Sunday, August 30, 2015

Trying Very Hard to Be Good

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.” -- C.S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity

Saturday, August 29, 2015

It's About Knowing Christ

True Christianity is focused on knowing Christ, not merely knowing theology or doing ministry or serving a cause for lesser motives related to our own identity, significance or affirmation. All those indeed come to a faithful follower of Jesus, but they are secondary, in authentic Christianity, to seeking to truly know Christ himself. --  (Phil. 3:7-10)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Only Two Basic Loves

"There can be only two basic loves. The love of God unto the forgetfulness of self. And the love of self unto the forgetfulness and denial of God."


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Prophet's Certainty of God

“There is not one of [the Old Testament prophets] who did not receive this new certainty of God in such a way that the whole previous pattern of his life, the thoughts and plans by which he had till now regulated his relationship to the world, was not smashed, and replaced by a mighty divine imperative obliging him to undertake something which hitherto he had not even considered as a possibility.”

-- Walther Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (Philadelphia, 1961), I:345.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Ruler of a Whole New Order of Life

“The connection between ‘the good news’ and the kingdom of God is obscured for Christians by the use of the Greek word ‘Christ’ for Messiah throughout our translations of the New Testament. Every time we come across the phrase ‘Jesus Christ,’ instead of hearing ‘Jesus, the king who was promised to Israel,’ all we hear is ‘Jesus’ followed by a meaningless syllable. For most, probably, the phrase means, ‘Jesus, who saves me from my sins.’ This is certainly true, but it falls short of saying ‘Jesus, the ruler of a whole new order of life, who have delivered me so I can be part of it.”

-- Richard Lovelace, “Renewal as a Way of Life”

Saturday, August 22, 2015

When We Call Him 'Lord'

"...true discipleship is about dutifully and faithfully living out the lordship of Jesus Christ. Discipleship means ordering our lives according to his story, symbols, teaching, and authority. Evangelism is not about asking people to try Jesus the way they might try a new decaf moccacino latte from Starbucks. It is more like declaring the victory of the Lord Jesus over sin and death, warning of the judgment to be made by the Lord Jesus over all rebellion, and inviting people to find joy and satisfaction in the life and love that come from the Lord Jesus Christ...."

-- Michael Bird "Kyrios Christos: the Lordship of Jesus Christ Today"

Friday, August 21, 2015

Real world faith

“We cannot imagine any certainty that is not tinged with doubt, or any assurance that is not assailed by some anxiety.” – John Calvin

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Sense of the Divine

Calvin on the sensus divinitatis (or sense of the divine):

"There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity. This we take to beyond controversy. To prevent anyone from taking refuge in the pretense of ignorance, God himself has implanted in all men a certain understanding of his divine majesty . . . Therefore, since from the beginning of the world there has been no region, no city, in short, no household, that could do without religion, there lies in this a tacit confession of a sense of deity inscribed in the hearts of all."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Trial of Your Faith

"God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn't. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”

― C.S. Lewis

Monday, August 17, 2015

Nicer Than Jesus?

"There is a kind of evangelical Christianity (and Christian ministry) today, popular among many bloggers and Christian authors and artists (musicians), for example, that seems to think that if Christians would just chill out and not be so judgmental that non-Christians (what the Bible calls 'the world') would find Christianity much more palatable and plausible. What then, do we make of Jesus himself saying, during his own ministry: "The world... hates Me because I keep telling it that its ways are evil"? (John 7:7)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Help my unbelief

“A perfect faith is nowhere to be found, so it follows that all of us are partly unbelievers.”

― John Calvin

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Though you have not seen Him...

Imagine, then, how you would live, act, talk, text, spend your time, post to Facebook, process situations -- if Jesus was right there in the room with you….

….well, He is. Always. Or to say it another way, you live all your life, speak all your words, think all your thoughts and daydreams, and do all your deeds ‘in front of Him’ – in His presence.

This reality should be both sobering and encouraging. And I think it would be, if we really truly believed in Him like we profess....

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,...." 1 Peter 1:8

Friday, August 14, 2015

For Whom Is the Lord's Supper Instituted?

“For whom is the Lord’s Supper instituted?”

"For those who are truly sorrowful for their sins, and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ, and that their remaining infirmities are covered by his passion and death, and who also earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy...."

-- Heidelberg Catechism

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Citizens of the Kingdom

"Citizens of the kingdom are merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted, and reviled. You may have made a decision years ago that was not true salvation if it did not involve these things. Years later maybe you came back to the Lord broken over your sin. That's the moment it became real; that's the moment you entered the kingdom."

(John MacArthur, The Beatitudes 'The Only Way To Happiness', pg. 19)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Theology and Song

“Any theology that does not lead to song is, at a fundamental level, a flawed theology.” ― J.I. Packer

The Fight Is On

“Like it or not – and most of us definitely do not – you are in a battle. That being the case, you had better well decide you are going to fight the good fight.” (1 Cor. 9:25-26; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; 1 Tim. 1:18; 6:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:3; 4:7; 1 Pet. 2:11; 5:8; James 4:7) – Jon G. Baldwin

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Without holiness....

"If your religion does not make you holy, it will damn you. It is simply painted pageantry to go to hell in." -- Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What more can He say than to you He hath said?

I continue to be very sorry to see people emamored with books like "Jesus Calling" -- which (erroneously) claim to have words from Jesus, intended almost exclusively to soothe, when in fact we have an authentically inspired book containing all the words of Jesus that we need for comfort, encouragement, reproof, instruction, warning etc. Those helped by the other books are helped only insofar as the ideas/truths they include are in fact Biblical -- but we would be much wiser and much more God-honoring to stick to the words of the Lord that He has actually spoken and inspired.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What is our part?

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour (help, nourishment, prosperity) of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Monday, August 3, 2015


Credo:  I should live joyfully, courageously, prayerfully and purposefully before God everyday as his loved child (being renewed in his image) in the obedience of faith, faith [i.e., belief that engenders vital confidence] in his contrary-to-what-I-deserve love/grace/goodness towards me in Christ my Savior/Mediator (by his atoning cross and victorious resurrection), in accordance with his Gospel-centered, inscripturated Word, empowered by His gracious Spirit, trusting God’s loving fatherly Providence, and Christ’s tender high priestly ministry, that extends to every detail of my life and situation now, while also hoping in the perfect happiness and glory that he has promised me for eternity.

(Josh. 1:7ff.;  2 Tim. 1:7; 1 Jn. 3:1ff; Eph. 3:18ff.; Rom. 8:31ff.; Rom. 3:21ff.; 5:6ff.; 6:1-4ff.; 10:9ff.; Acts 2:36ff.; Matt. 28:18ff.; Gal. 5:16ff.; Eph.5:18ff,; Deut. 6:24; Rom. 8:28; Heb. 12:5ff.; 2 Cor. 4:16ff.; 1 Pet. 1:6f.; Rev. 21&22)