Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lift Up Thy Bleeding Hand

Lift Up Thy Bleeding Hand

1. When wounded sore, the stricken heart
Lies bleeding and unbound,
One only hand, a pierced hand,
Can salve the sinner’s wound.

2. When sorrow swells the laden breast,
And tears of anguish flow,
One only heart, a broken heart,
Can feel the sinner’s woe.

Chorus
Lift up Thy bleeding hand, O Lord,
Unseal that cleansing tide;
We have no shelter from our sin
But in Thy wounded side.

3. When penitential grief has wept
O’er some foul dark spot,
One only stream, a stream of blood,
Can wash away the blot.

4. ‘Tis Jesus’ blood that washes white,
His hand that brings relief,
His heart that’s touched with all our joys,
And feels for all our grief.

Chorus

©2005 The Velvet Eagle Sings (ASCAP)
admin. by The Loving Company.

ht: eucatastrophe

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Derek Thomas with D.A. Carson

ht: paleoevangelical

Snippet: Interview, Derek Thomas and DA Carson

DT: Why don't you like the terminology of "redeeming the culture"?

DC: Redemption terminology in the NT is so bound up with Christ's work for and in the church that to extend it to whatever good we do in the broader world risks a shift in focus. Not for a moment do I want to deny that we are to serve as salt and light, that exiles may be called to do good in the pagan cities where Providence has appointed them to live (Jer 29), that every square foot of this world is under Christ's universal reign (even though that reign is still being contested), that the nations of the world will bring their "goods" into the Jerusalem that comes down from above. But many of those who speak easily and fluently of redeeming the culture soon focus all their energy shaping fiscal and political policies and the like, and merely assume the gospel. A gospel that is merely assumed, that does no more than perk away in the background while the focus of our attention is on the "redemption" of the culture in which we find ourselves, is lost within a generation or two. At the same time, I worry about Christians who focus their attention so narrowly on getting people "saved" that they care little about doing good to all people, even if especially to the household of God. Getting this right is not easy, and inevitably priorities will shift a little in various parts of the world, under various regimes. Part of the complexity of the discussion, I think, is bound up with what the church as church is responsible for, and what Christians as Christians are responsible for: I have argued that failure to make this distinction tends to lead toward sad conclusions.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lewis Sperry Chafer on the Founding of DTS

MP3 Link

Interesting story: "And we came within a hairsbreadth of taking over the entire Wheaton property for the seminary..."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Machen: "Christianity and Culture"

Link to Machen in the Princeton Theological Review
Let her [the church] give up the scientific education of her ministry. Let her assume the truth of her message and learn simply how it may be applied in detail to modern industrial and social conditions. Let her give up the laborious study of Greek and Hebrew. Let her abandon the scientific study of history to the men of the world. In a day of increased scientific interest, let the Church go on becoming less scientific. In a day of increased specialization, of renewed interest in philology and in history, of more rigorous scientific method, let the Church go on abandoning her Bible to her enemies. They will study it scientifically, rest assured, if the Church does not. Let her substitute sociology altogether for Hebrew, practical expertness for the proof of her gospel. Let her shorten the preparation of her ministry, let her permit it to be interrupted yet more and more by premature practical activity. By doing so she will win a straggler here and there. But her winnings will be but temporary. The great current of modern culture will sooner or later engulf her puny eddy. God will save her somehow--out of the depths. But the labor of centuries will have been swept away.
...
And now the Church is shrinking from the conflict. Driven from the spiritual realm by the current of modern thought, she is consoling herself with things about which there is no dispute. If she favors better housing for the poor, she need fear no contradiction...they will not fight her with argument. The twentieth century, in theory, is agreed on social betterment. But sin, and death, and salvation, and life, and God--about these things there is debate.

Interesting Statements from Emergent Folks

LINK
Fourth, we respect the desire and responsibility of our critics to warn those under their care about ideas that they consider wrong or dangerous, and to keep clear boundaries to declare who is “in” and “out” of their circles. These boundary-keepers have an important role which we understand and respect. If one of your trusted spiritual leaders has criticized our work, we encourage you, in respect for their leadership, not to buy or read our work, but rather to ignore it and consider it unworthy of further consideration. We would only ask, if you accept our critics’ evaluation of our work, that in fairness you abstain from adding your critique to theirs unless you have actually read our books, heard us speak, and engaged with us in dialogue for yourself. Second-hand critique can easily become a kind of gossip that drifts from the truth and causes needless division.


