Tuesday, June 29, 2010
We must not be so used to the high level of conference music and teaching that we hold everything to the standard of RESOLVED. Don't compare your music group at home to ENFIELD. Don't compare your shepherd and faithful Bible teacher to MacArthur, Mohler, Lawson, Holland, or Mahaney. This is a special gift that God (graciously!) gives to believers once in a while to enjoy for spiritual rejuvenation. But let your spiritual affections and heart-warming love be toward your shepherd in your own local church in which you faithfully serve.
Praise the LORD for a conference that so faithfully proclaimed the good message of salvation alone in Jesus Christ through various means--conversation, music, preaching, application, fellowship, and prayer. God is good. Soli Deo Gloria.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
We do not cause the new birth. God causes the new birth. Any spiritually good thing that we do is a result of the new birth, not a cause of the new birth. This means that the new birth is taken out of our hands. It is not in our control. And so it confronts us with our helplessness and our absolute dependence on Someone outside ourselves. (Finally Alive, pg. 27)
The painful things that come into our lives are not described by God as accidental or as out of his control. This would be no comfort. That God cannot stop a germ or a car or a bullet or a demon is not good news; it is not the news of the Bible. God can. And ten thousand times he does. But when he doesn’t, he has his reasons. And in Christ Jesus they are all loving. We are taught this sovereignty so that we will drink it in till it saturates our bones. (A Sweet and Bitter Providence, pgs. 136-37)
Job 12:9-10 That the hand of the LORD has done this, 10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?
But then note how Job continues in his discourse. The sovereign character of God exudes forth from the following excerpt:
13 "With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.
14 "Behold, He tears down, and it cannot be rebuilt; He imprisons a man, and there can be no release.
15 "Behold, He restrains the waters, and they dry up; And He sends them out, and they inundate the earth.
16 "With Him are strength and sound wisdom, The misled and the misleader belong to Him.
17 "He makes counselors walk barefoot And makes fools of judges.
18 "He loosens the bond of kings And binds their loins with a girdle.
19 "He makes priests walk barefoot And overthrows the secure ones.
20 "He deprives the trusted ones of speech And takes away the discernment of the elders.
21 "He pours contempt on nobles And loosens the belt of the strong.
22 "He reveals mysteries from the darkness And brings the deep darkness into light.
23 "He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then leads them away.
24 "He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth's people And makes them wander in a pathless waste.
25 "They grope in darkness with no light, And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.
Do you have this perspective that God is all-powerful and able to do all these things? And if God is able to do all these things then He certainly must have a fitting reason why he allows trials in our lives (cf. James 1:2ff; Rom 5:3-5).
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The interaction with the guys is so great in this program. I appreciate the feedback. I appreciate their knowledge. I love their perspectives and viewpoints. They challenge me and make me think about my views.
After my presentation this morning I met 1-on-1 with my professor for feedback and constructive critiquing. Not only is it helpful to get a critique after a 2-hour presentation for a PhD course but we need this kind of feedback and (helpful) criticism in our Christian lives. Really. Isn't this what Paul says?
I Thessalonians 5:14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
The best way to help another brother or sister in his spiritual walk in Christ is not let them go stagnant and "uncritiqued" (to coin a new term!). Rather, the Christian brother should come alongside another brother and encourage, exhort, rebuke, critique, and accept that comment with a humble and teachable spirit.
Let us be those who receive critique with a gentle spirit acknowledging that we all need to grow in our Christian walks. And, on the flip side, let us be those Christians who come alongside of others and give them constructive critique and encouragements so that they can benefit and grow.
Monday, June 21, 2010
For my in-class presentation for PH11 (Interdisciplinary seminar), follow with me as I walk through the following five examples of how the NT uses the OT. Let's see if/how the author quotes from the OT and if he respects the OT original context.
1. Matthew 8:17 --> Isaiah 53:4
17 ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος,
Αὐτὸς τὰς ἀσθενείας ἡμῶν ἔλαβεν
καὶ τὰς νόσους ἐβάστασεν.
