28 August 2008
In speaking of his calling, Guinness asserts that he is "between the church and the world."
Dever asks: "And would be a kind of academic who is not tied to a certain educational institution?"
Guinness: "No. I went ot Oxford to do a DPhil. And there I had a real sense that my calling was not academic. I call it the 'missing middle.' You've got magnificent scholarship in the church. There could be a lot more, but it's magnificent scholarship. And you've got lots of wonderful, faithful people in the church who will do whatever the Lord shows them to do. In many ways there is a missing middle: you could call it the intermediate level of knowledge. So my calling is to make sense of serious scholarship--make it intelligible, make it practicable, to people who don't get into that world. But I am not an academic scholar."
25 August 2008
There is love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner's cross
You broke my shame and sinfulness
You rose again victorious
Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm and through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me
You are stronger
You are stronger
Sin is broken
You have saved me
It is written
Christ is risen
Jesus you are Lord of all
No beginning and no end
You're my hope and my defense
You came to seek and save the lost
You paid it all upon the cross
19 August 2008
18 August 2008
[H]e who is tired of doctrine is tired of life, for doctrine is the stuff of life. Christian doctrine is necessary for human flourishing: only doctrine shows us who we are, why we are here, and what we are to do. The stereotype of doctrine as dry and crusty cuts a flimsy caricature next to the real thing, which is brave and bracing. Doctrine deals with energies and events that are as real and powerful as anything known in chemistry or physics, energies and events that can turn the world we know upside down, energies and events into which we are grafted as participants with speaking and acting parts.
--The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology, xiii.
15 August 2008
14 August 2008
The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online 2.0 (WJE Online 2.0) is getting ready for the Registered User’s Beta phase. We invite you to participate in a month-long testing of our new release: a fully searchable digital interface through which anyone can explore Edwards' written thoughts.
I have been married to my best friend for seven years. So had this dear sister.
Sobering, heart-wrenching, encouraging, longing-igniting, idol-smashing. Thank you for helping me.
I am currently working on a doctorate in biblical studies.
A PhD does not address this.
13 August 2008
Zack has recently left the seminary context to return to the pastorate: he'll be leading an EPC church in St. Louis: Riverside Church.
God be with you, Zack. I love you.
What is happiness and unhappiness? It depends so little on the circumstances; it depends really only on that which happens inside a person.
--Letters and Papers from Prison, 3d ed. (1971), p. 419
One indicator of Schafer's love for Edwards and helpfulness to the rest of us: many of JE's manuscripts were undated, particularly pre-1733 sermons. Schafer took it upon himself to meticulously examine the water marks, handwriting, and paper quality of the manuscripts to diagnose their date.
12 August 2008
--Alexander Solzhenitsyn, quoted in C. Plantinga, Engaging God's World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living, 49
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
--The Apostle Paul, Romans 6
In Christ, we have not only been given a chance to destroy the evil part of our heart; our whole selves have been slaughtered and remade. We are statues, as Lewis described, in need not of a bit of sculpting here and a bit of fresh paint there, but of coming to life.
[A]n essential feature of grace in Paul's theology is its inherent subversiveness, its tendency to call into question the normal methods of reward or the expected channels of delivery. This is mirrored in (and no doubt partly based upon) his own life-story. There was none more successfully advancing in Judaism, fulfilling the traditions of the ancestors and excelling in zeal for the law and righteousness, as defined by that law (Gal 1.13-14; Phil 3.6). But his encounter with the grace of God was emphatically not another stage in that advance, a further refinement to the righteousness he found in the law, but a total re-evaluation of all his norms, an act of God which undercut what he had previously held to be the definition of piety. This is nothing less than an experience of death, a co-crucifixion with Christ. . . . Crucified in baptism, believers live only inasmuch as they share the risen life of Christ; 'under grace,' they can now identify the crucial weakness of the law which was fatally exploited by sin. The depth of despair about the self here is matched by the shocking exposure of the inadequacy of the law; the power of the flesh can only be countered by the power of something newly present on the scene, the Spirit of Christ.