Sixth, we would like to clarify, contrary to statements and inferences made by some, that yes, we truly believe there is such a thing as truth and truth matters – if we did not believe this, we would have no good reason to write or speak; no, we are not moral or epistemological relativists any more than anyone or any community is who takes hermeneutical positions – we believe that radical relativism is absurd and dangerous, as is arrogant absolutism;

Mark Dever on Alleviating Poverty

I've been meaning to post this for a while. This post is worth a read.

I found this sentence interesting:
The fact is, if we lead Christians to believe that they may preach the gospel just as much by alleviating poverty as by evangelism, many of them will choose the former because the world recognizes and values that kind of service, while it rejects and scorns the work of evangelism. In time, such a “public” gospel will inevitably lose its supernaturally awkward corners; it will be smoothed out and made acceptable to sinners all around.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Missions exists because worship doesn't"

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.

John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad, pg. 11

I hate hyperbole more than anything in the world. But this has got to be one of the best opening paragraphs I've ever read. I don't understand why so many people I know still don't understand what it is about John Piper's theological center that burns and resonates with so many in my generation. I don't want to be about kingdom building or slick marketing. I hate sales. What I'm passionate about is worship with God at the blazing center of all of life. If that doesn't keep me grounded and humble I don't know what will.

Wells on Hybels

David Wells on Hybels:
Willow Creek Community Church recently announced plans to abandon some key tenets of its seeker-sensitive strategy. What is the theological significance of this development?

None. Bill Hybels has, I believe, the very best of motives, but he and his church are sailing rudderless in our cultural waters. Or, to change the image, he is like a CEO who shows up at the shareholders' meeting with very poor bottom-line results. So, what does he do? Instead of carrying out a serious diagnosis of what has gone wrong, he simply rolls out a new business plan that, unfortunately, has many of the same inherent weaknesses in it. The bottom line outcome will be no different five years, or ten years from now, from what it is today.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Evangelical Manifesto

The recent Evangelical Manifesto
One who did not sign: Al Mohler
Review by Alan Jacobs of Wheaton

Interesting notes on fundamentalism:
Sixth, Evangelicalism should be distinguished from two opposite tendencies to which Protestantism has been prone: liberal revisionism and conservative fundamentalism. Called by Jesus to be “in the world, but not of it,” Christians, especially in modern society, have been pulled toward two extremes. Those more liberal have tended so to accommodate the world that they reflect the thinking and lifestyles of the day, to the point where they are unfaithful to Christ; whereas those more conservative have tended so to defy the world that they resist it in ways that also become unfaithful to Christ.
...
The fundamentalist tendency is more recent, and even closer to Evangelicalism, so much so that in the eyes of many, the two overlap. We celebrate those in the past for their worthy desire to be true to the fundamentals of faith, but Fundamentalism has become an overlay on the Christian faith and developed into an essentially modern reaction to the modern world. As a reaction to the modern world, it tends to romanticize the past, some now-lost moment in time, and to radicalize the present, with styles of reaction that are personally and publicly militant to the point where they are sub-Christian.
...
Christian Fundamentalism has its counterparts in many religions and even in secularism, and often becomes a social movement with a Christian identity but severely diminished Christian content and manner. Fundamentalism, for example, all too easily parts company with the Evangelical principle, as can Evangelicals themselves, when they fail to follow the great commandment that we love our neighbors as ourselves, let alone the radical demand of Jesus that his followers forgive without limit and love even their enemies.
...
Whereas fundamentalism was thoroughly world-denying and politically disengaged from its outset, names such as John Jay, John Witherspoon, John Woolman, and Frances Willard in America and William Wilberforce and Lord Shaftesbury in England are a reminder of a different tradition. Evangelicals have made a shining contribution to politics in general, to many of the greatest moral and social reforms in history, such as the abolition of slavery and woman’s suffrage, and even to notions crucial in political discussion today, for example, the vital but little known Evangelical contribution to the rise of the voluntary association and, through that, to the understanding of such key notions as civil society and social capital.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"It's Never Too Late to Keep Asking"

From John Piper:
One of the greatest hope-killers is that you have tried for so long to change and have not succeeded. Now you look back and think: What's the use? Even if I could experience a breakthrough, there would be so little time left to live in my new way it wouldn't make much difference compared to so many decades of failure.

