ayres)
http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/62

Seminary Training In the Real World...

Many people often find themselves caught in a tough situation. They sense a call from God that they should get further theological training and yet they have families, vocational callings, Church commitments, etc. which make them feel as though it is impossible. For many people it is absolutely unreasonable to quit everything and go to seminary. In fact many times the most God-honoring thing that someone can do is stay right where they are. So what is this person to do? Well, one option may be theological training through the internet. One of the best seminaries in the United States is currently offering a Master of Arts in Religion almost exclusively on line. This option can allow people who sense a call for further training to stay where they are and yet become further equipped to serve in the body of Christ. The information regarding the degree can be found at http://www.rts.edu/site/academics/degree_programs/mar/virtualc.aspx

Is Jesus God? Part 2


This is the second post in a series on the Deity of Christ. Again, I am focusing in on the non-gospel New Testament writers. For the next few posts our focus will on the Apostle Paul's understanding of the person of Christ. (Note: I have not figured out how to make the Greek Font appear on blogger. If anyone knows could you post it in the comments section)

Paul
There are several attestations in the Apostle’s writings concerning the deity of Christ. However, due to the nature of this paper we will not be able to give an in-depth analysis of every example. For this reason we will look at a two key texts. First we will examine a text found in Paul’s letter to the Romans. Then we will look at a passage taken from the Paul’s letter to Titus.
Romans 9:5
In Romans 9:5, Paul is continuing a list of privileges that his kinsmen (Israel), according to the flesh, have had. Paul says, “To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” At first glance this seems to be a very straightforward statement regarding Christ’s deity. But is this truly the case? There has been some controversy regarding the above translation. The Greek of Romans 9:5 reads as follows:
w-n oi` pate,rej kai. evx w-n o` Cristo.j to. kata. sa,rka( o` w'n evpi. pa,ntwn qeo.j euvloghto.j eivj tou.j aivw/naj( avmh,nÅ
The key point of contention has to do with “whom” Paul is referring to with the word “qeo.j.” The two options for who “qeo.j” refers to are the Father or Christ. Those who are in favor of “qeo.j” being a referent to the Father would ultimately argue that it is “…‘un-Pauline’ for Paul to refer to Christ as God.” Rather than this verse being a referent to Christ’s deity they construe the grammar so that Paul is saying, “To them belong the patriarchs and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.” In other words, those who hold to this position would argue that Paul is giving a doxological response to God the Father after recounting all the rich blessings that Israel has been privileged to have. While there is an element of grammatical plausibility in this interpretation, there appears to be at least two key weaknesses to it as a whole.
The first weakness to this interpretation is that it seems to do violence to the context. Paul is in such an intense state of mourning and grief, for his kinsmen who are rejecting the Messiah, that he could wish that he was cut off from Christ if it meant his countrymen would embrace the Messiah. Thus, it would not seem appropriate for Paul to break out into a doxology in this context. If Paul were to break out into a doxology here it would not be supportive of his grief and anguish. “Both logically and emotionally such a doxology would interrupt the train of thought as well as be inconsistent with the mood of sadness that pervades the preceding verses.”
There is also a second weakness to interpreting “qeo.j” in such a way that Paul is giving a doxological response to the Father. The difficulty with construing the grammar of this verse in this way is that whenever the New Testament writers give a doxological response the word translated “blessed” precedes the name of God. However in this verse “qeo.j” precedes “blessed.” In other words, if Paul wanted to give a doxology in Romans 9:5 he would have employed the typical grammar for a doxology and not used an unfamiliar grammatical structure.
In addition to the weaknesses of understanding “qeo.j” as referring to the Father, there are some tremendous strengths to understanding “qeo.j” as referring to Christ. First of all it makes the most sense of the context. Remember that Paul is in the middle of expressing his tremendous grief “over Israel’s separation from Christ even though they have received divine privileges.” For Paul to “ascribe blessedness to Christ after identifying him with qeo.j fits…into the context since the Messiah sharing the divine nature is the consummation of Israel’s privileges.” In other words, Paul description of Jesus as qeo.j serves to advance the argument he is making by showing that “the climatic privilege of the Israelites is that their Messiah is vastly greater than they had ever dreamed.” Thus, when qeo.j is understood as referring to Christ it “heightens the profundity of Paul’s grief [for] not only have the Jews rejected the Messiah, who is ethnically related to them, they also are spurning one who shares the divine nature with the Father.”
The second strength of interpreting “qeo.j” as being a referent to Christ is that this seems to be the most natural reading of the grammar. Paul ends verse five with the phrase “ o` w'n evpi. pa,ntwn qeo.j euvloghto.j eivj tou.j aivw/naj( avmh,nÅ” The phrase begins with a masculine nominative singular participle (o` w'n). What this means is that the participle that is translated “the one who is” is referring to something else that has a similar case, number, and gender. The most obvious referent in this case would be to the masculine, nominative, singular noun “o` Cristo.j.” In other words, there is no grammatical need to change the subject from “the Christ” that is in the verse to an implied “Father.”
In conclusion, the best interpretation of Romans 9:5 is one that understands Paul to be using the term “qeo.j” as a referent to Christ. The grammar and the context all point to the fact that Paul is making a magnificent statement regarding the person of Christ, namely that He is God. When this text is understood in this way it indeed becomes one of the clearest statements of Christ’s deity in the entire New Testament.