Isaiah 53:4 (MT):
אָכֵ֤ן חֳלָיֵ֙נוּ֙ ה֣וּא נָשָׂ֔א וּמַכְאֹבֵ֖ינוּ סְבָלָ֑ם
Isaiah 53:4 (LXX):
οὗτος τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν φέρει καὶ περὶ ἡμῶν ὀδυνᾶται
2. Acts 15:16-17 --> Amos 9:11-12
Acts 15:16-17 (NT):
15 καὶ τούτῳ συμφωνοῦσιν οἱ λόγοι τῶν προφητῶν καθὼς γέγραπται,
16 Μετὰ ταῦτα ἀναστρέψω
καὶ ἀνοικοδομήσω τὴν σκηνὴν Δαυὶδ τὴν πεπτωκυῖαν
καὶ τὰ κατεσκαμμένα αὐτῆς ἀνοικοδομήσω
καὶ ἀνορθώσω αὐτήν,
17 ὅπως ἂν ἐκζητήσωσιν οἱ κατάλοιποι τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὸν κύριον
καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἐφ᾽ οὓς ἐπικέκληται τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐπ᾽ αὐτούς,
λέγει κύριος ποιῶν ταῦτα
Amos 9:11-12 (MT):
בַּיֹּ֣ום הַה֔וּא אָקִ֛ים אֶת־סֻכַּ֥ת דָּוִ֖יד הַנֹּפֶ֑לֶת וְגָדַרְתִּ֣י אֶת־פִּרְצֵיהֶ֗ן וַהֲרִֽסֹתָיו֙ אָקִ֔ים וּבְנִיתִ֖יהָ כִּימֵ֥י עֹולָֽם׃
12 לְמַ֨עַן יִֽירְשׁ֜וּ אֶת־שְׁאֵרִ֤ית אֱדֹום֙ וְכָל־הַגֹּויִ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־נִקְרָ֥א שְׁמִ֖י עֲלֵיהֶ֑ם נְאֻם־יְהוָ֖ה עֹ֥שֶׂה זֹּֽאת׃
Amos 9:11-12 (LXX):
11 ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἀναστήσω τὴν σκηνὴν Δαυιδ τὴν πεπτωκυῖαν καὶ ἀνοικοδομήσω τὰ πεπτωκότα αὐτῆς καὶ τὰ κατεσκαμμένα αὐτῆς ἀναστήσω καὶ ἀνοικοδομήσω αὐτὴν καθὼς αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ αἰῶνος, 12 ὅπως ἐκζητήσωσιν οἱ κατάλοιποι τῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, ἐφ̓ οὓς ἐπικέκληται τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐπ̓ αὐτούς, λέγει κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ ποιῶν ταῦτα.
3. Ephesians 4:8 --> Psalm 68:18
Eph 4:8 (NT):
8 διὸ λέγει,
Ἀναβὰς εἰς ὕψος ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν,
ἔδωκεν δόματα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις.
Psalm 68:19 (MT):
עָ֘לִ֤יתָ לַמָּרֹ֨ום׀ שָׁ֘בִ֤יתָ שֶּׁ֗בִי לָקַ֣חְתָּ מַ֭תָּנֹות בָּאָדָ֑ם
Psalm 68:18 (LXX):
ἀνέβης εἰς ὕψος, ᾐχμαλώτευσας αἰχμαλωσίαν, ἔλαβες δόματα ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ
4. 1 Peter 2:9 --> Isaiah 43:20; 61:6; Exodus 19:6 (Deut 7:6); Exodus 19:5
1 Peter 2:9 (NT):
9 Ὑμεῖς δὲ γένος ἐκλεκτόν, βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα, ἔθνος ἅγιον, λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν, ὅπως τὰς ἀρετὰς ἐξαγγείλητε τοῦ ἐκ σκότους ὑμᾶς καλέσαντος εἰς τὸ θαυμαστὸν αὐτοῦ φῶς•
Isaiah 43:20 (MT):
תְּכַבְּדֵ֙נִי֙ חַיַּ֣ת הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה תַּנִּ֖ים וּבְנֹ֣ות יַֽעֲנָ֑ה כִּֽי־נָתַ֨תִּי בַמִּדְבָּ֜ר מַ֗יִם נְהָרֹות֙ בִּֽישִׁימֹ֔ן לְהַשְׁקֹ֖ות עַמִּ֥י בְחִירִֽי׃
Isaiah 43:20 (LXX):
20 εὐλογήσει με τὰ θηρία τοῦ ἀγροῦ, σειρῆνες καὶ θυγατέρες στρουθῶν, ὅτι ἔδωκα ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ὕδωρ καὶ ποταμοὺς ἐν τῇ ἀνύδρῳ ποτίσαι τὸ γένος μου τὸ ἐκλεκτόν,
Isaiah 61:6 (MT):
וְאַתֶּ֗ם כֹּהֲנֵ֤י יְהוָה֙ תִּקָּרֵ֔אוּ מְשָׁרְתֵ֣י אֱלֹהֵ֔ינוּ יֵאָמֵ֖ר לָכֶ֑ם חֵ֤יל גֹּויִם֙ תֹּאכֵ֔לוּ וּבִכְבֹודָ֖ם תִּתְיַמָּֽרוּ׃
Isaiah 61:6 (LXX):
6 ὑμεῖς δὲ ἱερεῖς κυρίου κληθήσεσθε, λειτουργοὶ θεοῦ, ἰσχὺν ἐθνῶν κατέδεσθε καὶ ἐν τῷ πλούτῳ αὐτῶν θαυμασθήσεσθε.
