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

Saturday, March 22, 2008


The good news is about the death of the only truly innocent man who ever lived.

The greatest crime ever committed is the only atonement for sin.

Death was overcome by the death of Jesus.

The good news is about the death of the Creator at the hand of His creations.

The King of Glory died a shameful death.

God the Son who had lived a life in perfect harmony with the will of the Father was forsaken by the Father.

The good news is about the perfect, holy, and righteous Judge of all justifying the guilty.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Thoughts on Worship for Easter

I was reading chapter 2 of John Owen's Communion with the Triune God this evening, and came across the following quote (p. 97):
Faith, love, trust, joy, etc., are the natural or moral worship of God, whereby those in whom they are have communion with him.
I remember sitting in a Sunday morning service as a young believer (less than 2 years after the Father had drawn me to His Son) listening to a sermon where worship was mentioned. Not having grown up in church, it was a word I knew, but not a word with which I had wrestled. I made a note to myself: "What is worship?"

I'm not so young a believer anymore, that sermon being over 20 years in the past. But sometimes I still wonder how well I understand what worship is. It does, I believe, occur when we gather together and sing praises to God and offer up our prayers to Him and listen to the proclamation of His word.

But Owen has written what I have long struggled to formulate in my own mind. Worship of God is in large part a display of His image within us. That image being things like faith, love, trust, joy, hope, peace, etc. It is in this worship that we have the deepest communion with God.

Here the sun has set on Good Friday. In the time we are honoring and remembering, Jesus is in the tomb, and the disciples are scattered and hiding. But hope was not gone, just hidden, wrapped in a veil of death. So also hope may seem to be gone from some of our lives.

May we in those darkest nights worship God by believing, by loving, by trusting, by rejoicing and by hoping even though all reason for hope seems gone. Gazing not only at the cross but also at the empty tomb and knowing that our greatest enemies have been defeated by Jesus, who has promised to never leave us or forsake us.

Happy Easter. The Lord has risen!

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

How Many Apply Here?

I don't read a lot of Internet Monk's stuff, but his post on 10 Reasons I Don't Read Your Blog seems pretty spot on to me (HT: Vitamin Z).


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Speaking of Hermenuetics

There's a great post on Sola Scriptura over at the Pilgrim People blog by Michael Brown (HT: R. Scott Clark). One of the struggles I've had is how to approach the Scriptures recognizing both that the Holy Spirit is my greatest teacher, but that there is a rich history of His having taught others. I think to divorce ourselves from 2000 years of Church history is a categorical mistake.

If we make this mistake, we will pay a steep price. Brown notes:
Oddly enough, this kind of dismissal of historic theology actually does violence to Christ’s promise to his Apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth (Jn 16.13) and bring to their remembrance all things (Jn 14.26) in order that Scripture would be preserved for the instruction of the church until the end of the age (Mt 24.35; 28.20). The early-American biblicists seemed to give no credit at all to the Holy Spirit’s work in history of gifting Christ’s church with pastors and teachers; rather, the early-American biblicists see the Spirit’s true work in ministry being that of immediate revelation and privatized religion. Ironically, the biblicists’ seeking of direct revelation and a “tabula rasa” illumination compromises their claim of “no creed but the Bible,” as one's personal experience is inevitably elevated to the place of Scripture.

Tragically, however, things have not changed for the better. As Hatch chillingly points out, “Americans continue to maintain their right to shape their own faith and to submit to leaders they have chosen.” The result of eighteenth and nineteenth century biblicism has been a church that increasingly looks less like New Testament Christianity and more like the egalitarian culture in which she lives. Populist hermeneutics and privatized, experiential religion has continuously had wide appeal to the American individualistic ethos. The “chronological arrogance,” to borrow C.S. Lewis’ maxim, of disparaging tradition and centuries of theologizing persists with cavalier vigor.

Hebrews 11 reminds us that we stand in a long line of those who have walked with God. That line does not stop with the closing of the canon but continues on even today. The Bible makes it clear that none of these are without fault, and therefore are not the primary resource. But they are faithful men who have passed truth on to other faithful men, eventually down to us. So while the Bible is always the final authority, my interpretation is not. I must always check my own biases by testing my interpretation against those who have come before and are contemporary with me.

What say you?

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