Pastoral Opening...

For those who have a heart for Urban Evangelism and Moblizing God's People toward that end please click on the following link:

Pastor for Neigborhood Outreach http://c4.atomicplaypen.com/sites/BBC/resources/images/69660.pdf

Friday, April 13, 2007

Quote of the Day

What do you believe when you say: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth"?

That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth with all that is in them, who also upholds and governs them by his eternal counsel and providence, is for the sake of Christ his Son my God and my Father. I trust in him so completely that I have no doubt that he will provide for me with all things necessary for body and soul. Moreover, whatever evil he sends upon me in this troubled life he will turn to my own good, for he is able to do it, being almighty God, and is determined to do it, being a faithful Father.

Question 26 of the Heidelberg Catechism

Quote of the Day

"You are more wicked than you ever dared believe, and yet you are more loved than you ever dared hope"

--Tim Keller--summarizing a key truth of the Gospel

Quote of the Day....

"...Sanctification involves hard work and dependence on Christ; what I call dependent effort. And it will always mean we are dissatisfied with our performance. For a growing Christian, desire will always outstrip performance or, at least, perceived performance. What is it then that will keep us going in the face of this tension between desire and performance? The answer is the gospel. It is the assurance in the gospel that we have indeed died to the guilt of sin and that there is no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus that will motivate us and keep us going even in the face of this tension. We must always keep focused on the gospel because it is in the nature of sanctification that as we grow, we see more and more of our sinfulness. Instead of driving us to discouragement, though, this should drive us to the gospel. It is the gospel believed every day that is the only enduring motivation to pursue progressive sanctification even in those times when we don't seem to see progress. That is why I use the expression "gospel- driven sanctification" and that is why we need to "preach the gospel to ourselves every day."

--Jerry Bridges

Quote of the Day

“To put it bluntly and plainly, if Christ is not my Substitute, I still occupy the place of a condemned sinner. If my sins and my guilt are not transferred to Him, if He did not take them upon Himself, then surely they remain with me. If He did not deal with my sins, I must face their consequences. If my penalty was not borne by Him, it still hangs over me. There is no other possibility.”

--Leon Morris


(HT: Mark Lauterbach)

Jonathan Edwards Quote

"You all have by you a large treasure of divine knowledge, in that you have the Bible in your hands; therefore be not contented in possessing but little of this treasure. God hath spoken much to you in the Scripture; labor to understand as much of what he saith as you can. God hath made you all reasonable creatures; therefore let not the noble faculty of reason or understanding lie neglected. Content not yourselves with...divine truth...you accidentally gain in conversation; but let it be very much your business to search for it, and that with the same diligence and labor with which men are wont to dig in mines of silver and gold."

