Thursday, May 29, 2008

John Stott and Horatius Bonar on the Cross

For those readers who have commented and are waiting on my response to Elihu in the book of Job, I hope to address that question this weekend. Before I answer that question though I wanted to share the following quote that I came across. In John Stott's book The Cross of Christ he makes the following observation:

"Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance). Indeed, 'only the man who is prepared to own his share in the guilt of the cross...may claim his share in its grace.' Horatius Bonar (1808-89), who has been called the 'prince of Scottish hymn-writers', expressed it well:

'Twas I that shed the sacred blood;
I nailed him to the tree;
I crucified the Christ of God;
I joined the mockery.

Of all that shouting multitude
I feel that I am one;
And in that din of voices rude
I recognize my own.

Around the cross the throng I see,
Mocking the Sufferer's groan;
Yet still my voice it seems to be,
As if I mocked alone
John R. W. Stott The Cross of Christ (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1986), 59-60.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Elihu in the Book of Job

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of teaching a seminary class on the book of Job. One of the more interesting interpretative decisions that the reader has to make is what to do with Elihu. Do you remember Elihu? He is the young guy who offers Job advice near the end of the book. I have my own opinion regarding what function Elihu's character serves in the overall narrative, but before I reveal my point of view on Elihu, I would like to hear from you. So the question on the table is:

What Role Does Elihu Play in the Book of Job? Is he just regurgitating the previous arguments or is he a wise counselor who speaks an appropriate rebuke?

Leave your opinion in the comments section.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Interesting New Website

Thinking about taking a seminary class, but find yourself intimidated by all the theological jargon? Or perhaps your looking for a way to build your understanding of theological terminology, so you can better understand what certain books are saying? Damian M. Ramano has an interesting new site that might be helpful in this regards. He is high-lighting a different theological word each day and providing a brief definition. Click Here to visit the site.

The Church Fathers on Justification

"In his (God's) mercy he took upon himself our sins; he himself gave up his own Son as a ransom for us, the holy one for the lawless, the guiltless for the guilty, 'the just for the unjust,' the incorruptible for the corruptible, the immortal for the mortal. For what else but his righteousness could have covered our sins? In whom was it possible for us, the lawless and ungodly, to be justified except in the Son of God alone? O the sweet exchange, O the incomprehensible work of God, O the unexpected blessings, that the sinfulness of many should be hidden in one righteous man, while the righteousness of one should justify many sinners!" The Epistle to Diognetus 9:2-5
Taken from a recent translation by Michael W. Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek texts and English translations (Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 1999), 547.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

J.I. Packer on Christians and Doctrine

"Pelagianism is the natural heresy of zealous Christians who are not interested in theology." --J.I. Packer

Monday, May 19, 2008

How About Some Calvin To Start the Work Week?

"Man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God's majesty." --John Calvin
(HT: Monergism)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Great Tool for Reviewing All the Greek You Learned in Seminary

Wondering how to keep your Greek sharp after seminary?  Check out this link for a helpful resource.

Eagerly Desiring Christ's Return

I found this encouraging quote by J.C. Ryle this morning and thought I would pass it along:

“The true Scriptural source of consolation, in the face of all that troubles us, is to keep steadily before our eyes the second coming of Christ.

We must grasp and realize the blessed fact that the rightful King of the world is returning soon, and shall have His own again; that He shall put down that old usurper, the devil, and take away the curse from off the earth.

Let us cultivate the habit of daily looking forward to the resurrection of the dead, the gathering together of the saints, the restitution of all things, the banishment of sorrow and sin, and the re-establishment of a new kingdom, of which the rule shall be righteousness.”
(HT: Of First Importance)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pastoral Encouragement to Keep Praying for Change

John Piper offers the following encouragement to keep praying for change and spiritual breakthrough. (Click Here to read the whole thing):

"If in the last 1% of our lives we can get a victory over some longstanding sinful habit or hurtful defect in our personality, it will be a beautiful testimony now to the power of grace; and it will be an added witness (not the only one) at the last judgment of our faith in Christ and our union with him."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

NBA Playoffs

Once again I find myself failing to live up to actually posting on sports without external prompting. Nevertheless, thank you Mr. commenter for your request for a sports post. Here are my thoughts, along with the sports gal's (rip-off of Bill Simmons) on the playoffs and who will win each series: 

New Orleans vs San Antonio

N.O. leads the series 3-2 after blowing the Spurs out again.  Yet, I can't find it in myself to pick against the Spurs.  They are one of my least favorite teams, but they always seem to find a way to win. My pick Spurs in 7.  Sports Gal--San Antonio will play game six really hard at home and win, but the Hornets should come back and win game seven in New Orleans.

Los Angeles vs  Utah Jazz
Lakers in 7.  Kobe will probably have a steller performance in L.A. and then have to sit out game six with back spasms.  In the end Bryant, Gasol, and Odom will just prove to be too much. Sports Gal--Los Angeles in 6.  If Kobe is hurt then the Lakers don't stand a chance.  Kobe Bryant deserved the MVP and I hope they will win the Western Conference.