Exodus 19:6 (MT):
וְאַתֶּ֧ם תִּהְיוּ־לִ֛י מַמְלֶ֥כֶת כֹּהֲנִ֖ים וְגֹ֣וי קָדֹ֑ושׁ אֵ֚לֶּה הַדְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר תְּדַבֵּ֖ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
Exodus 19:6 (LXX):
6 ὑμεῖς δὲ ἔσεσθέ μοι βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα καὶ ἔθνος ἅγιον. ταῦτα τὰ ῥήματα ἐρεῖς τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ
Deut 7:6 (MT):
כִּ֣י עַ֤ם קָדֹושׁ֙ אַתָּ֔ה לַיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּךָ֞ בָּחַ֣ר׀ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ לִהְיֹ֥ות לֹו֙ לְעַ֣ם סְגֻלָּ֔ה מִכֹּל֙ הָֽעַמִּ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הָאֲדָמָֽה׃ ס
Deut 7:6 (LXX):
6 ὅτι λαὸς ἅγιος εἶ κυρίῳ τῷ θεῷ σου, καὶ σὲ προείλατο κύριος ὁ θεός σου εἶναί σε αὐτῷ λαὸν περιούσιον παρὰ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, ὅσα ἐπὶ προσώπου τῆς γῆς.
Exodus 19:5 (MT):
וְעַתָּ֗ה אִם־שָׁמֹ֤ועַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ בְּקֹלִ֔י וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֖ם אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֑י וִהְיִ֨יתֶם לִ֤י סְגֻלָּה֙ מִכָּל־הָ֣עַמִּ֔ים כִּי־לִ֖י כָּל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
Exodus 19:5 (LXX):
5 καὶ νῦν ἐὰν ἀκοῇ ἀκούσητε τῆς ἐμῆς φωνῆς καὶ φυλάξητε τὴν διαθήκην μου, ἔσεσθέ μοι λαὸς περιούσιος ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν, ἐμὴ γάρ ἐστιν πᾶσα ἡ γῆ,
5. Revelation 19:3 --> Isaiah 34:10
Revelation 19:3 (NT):
3 καὶ δεύτερον εἴρηκαν,
καὶ ὁ καπνὸς αὐτῆς ἀναβαίνει εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.
Isaiah 34:10 (MT):
לַ֤יְלָה וְיֹומָם֙ לֹ֣א תִכְבֶּ֔ה לְעֹולָ֖ם יַעֲלֶ֣ה עֲשָׁנָ֑הּ מִדֹּ֤ור לָדֹור֙ תֶּחֱרָ֔ב לְנֵ֣צַח נְצָחִ֔ים אֵ֥ין עֹבֵ֖ר בָּֽהּ׃
Isaiah 34:10 (LXX):
10 νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας καὶ οὐ σβεσθήσεται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα χρόνον, καὶ ἀναβήσεται ὁ καπνὸς αὐτῆς ἄνω, εἰς γενεὰς ἐρημωθήσεται καὶ εἰς χρόνον πολύν.