That's not true. Suppose you only had five years left to live with a new victory over some old way. Or suppose you only had a year, or a month, or an hour? Would it matter?

At this point stir the thief on the cross into your thinking. At first he was railing at Jesus (Matthew 27:44). Then he was broken by what he saw and repented and cried out for mercy: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Luke 23:42). Jesus received this faith-filled cry and promised, "Today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43).

Then the former robber lived for another hour or so before he died. He was changed. He lived on the cross as a new man with new attitudes and actions (no more reviling). But 99.99% of his life was wasted. Did the last couple hours of newness matter?

They mattered infinitely. This former robber, like all of us, will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of his life. "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil" (2Corinthians 5:10). How will his life witness in that day to his new birth and his union with Christ?

The last hours will tell the story. This man was new. His faith was real. He is truly united to Christ. Christ's righteousness is his. His sins are forgiven. That is what the final hours will proclaim at the last judgment. His change mattered. It was, and it will be, a beautiful testimony to the power of God's grace and the reality of his faith and his union with Christ.

Now back to our struggle with change. I am not saying that struggling believers are unsaved like the robber was. I am simply saying: the last years and the last hours of life matter.

If in the last 1% of our lives we can get a victory over some longstanding sinful habit or hurtful defect in our personality, it will be a beautiful testimony now to the power of grace; and it will be an added witness (not the only one) at the last judgment of our faith in Christ and our union with him.

Take heart, struggler. Keeping asking, seeking, knocking. Keep looking to Christ. If God gets glory by saving robbers in the 11th hour, he surely has his purposes why he has waited till now to give you the breakthrough you have sought for decades.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Machen's Response to Wilhelm Herrmann

The first time that I heard Herrmann may almost be described as an epoch in my life. Such an overpowering personality I think I almost never before encountered—overpowering in the sincerity of religious devotion ...

My chief feeling with reference to him is already one of the deepest reverence ... I have been thrown all into confusion by what he says —so much deeper is his devotion to Christ than anything I have known in myself during the past few years ... Herrmann affirms very little of that which I have been accustomed to regard as essential to Christianity; yet there is no doubt in my mind but that he is a Christian, and a Christian of a peculiarly earnest type. He is a Christian not because he follows Christ as a moral teacher; but because his trust in Christ is (practically, if anything even more truly than theoretically) unbounded ...

Herrmann represents the dominant Ritschlian school ... Herrmann has shown me something of the religious power which lies back of this great movement, which is now making a fight even for the control of the Northern Presbyterian Church in America. In New England those who do not believe in the bodily Resurrection of Jesus are, generally speaking, religiously dead; in Germany, Herrmann has taught me that is by no means the case. He believes that Jesus is the one thing in all the world that inspires absolute confidence, and an absolute, joyful subjection; that through Jesus we come into communion with the living God and are made free from the world. It is the faith that is a real experience, a real revelation of God that saves us, not the faith that consists in accepting as true a lot of dogmas on the basis merely of what others have said ... Das Verkehr des Christen mit Gott is one of the greatest religious books I ever read. Perhaps Herrmann does not give the whole truth—I certainly hope he does not—at any rate he has gotten hold of something that has been sadly neglected in the church and in the orthodox theology. Perhaps he is something like the devout mystics of the middle ages—they were one-sided enough, but they raised a mighty protest against the coldness and deadness of the church and were forerunners of the Reformation (see note 15).


John Piper's Comment:
What Machen seemed to find in Herrmann was what he had apparently not found either in his home or at Princeton, namely, passion and joy and exuberant trust in Christ. At Princeton he had found solid learning and civil, formal, careful, aristocratic presentations of a fairly cool Christianity. He eventually came to see that the truth of the Princeton theology was a firmer ground for life and joy. But at this stage the spirit in which it came, compared to Herrmann's spirit, almost cost evangelicalism one of its greatest defenders. There is a great lesson here for teachers and preachers: that to hold young minds there should be both intellectual credibility and joyful, passionate zeal for Christ.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saturday, May 03, 2008

BeThinking.org


I've listened to a few of these. Seems to be a great resource.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wormwood on the Luciferian Laptop

I love that I'm posting this on my blog using my laptop.

LINK


Back to studying...

Crazy... Oshiyas

Joe Carter: "In Japan's, oshiyas or 'pushers' are employed to squeeze people onto the overcrowded subway and train cars."