"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thankful on Thursday - The Transmission of Truth

I have come to recognize in my life a tendency to be cynical. I find that somewhat ironic given that I was generally a pretty happy child. Perhaps, as Solomon has noted, ". . . in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain." (Ecclesiastes 1:18 NASB) I'm not sure I can claim the wisdom part yet, but I definitely know more now than when I was younger. And lest I sound too cynical here, not all of that is bad, given that the Lord brought me to Himself in my 20's and has blessed me with wonderful teachers most of my Christian life.

Before I get too far off track here, let me quote Paul:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9 NASB)

Paul's exhortation to us is to focus on the good. So, I'm going to make a concerted effort to do that at least once a week here. This week, I want to acknowledge that I'm thankful for the transmission of truth (without getting bogged down into a rant about those who deny that truth is something that exists and/or can be known).

I have about a 40 minute drive twice a day going to and from work. I also have an MP3 player that I keep loaded with material (recently, messages from the 2005/2006 Shepherd's Conferences). I am thankful that the technology exists that allows me to hear men expound on God's truth to which, in the not too distant past, I would never have been able to listen.

I'm thankful for the means by which these messages are recorded and delivered, the computers and internet. I'm thankful that these same means allow me access to written material, including blogs, websites, and eBooks.

I'm thankful for the precursors to this technology that continue today. The written word in book form. Books like Knowing God by J.I. Packer and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul helped form my Christian mind.

More than these, I'm thankful for having been able to sit under the preached word. As a young Christian under the preaching and teaching of Dr. David Allen, Dr. Danny Akin, and Chuck Lewis, to learning the Reformed faith from Dr. S. Lewis Johnson and Dr. Curt Daniel. Continuing to hear the word proclaimed by Pastor Glenn Rumrill, Pastor Mike Lockwood, Jeff Wilson, Pastor Dave Richards, and most recently Dr. Patrick Hunter. These are men to whom I too infrequently said, "I thank my God upon every rememberence of you."

But I am most thankful for the transmission of truth from my heavenly Father. He has given to us His infallible word through the mediation of prophets and apostles. Francis Schaeffer wrote a book entitled He Is There and He Is not Silent. God has revealed Himself to us, the tranmission of the ultimate truth of existence. The author of Hebrews (whom we all know is Apollos) said, "God . . . spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways." (Hebrews 1:1 NASB) Peter concurs, writing "for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Peter 1:21 NASB) So I am thankful for Moses and Daniel, for David and Solomon, for Peter, Paul and John, and for other men that God the Holy Spirit moved to write Scripture.

But the greatest transmission of truth is not the written word of Scripture, but the living Word of God. I am preeminently thankful for Jesus, who is "the way, the truth, and the life." What the author of Hebrews writes completely at the start of his book is, "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world." (Hebrews 1:1-2 NASB)

Father, I am thankful to you for all these things. For being able to hear your servants from different times and places proclaim your truth. For the men who have endured my stubborness and hardness of heart to teach me about You. For the men whom the Holy Spirit used to record Your word. But most especially I thank you for Jesus, the Word of God made man. The One who showed us the truth of Your holiness, Your justice, and Your grace. Amen.

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