Archive for July, 2009

Hate/Hatred

31 July 2009

Reading some people’s responses to what is going on in the Church of Scotland and how the Free Church is/will respond I was reminded that people use the work ‘hate’ differently today than years ago. If I had to define this word based on is common usage in culture and media this is the definition(s) I would come to:

1. I think you (what you do or believe) are wrong

2. I disagree with you

On another note, I enjoyed this brief article about organic food.

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Christ’s Action in Death

30 July 2009

The following answers are offered by Hugh Martin, the questions are mine:

Q – Was Christ active or passive in his death?
A – Active: There is more agency and power in Christ’s cross, than in all His work as Creator of the universe.

Q – What was he doing besides dying?
A – He has borne the wrath. He has broken the strong bond of the curse. He has made an end of sin. He has vanquished Satan. He has spoiled principalities and powers. He has torn the handwriting of indictment that was against His people, and nailed it to the cross.

Q – What did his priestly role consist of?
A – Making an offering to God.

Q – In what sense?
A – [The offering] propitiates God; it intercedes to God. It satisfies God’s justice; it pacifies God’s wrath; it secures God’s favour; it seals God’s covenant love; and gives effect to God’s eternal purpose and grace.

Your turn. Think of other views of the atonement (other than penal substitutionary atonement) and consider how proponents of that view might (or might not) answer these questions. As a sinner in need of God’s grace, I need a real sacrifice, a real substitution, and a priest who does not end his work upon death, but enters into its most glorious dispensation in and through death. I need one who acts, not one who is merely acted upon. Can anything else save or offer hope?

The Cross, A Worship Service?

29 July 2009

Various church traditions do service leading differently. Some have a minister of music leading the services. Some have chairmen leading the service. Some have the pastor leading the service. And I’m sure there are others ways in addition to these.

If you’ve listened to Sinclair Ferguson for any time you may have heard him talk about Christ as the service leader, the service conductor. In Hebrews 8.1-2 it says “we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.” The greek word for ‘minister’ is where the english word for liturgy comes from. So Christ is the great liturgist who leads his people in the praise and worship of God.

Recently reading some Hugh Martin, he applies this idea back into the death of Christ. Christ, in his sacrifice on the cross, was “conducting the glorious service at the unseen altar of God, and positively there offering up himself by his own intensely active will and deed.” I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of the cross as a worship service. A worship service to God, making an offering to God, and Christ is the service leader, the Priest, leading his people to God and inviting them into the presence of God, to follow him within the veil.

There are some pastors…

28 July 2009

that you should not listen to. There are some pastors that God stands against.

Jer. 23.16 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”

Jer. 23.30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. 31Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the LORD.’ 32Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.

I wonder how many there are? Oh, for grace to be faithful to God and his word.

Finally…

26 July 2009

someone in the church who is looking out for people like me. This is almost funny, except that these folks think things like this are the reason the church is in decline. The church’s rejection of God’s word and the gospel are why people can’t be bothered with church, not that their heads get too hot.

BBC says Grand Canyon carved by flood water

24 July 2009

Well, not exactly, but this wee clip is interesting. I wonder if anyone will connect the dots?

Interesting Abortion Statistic

24 July 2009

HERE is an article from The Christian Institute discussing a New York nurse who was forced/bullied to be a part of an abortion against her will (threatened with being fired). Among other things, I found this bit discussing abortion in the UK quite interesting.

In the UK the law protects doctors and nurses who conscientiously object to assisting with abortion.

Last May it emerged that three in four terminations of pregnancies at more than 17 weeks were being carried out in the private sector because NHS doctors were unwilling to perform them.

75% must be done privately because of conscientious objectors. As sad as the abortion situation is here, and around the world, I found this encouraging.

Christian songwriting

24 July 2009

Here is a wee tune our little Anna spontaneously sang for us. You’d think she’d attended some christian songwriting seminar that gave her the ‘key’ words to include in songs!

the Lord is great for the broken hearted so that I’m on top of the mountain

Garry William, Jonathan Edwards & Atonement (updated)

23 July 2009

If you’ve read the interview with Garry Williams then you’ll know that the atonement is a subject he has/is devoting his life and studies to. You’ll also know that Jonathan Edwards is the person he’d most like to meet from church history. Back in 2006 I had the opportunity to hear Garry at the Banner of Truth Minister’s conference in Leicester where he gave two addresses on Jonathan Edwards and the atonement. They aren’t the easiest to get your hands on, but are worth the effort (contact Rev Ian Densham, 19a Alexandra Road, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP2 5BS for these CDs). I remember being struck by the enormity of my sin, and then the enormity of Christ’s love. The precision of Edwards is helpful on this topic. I also remember closing the second session singing “O the deep, deep love of Jesus.” I don’t know your view of psalms/hymns, but that was the perfect hymn to close with.

One thing to add on the value of Garry’s two sessions. They are historical and theological, but with a very practical bent to them. He is pastoring pastors in these messages (as his others from the Banner conference this year). It is not merely head knowledge, but it has a very sharp point of application. These particular messages on Edwards will require your full and focused attention, but surely the gospel and the work of Christ deserve that.

Garry Williams Interview

22 July 2009

HERE is a fantastic and illuminating interview with Garry Williams, the new director of the John Owen Centre for Theological Studies. Take a few minutes to read it. It’s worth your time.

If you are in the London area (or willing to travel a bit) the Calvin Conference put on by JOCTS would be a great few days to sit under some fantastic teachers (and also to meet Garry).