Today is Tyson's funeral service and though the last few days have demanded that I spend many hours on USAirways it is all worth it.
The greatest joy about this situation is that Tyson is now in heaven because He has believed in the only way of salvation, namely, Jesus Christ and His sacrificial and substitutionary death on the cross for his sins.
Moreover, it serves as a fitting reminder that my life is short. Tyson was 28 years old. I'm 27. What a sobering—yet needed!—reminder that God is totally sovereign over life and death, over heaven and hell, over the elect and over the non-elect, and over heaven and earth. For this, I praise God reverently and joyfully.
Life is short. Heaven is long. Life is short. Hell is long. Reader, have you confessed your sins, fallen at the mercy of the Almighty God and begged Him for forgiveness and have you put your saving faith and all your trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ who died on the cross for sinners? If not, do so today. You may not have a tomorrow.
This song by ENFIELD provides a fitting reminder that for believers in Jesus Christ who die the appropriate song to be proclaimed is: 'WE ARE FINALLY HOME.'
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
A New England school district has approved a measure that will provide free condoms to elementary school students and direct teachers not to comply with parental wishes to the contrary.
The policy, unanimously approved by the Provincetown School Committee does not include an age limit — meaning children of any age ask for — and receive — free condoms.
The committee also directed school leaders not to honor requests from any parent who might object to their child receiving condoms. In other words mommy and daddy — you don’t have a right to prevent your 7-year-old from getting a contraceptive device.
The policy does stipulate that kids must consult with a nurse or trained counselor before getting their sexual protection – and that upset some of the committee members, according to the Provincetown Banner.
“I can see some kids opting out because of the conversation. I’m not against [the policy]. I’m just trying to put myself in that teenager’s spot,” said committee member Carrie Notaro.
“I don’t like that students can’t be discreet about this,” committee member Shannon Patrick told the newspaper. “They have to go and ask for it. I’d rather them not have the conservation [with counselors] and have the condom than not have the condom.”
We as parents must be open, honest, and forthright with our children regarding sexuality and educate them in the very clear and specific principles of God's Word to guard them against sexual immorality. If you you think that elementary school is too early to discuss these matters with your kids, then they'll hear it from their friends, teachers, and the administration at their elementary school handing out free condemns to kids.
2 Timothy 2:22 — Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
Monday, June 14, 2010
What a fabulous testimony. It is overwhelmingly evident that this married couple (for 41+ years) enjoys marriage, enjoys the LORD, and enjoys each other! Watch and see!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
"Christians should know the truth and the whole truth; they should be able to detect error, and recognize the times in which they live; they should know the dangerous world that surrounds them and that ever seeks to poison their minds, debase their affections, neutralize their testimony, and paralyze their faith."
For this reason, then, Christian:
Jude 1:3, 20-21 — ". . . contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints . . . you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life."
Saturday, June 12, 2010
HT: Colin Adams
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Markan Priority is the view that many (=most) scholars hold that the gospel of Mark was composed first and that Matthew and Luke used Mark as their source material. The material that is NOT in Mark that is found in both Matthew and Luke can be found from a "hypothetical" source called "Q" (from German: Quelle [meaning "source"]). Essentially, this comes from a presupposition and an underlying assumption that the gospel writers could not have written their gospels independently from each other. The assumption is that because the synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are so similar in many respects that there had to be some inner-dependence between them. But, again, this is an assumption and, in my estimation, a assumption that is unpersuasive. I hold that all three synoptics (Matt, Mark, and Luke) were written independently of each other and that the Holy Spirit sovereignly guided each of their hands as they wrote. The overwhelming similarities between them just shows how powerful and precise the Holy Spirit's guidance is over the author's writing of Scripture.
Though I reject Markan priority for a host of reasons, I appreciate what Papias, an early 2nd century Christian wrote regarding the Gospel of Mark:
"Mark, having become the interpreter/translator of Peter, wrote down accurately, however, not in order, all that he recalled of what was either said or done by the Lord. For he had neither heard nor followed the Lord; but later (as I said) he followed Peter, who used to adapt his instructions to the needs (of the moment or of the audience), but not with a view of making an orderly account of the Lord's sayings (logia). Accordingly, Mark did no wrong in thus writing down some things as he recalled them, for he made it his aim to omit nothing he had heard and to state nothing therein falsely" (Raymond Brown, Introduction to the New Testament, 158).