Cleveland vs Boston
If I would have picked this game before the series started I would have picked the Celtics in 4, but now that the series is underway I have to go with the CAVS in 7.  I think LBJ has figured out how to play against the tenacious C's defense and the supporting cast will continue to step it up. Sports Gal--For all the hype that Boston has they are not performing very well in the playoffs.  No team that loses their first six playoff games on the road is really the best team in the NBA.  Yet, the Cavs don't seem like the best road team either.  In light of this, Celtics in 7.  

Spurs vs Pistons
Pistons in 5.  My oh my, how I hope this is not the NBA Finals match-up, but I think it probably will be.  If the Spurs can pull off two in a row vs N.O. look for them to beat the Lakers in 6 and then lose to the Pistons in 5.  The Pistons quitely cruised to being one of the premier teams this year and will finally get over the hump of winning a championship with out Larry Brown.  Look for Tashaun Prince to be the surprise MVP of the finals.  Sports Gal-Lakers vs Celtics--Celtics in 7.  The Celtics win the Finals with only one victory on the road during the playoffs (a victory over Detroit in the Eastern Conference Finals).

Monday, May 12, 2008

An Encouragement to Seek God

One barometer for gauging our relationship with God is how grieved we feel over our sin. The following quote that I came across today offers some helpful encouragement for what to do when we don't sense the magnitude of our sin:

"If we don't feel grieved for our sin, and deeply unworthy of God's goodness, then we need to pray earnestly that God would show us himself -- that he would cease to be a mere doctrine that we hear with our ear, and instead would become an awesome, infinitely holy, dreadful and wonderful Sovereign that we taste and see with our hearts." --John Piper, Sermon on Job: Reversal in Suffering, August 4, 1985.

Friday, May 9, 2008

J.I. Packer on Preaching

"The preachers’ commission is to declare the whole counsel of God; but the cross is the centre of that counsel, and the Puritans knew that the traveller through the Bible landscape misses his way as soon as he loses sight of the hill called Calvary."--J.I. Packer,A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 1990), 286.
(HT: C.J. Mahaney)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Goal of Preaching

One of the most helpful and encouraging books that I have read on preaching is Preaching and Preachers by Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Click Here for more information). While the following quote is a bit longer than the other preaching quotes I have recently posted, it is well worth the 90 seconds it will take to read.

What is Preaching? Logic on fire! Eloquent reason! Are these contradictions? Of course they are not. Reason concerning this Truth ought to be mightily eloquent, as you see it in the case of the Apostle Paul and others. It is theology on fire. And a theology which does not take fire, I maintain, is a defective theology; or at least the man's understanding of it is defective. Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. . . A man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one.

What is the chief end of preaching
? . . . To give men and women a sense of God and His presence. . . . I can forgive a man for a bad sermon, I can forgive the preacher almost anything if he gives me a sense of God, if he gives me something for my soul, if he gives me the sense that, though he is inadequate himself, he is handling something which is very great and very glorious, if he gives me some dim glimpse of the majesty and the glory of God, the love of Christ my Saviour, and the magnificence of the Gospel. If he does that I am his debtor, and I am profoundly grateful to him. Preaching is the most amazing, and the most thrilling activity that one can ever be engaged in, because of all that it holds out for all of us in the present, and because of the glorious endless possibilities in an eternal future.

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1972) ,97-98.

(HT: Coty Pinckney)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

George Whitefield on Preaching

"Would ministers preach for eternity! They would then act the part of true Christian orators, and not only calmly and cooly inform the understanding, but, by persuasive, pathetic address, endeavour to move the affections and warm the heart."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Don't Waste Your Pulpit

Over the past several weeks, a good friend of mine and I have been discussing the state of the pulpit in the church in America. The following four minute clip addresses this issue head on:

(HT: Irish Calvinist via Between Two Worlds: Don't Waste Your Pulpit)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Make the Most of Every Opportunity

Click here to read an encouraging story about how Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow is seeking to use his platform for the sake of the gospel.

Why Expositional Preaching is Particularly Glorifying to God

If you ever have the opportunity to preach then let me encourage you to listen to this message.  It is rare that I would label something as a "must listen," but this is definitely a "must listen." Click here to download the audio for free.

Are Miracles of Physical Healing Still Taking Place?

Adrian Warnock recently posted on his blog testimonies of how three women recently were physically healed by God.  May God continue to glorify His Name through these in-breakings of the kingdom of God. Click Here to read the testimonies.

Great Book Deal!

The Story of Christianity by Justo L. Gonzalez is on sale for $12.99 (76% off retail price of $55) at the following website.  For those of you who are not familiar with this book it is a good historical overview of Christianity.  Gonzalez writes in a very easy to read and engaging style. If you are wanting to get a good grasp of Church history then this is a great place to start.