Quote of the Day: Jonathan Edwards

“A person who has a knowledge of doctrine and theology only — without religious affection — has never engaged in true religion. Nothing is more apparent than this: our religion takes root within us only as deep as our affections attract it. There are thousands who hear the Word of God, who hear great and exceedingly important truths about themselves and their lives, and yet all they hear has not effect upon them, makes no change in the way they live.”
--Jonathan Edwards

Quote of the Day

"There is no death of sin without the death of Christ."
--John Owen

Quote of the Day

"The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums."
G.K. Chesterton Orthodoxy p. 14

Augustine on the Gospels

"If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself."

Quote of the Day

"That our idea of God correspond as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance to us. Compared with our actual thoughts about Him, our creedal statements are of little consequence. Our real idea of God may lie buried under the rubbish of conventional religious notions and may require an intelligent and vigorous search before it is finally unearthed and exposed for what it is."

A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy, Chapter 1

Piper Quote

Quote of the Day

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with great talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
- Calvin Coolidge
(HT: John Majors)

* A note for those who stumble at the last line of the quote. God alone is omnipotent. The point that Coolidge seems to be making is the key role that persistence and determination play in one's life. However, without God's divine enabling and blessing even the most persistent and determined person will merely be grasping at straws. Thus, pray that the All- Powerful God of the universe will indeed enable you to live a life of undistracted focus that exudes the character traits of persistance and determination.

Quote of the Day

“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.”


- Timothy Keller, The Reason For God (New York, NY: Dutton, 2008), 181.

Quote of the Day

"Those who seek to overcome evil must fight it first of all in their own selves" --Miroslav Volf

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Quote of the Day

“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us” --Martin Luther

Quote of the Day...

"For whatever be the knowledge which we are able to obtain of God, either by perception or reflection, we must of necessity believe that He is by many degrees far better than what we perceive Him to be."-- Origen

Edwards Quote

All gracious affections that are a sweet odor to Christ, and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrancy, are brokenhearted affections. A truly Christian love, either to God or men, is a humble brokenhearted love. The desires of the saints, how- ever earnest, are humble desires: their hope is a humble hope; and their joy, even when it is unspeakable, and full of glory, is a humble brokenhearted joy, and leaves the Christian more poor in spirit, and more like a little child, and more disposed to a universal lowliness of behavior.

Quote of the Day

"Whatsoever is good for God's children they shall have it, for all is theirs to further them to heaven; therefore, if poverty be good, they shall have it; if disgrace be good, they shall have it; if crosses be good, they shall have them; if misery be good, they shall have it; for all is ours, to serve for our greatest good." Richard Sibbes

Quote of the Day

"In the Church of Jesus Christ there can and should be no non-theologians." --Karl Barth

NBA Draft...

If the NBA Draft were today and the ping pong balls fall perfectly here is my projected Top 5 Picks:

1. Memphis Gred Oden (OSU)
2. Boston Kevin Durant (Texas)
3. Milwaukee Hasheem Thabeet (UCONN)
4. Phoenix Roy Hibbert (Georgetown)
5. Charlotte Brandan Wright (UNC)

Francis Schaeffer Quote

In saying God is there, we are saying God exists, and not just talking about the word God, or the idea God. We are speaking of the proper relationship to the living God who exists. In order to understand the problems of our generation, we should be very alive to this distinction. Semantics (linguistic analysis) makes up the heart of modern philosophical study in the Anglo-Saxon world. Though the Christian cannot accept this study as a total philosophy, there is no reason why he should not be glad for the concept that words need to be defined before they can be used in communication. As Christians, we must understand that there is no word so meaningless as the word "god" until it is defined. No word has been used to reach absolutely opposite concepts as much as the word "god". Consequently, let us not be confused. There is much "spirituality" about us today that would relate itself to the word god or to the idea god; but this is not what we are talking about. Biblical truth and spirituality is not a relationship to the word god, or to the idea god. It is a relationship to the one who is there, which is an entirely different concept."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Is Jesus God?