Samuel Rutherford writes:
"I find crosses Christ's carved work that he marketh out for us, and that with crosses he figureth and portrayeth us to his own image, cutting away pieces of our ill and corruption. Lord cut, Lord carve, Lord wound, Lord do anything that may perfect thy Father's image in us, and make us meet for glory."
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Praise God for two good days of PhD classes already.
Merciful God, in whom is no darkness at all, we come before You at the end of this day. We thank You that You have given us strength for our daily work, and have guided us safely through this day. Bless what was good in our labour and conduct.
Since You ordained that man should labour during the day and rest at night, we pray You to give us peaceful and undisturbed rest so that we may be able to take up our daily task again. Command Your angels to guard us and cause Your face to shine upon us. We cast all our anxieties on You, for You take care of us.
Control our sleep and rule our hearts, in order that we may not be defiled in any way but may glorify You even in our nightly rest. Defend and protect us against all assaults of the devil and take us into Your divine protection.
We confess that we did not spend this day without grievously sinning against You. In Your mercy please cover our sins as You cover the earth in the darkness of the night.
Grant comfort and rest to all who are ill, bowed down with grief, or afflicted with spiritual distress. Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not abandon the works of Your hands.
All this we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
1. Do I have a love for God's Word?
2. Am I willing to make the study of it, and the application of it, my life's pursuit?
3. Will I cultivate intimacy with God through prayer?
4. Am I willing to part with all sins for His sake?
5. Will I obey His voice, no matter what He asks?
6. Do I know the Lord Jesus well?
7. How much of my Christian life is really centered on Him?
I looked that over again last night and this morning and prayed for God's abundant help (cf. Eph 3:20-21). Soli Deo Gloria.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us...The wonderful truth here is that God can "do far more abundantly beyond" (ὑπὲρ πάντα ποιῆσαι ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ) all we ask or even imagine.
There is not a problem in life that takes God by surprise;
There is not a hardship in life that is too hard for God to handle;
There is not a trial in life that is too troubling for God to transform into a growing opportunity;
There is not a furnace in life that is too hot for God to enter and carry us through till the end.
God can do more than what you can imagine. Christian, do you know this? Do you pray to God and trust in His sovereign ability to answer your prayers?
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Paul hits it right on:
For "THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU," just as it is written (Rom 2:24).
The ultimate problem in the world is that...
The glory of God is not honored,
The holiness of God is not reverenced,
The greatness of God is not admired,
The power of God is not praised,
The truth of God is not sought,
The wisdom of God is not esteemed,
The beauty of God is not treasured,
The goodness of God is not savored,
The faithfulness of God is not trusted,
The commandments of God are not obeyed,
The justice of God is not respected,
The wrath of God is not feared,
The grace of God is not cherished,
The presence of God is not prized,
The person of God is not loved.
That's the problem with the world that we live in.
From Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad, 2d ed, p.206.
לְכוּ־שִׁמְע֣וּ וַ֭אֲסַפְּרָה כָּל־יִרְאֵ֣י אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר עָשָׂ֣ה לְנַפְשִֽׁי׃
"Come! Hear! And let me recount for you all who fear God what He has done for my soul!"
Even the psalmist recognized that there is power in a story. How important it is for us to speak of the work that God has sovereignly wrought in our hearts. There is power in a changed life. There is power in a life transformed by God's grace from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Take advantage of God's work in your life and declare to others "what God has done for your soul!"
Also in the psalm, v.7 highlights three attributes of God that are worthy of mention:
מֹ֘שֵׁ֤ל בִּגְבוּרָתֹ֨ו׀ עֹולָ֗ם עֵ֭ינָיו בַּגֹּויִ֣ם תִּצְפֶּ֑ינָה הַסֹּורְרִ֓ים׀ אַל־יָר֖יּ֯מוּ לָ֣מֹו סֶֽלָה׃
"He rules with His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; And as for the rebellious let them not exalt themselves."
The three characteristics of God that we do well to remember often are:
1. God Sovereignly Reigns
2. God Scrutinizes Everyone
3. God Squashes Arrogance
These are two (of the many!) good lessons found in Psalm 66.