--"By the Grace of God I am What I Am": Grace and Agency in Philo and Paul," in Divine and Human Agency in Paul and His Cultural Context (eds. Barclay and Gathercole; T&T Clark, 2006), p. 150
11 August 2008
10 August 2008
Anyway, in the third lecture Carson expounds Rom 3:21-31. Along the way he responds to the common sentiment—it is rarely asserted outright, but you often get the sense this is how people understand the Bible—that the God of the New Testament is a kinder, gentler God than that of the Old Testament. After all, the God of the OT commands his people to slaughter whole people groups.
Dr. Carson responds in a way I had never considered. He says that he would argue that yes, the love of God is certainly “ratcheted up” in the NT. But the wrath of God, too, is ratcheted up. God’s grace and his wrath both blossom into full flower under the new covenant. Jesus himself, after all, spoke more of hell than anyone. And Rev 14 is frightful in its depiction of people being cast into the winepress of God’s wrath.
If this is so, then why does the OT seem so barbaric to so many of us, especially compared to the NT? Here Carson made a fascinating observation. He said he believes that the reason people have more of a problem with the wrath of God in the OT than in the NT is because we don’t really believe in hell. We are far more fearful of war, pestilence, and the plague than we are of hell. As a result, the OT seems more frightening. In fact, says Carson, the horrors of the OT are only a foretaste of the true horrors of hell.
Clarifying, sobering, emboldening.
08 August 2008
1) a new dissertation has been submitted that sounds fascinating--hopefully it will be published.
2) two new Piper messages on JE and revival were posted in recent weeks by Desiring God: Part 1 and Part 2; and here's a 1984 interview of Piper on JE done by Preaching Today that I had never discovered till today
07 August 2008
The efforts of Jesus' accusers, far from keeping them pure, were not only sinful but also the very thing that led to the ultimate passover sacrifice, a passover that, tragically, did not avail for them - because they were not, by faith in this passover, made pure. It was their wrongheaded attempt to be pure that defiled them.
06 August 2008
05 August 2008
It is, then, I say, of that mutual communication in giving and receiving, after a most holy and spiritual manner, which is between God and the saints while they walk together in a covenant of peace, ratified in the blood of Jesus, of which we are to treat. And this we shall do, if God permit; in the meantime praying the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has, of the riches of his grace, recovered us from a state of enmity into a condition of communion and fellowship with himself, that both he that writes, and they that read the words of his mercy, may have such a taste of his sweetness and excellencies in that, as to be stirred up to a farther longing after the fulness of his salvation, and the eternal fruition of him in glory. (pp. 31-32)
Here's another quote that I read about 6 times when I came upon it.
04 August 2008
The doctrinal formation of the apostolic period remains a closed book if the ethical energy of the message of repentance, and the circumspectness of its didactic labor as it wrestled to arrive at sure knowledge, are considered to be in conflict or to be unconnected processes. The vigor with which evil was repudiated and the vigor with which the divine word was appropriated were mutually productive. (389)
02 August 2008
Luke says regarding the early church that it cherished great joy, and this joy finds expression everywhere in the epistles. Peter expects the church of Asia Minor to be a rejoicing group; John instructs his congregation with a view to completing their joy, and Paul is able to describe his ministry by claiming that he is the one who facilitates the community’s joy (Acts 2:46-47; 13:52; 20:24; 2 Cor. 1:24; 13:11; Rom. 15:13; Phil. 1:25; 4:4; 1 Pet. 1:8; 1 John 1:4). That the community consisted of those who exercised repentance and persevered in continual resistance against all evil did not inject into it a lugubrious mood, because it did not transform repentance into a meditation over ethical wretchedness. Liberation from evil remained what it was in Jesus’ proclamation: a joyful work, for it was grounded in the fact that God’s grace is given to man. (399)