For a recent class I wrote a paper on the way the non-gospel writers of the New Testament referred to Jesus of Nazareth. Over the next several days I hope to post parts of that paper. Hopefully, this will be a useful tool for people as they engage in sharing the gospel with non-believers who have serious questions about Jesus of Nazareth. Below you will find the introduction:
Introduction
In today’s culture most people are fairly open to talking about Jesus. In fact if you asked a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Materialist, Jehovah’s Witness or any person on the street about Jesus they would probably have an opinion about who He was and what He taught. Most of them would say that he was an inspired teacher, a prophet from God, or a pious Jew. While most of the things that would be shared about the person of Jesus would probably have an element of truth in them, it is highly unlikely that the most significant thing about Him would be mentioned, namely His deity. What has happened is that Jesus Christ has been domesticated to fit into our “enlightened” understanding of reality. However, the New Testament itself will not allow for this domestication to take place. Throughout the New Testament it is clear that not only is Jesus Christ fully man, but he is also fully God. This is one of the most astonishing claims that the New Testament makes; that Jesus of Nazareth is in fact God. He is not merely a holy and devout Jew, a prophet who speaks for God, or a miracle worker. Jesus of Nazareth is God. The goal of this paper is to provide a biblical foundation for understanding Christ as God. In order to arrive at this goal several key (and sometimes controversial) texts from the New Testament will be examined. The texts that will be examined come from the writings of Paul, Peter, James, the author Hebrews, and John.

Quote of the Day...

"My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour." --John Newton


This quote was spoken by John Newton at 82 years of age.

May we all love these two twin gospel truths and the great Savior they point to for all the days of our lives.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Modern Parallels to footwashing....

In John 13 we have the amazing account of Jesus washing His disciples feet. After He has washed their feet He told the disciples
in John 13:14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet." Most Evangelicals have concluded that this is not an ordinance that is to be regularly practiced. Instead they have along with D.A. Carson concluded that "the heart of Jesus' command is a humility and helpfulness toward brothers and sisters in Christ that may be cruelly parodied by a mere 'rite' of footwashing that easily masks an unbroken spirit and a haugty spirit." What is interesting is how does this really play out in our mega-church culture? Foot-washing is an extremely intimate, intentional, and humble act of service toward another. How can this be modeled in our communities of faith?

Quote of the Day

"I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man I've met." --D.L. Moody

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Quote of the Day

"A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions, and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar. The tragic results of this spirit are all about us. Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit; these and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul."--A.W. Tozer

The Will of God....

Does God have more than one will?

The Apostle Paul
Moses
Peter (as recorded by Luke)
Luke
Two Non-Biblical Writers Who Have Wrestled With This Mystery
Jonathan Edwards
John Piper

Quote of the Day

"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess"--Martin Luther

Getting Perspective...

As Americans it is extremely easy to forget about the pain and suffering that most of the world is experiencing. The following article was helpful for me to regain a more balanced perspective on the state of the world.

This is what Scripture Says...Thanks Be to God!

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


Matthew 28

Friday, April 6, 2007

Finding Jesus in the Scriptures...

As I was translating through the book of John recently I was reminded of a danger for myself and all bible-loving Evangelicals. In John 5:39-40 we read about Jesus's response to the religious leaders of his day regarding their "quiet time" and "study" practices. We are told that they were men who gave themselves entirely to the Word of God. In other words, they would have been regarded as top notch exegetes. However, in their passion to study the Scriptures they actually missed the main goal of all of Scripture. Listen again to Jesus's words and may they resound afresh in your souls:

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life."

The main goal of all of our exegesis and bible study is not to arrive at the author's intended meaning of the text (I realize that in some ways this is a false dichotomy for if we rightly understand the authors intended meaning that we will not stop at a surface level, but go on to feast on Jesus.) The main goal of exegesis and all bible study is to see Jesus Christ more clearly. To see Him standing forth as glorious and all satisfying. To see Him standing forth with open arms asking us to come to Him that we might have life. If our exegesis ends at a merely grammatical and historical level, than we have not rightly divided the word of truth and are in danger of these 1st century religious leaders error.

Theology, Sports and God-centeredness: Can they co-exist?

Welcome to my new blog. I am glad that you have decided to take a few minutes out of your day to visit this site. My hope is that this blog will be a means of encouraging you in your faith, sharpening your God-centered world view, and provide a place for interaction regarding theological issues.

Food for thought: I obviously already have some thoughts regarding the Co-existence of sports and a God-Centered view of reality. I would love to get some feedback from my readers on this particular question:

What theological truth does the play of the Phoenix Suns Point Guard (Steve Nash) most point to?