He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

Thursday, August 31, 2006 

LifeWay to Study Calvinism in SBC

Brad Waggoner, one of my favorite people in the world (former roomate [for only a few weeks!], missions partner, church member, and discipleship pastor of mine) launches LifeWay Research. The first initiative is to look into Calvinism in the SBC. Waggoner is a true servant and man of God.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 

Billy Graham Believes

Russ Moore comments on Grahams letter to the editor of Newsweek.

Friday, August 25, 2006 

Jesus Goes Old School

Jesus Himself affirms the usefulness, practicality, and relevancy of the Old Testament. When tempted in the wilderness, Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy 8:3, Deuteronomy 6:16, Deuteronomy 10:20, and or Deuteronomy 6:13 to resist Satan. This should be enough to send us scurrying to the promises of old for the words of life.

But, just in case that one snap shot isn't convincing, I ran across another quite convincing reason, based on the example of Christ, that we should become familiar with the Old Testament.

Luke 24:22-27 picks up on the Emmaus Road, where the resurrected Christ walks alongside of two men discussing the events of the crucifixion and the reports that the women had given saying that they saw angels and an empty tomb. Picking up in verse 22:

Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23) and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24) Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25) And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26) Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27) And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

This truly floored me. It's obvious, but I never paid much attention. Here is Jesus, resurrected, glorious as the conquerer of all sin and death, able to appear and disappear, walk through walls, able to do anything to convince that He was indeed the Messiah, their hope, and encourage and strengthen their faith. Yet, what does He say? After a sharp and loving rebuke, in verse 25 it says he appealed to their ignorance of the prophets. You know, those old guys, Jeremiah, Hosea, Ezekiel, Amos, and the like. He says, "those guys spoke all about me, you still don't believe as you should - you are foolish for missing it!" Then, still as amazing, He doesn't perform a miracle, in fact, they don't even recognize Him as Jesus or anything special, but in verse 27, He goes all the way back to Moses and continues with all the other prophets and interprets the Scriptures in all things concerning Himself. If the resurrected Jesus, of all the tools and miracles and methods He could have used with these two men, undoubtably some of the first to come into contact with the Messiah, uses the Old Testament from Moses to all the prophets to encourage and convince of His true identity - and not only that, but rebukes Satan as well from the Pentateuch, perhaps, just maybe, it wouldn't hurt for us to begin to dig into and pray for understanding and enlightenment of the Old Testament.

Not only that, but if we can effectively preach Christ from the Old Testament, what does that say about the power available in the New Testament, which provides further and final (for now) revelation of our Savior?

So, how did the story of the two on the Emmaus Road end? What was their response to the ancient texts that Jesus explained to them concerning Himself? Well, after opening their eyes to His identity and vanishing they say in verse 32, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ is available to us - so Lord, grant to us an understanding of Your Word, both Old and New Testaments, that we may open the Scriptures to others, so that by the power of Your Spirit others hearts would burn in repentance and faith in the Redeemer.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 

Tyler & Thom

Tyler Eiland quotes wise words from an old, dead dude that if he heeded his own words, is no doubt praising God in Heaven right now. The nature, importance, duties and qualifications of the pastor. By James Meikle, 1730-1799

Dr. Thom Rainer (or Uncle Thom to me), president of Lifeway Resources of the SBC, understands that the American church is a mess - yet he cautiously points out three signs of optimism

Sunday, August 20, 2006 

Hi. I'm Harmless.

This is a quote from Jim Elliot from the book about his life written by his wife, Shadow of the Almighty. My pastor closed his sermon with it today, & it pierced me. We should all pray that God's children would become more dangerous.

"We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the Twentieth Century does not reckon with. But we are "harmless," and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are "sideliners" -- coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!"

Friday, August 18, 2006 

Cain (So Long Eden)

Summer semester isn't over, Fall semester has begun, more than I can comprehend must be read & worked on, so here's my first post to hold me over until I have time to think...most haven't read this anyways - a meditation on parts of Genesis 3 & 4
First born from the womb, a son conceived in sin (4:1)

Grown up in the fields among the thistles, I toil and sweat like five men (3:17-18)

Cuz Mama ate the apple, and life would have been peaches (3:6, 2:9)

"Dad take me to your Eden!" - But he says its beyond our reaches (3:23, 2:4)

So I'm stuck here in this cursed ground, it's a pain just to eat (3:17)

And I'm not highly regarded - "What do you want Lord, meat?" (4:4-5)

I'm in thorns while Abe rolls in the grass, carelessly playing with the sheep (4:2)

Just take me back to Eden - my anger burns me deep (4:5)

"Anger? The venom of the serpent flows thickly through your veins (3:13)

Its desire is to take you, but you must not be enslaved" (4:7)

"Hey Abe come over here" - "Sure...what is it Cain?" (4:8)

"Ahhh, that feels better." A boy much like his father, a generation depraved (6:5)

"Cain, you did not listen to me, now where is your little brother?" (4:9)

"Lord, he's Your favorite - how would I know? Go and ask my mother (4:9b)

"Silence you liar, can't you hear the shrieking, are you not pierced by the sound? (4:10)

Dear Abe is crying out to me, his blood spilt by your hand, forever underground (4:10)

From now on you are a wanderer, a fugitive, you'll never work the earth" (4:12)

"YHWH! All I've had is this cursed ground, ever since my birth (4:14)

Take me back to Eden - there's no death there & we can talk face to Face

Did you expect me to be perfect? Have you ever heard of grace? (4:14)

Just take me back to Eden, extinguish the fiery sword (3:24)

If you leave me to run & wander, they're going to kill me Lord!" (4:14)

"Say so long to Eden, & the wicked shall not see My Face (4:16)

But your life on earth will be spared - 'I AM' - haven't you heard? - a God of grace" (4:15)

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