Tuesday, July 31, 2012
RTS Orlando 3rd Year MDiv Student
Saturday, July 28, 2012
This is the centering thought of John Piper's delightful book, Think: the Life of the Mind and the Love of God. Throughout, Piper connects these two great facets of our humanity: loving the Lord our God with both heart and mind as Jesus commanded.
Often these two pursuits (heart and mind) are placed at odds against one another as though doctrine was cold and dead, while real worship was "felt" emotionally, disconnected to propositional truth.
In this book, Piper admonishes believers to fully engage God with our mind. We are to intellectually pursue the wisdom of our Creator since worship and clear thinking (especially about His revealed Word) should be inseparable.
Piper gently attacks two false positions. The first false position is that worship is primarily done with one's feelings. Here Piper attacks the anti-intellectualism that has pervaded American forms of evangelicalism, especially since the Second Great Awakening. On the other hand, Piper deconstructs the prideful position of those whose knowledge "puffs up" lending itself to arrogance, conceit, and self-confidence.
Working through several key Biblical passages throughout the book (Proverbs 2:3-5; Matthew 22:35-40; 1 Corinthians 1:20-24) Piper is relentlessly exegetical. He never strays far from his key Biblical texts. He carefully shows how thoughtful Biblical Christians are exhorted to pursue an apprehension of divine truth with humility.
Chapters seven and eight are worth the price of the whole book. There, Piper utterly destroys modern relativism as both rationally incoherent, and intellectually dishonest. As I read these two chapters which expose the pride of the heart of unbelieving man, I repeatedly wished I could put these pages before the eyes of every member of my church.
Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville Florida.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
(For more on this topic, click here to read "The Bible, Homosexuality, and Shellfish")
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
- The Gospel saves all who call upon the Lord (quoting Joel 2:32).
- One calls upon the Lord by believing The Gospel (defined in Romans 10:9-10).
- We must know the gospel in order to believe it.
- The Gospel must be preached in order to be made known.
- In order to be preached, the gospel requires preachers (missionaries) to those place where it is yet unheard.
(This blog post has been excerpted from Pastor Matthew's book Un-Precious: An Invitation to the Joy of Christian Missions).
Monday, July 23, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
- Unbelievers and immature Christians ask “What is God doing TO me?”
- But the mature Christian—who knows both the power of God and the decadence of man-- asks a different question entirely, “What is God doing THROUGH me?”
I love how chapter 27 ends with these words: “And so it was that all were brought safely to land.” Safely? Is that a bit of an overstatement? I don’t think so.
It seems that, despite the storm, God carried out His merciful plan and honored His promises after all. It turns out God is a good and merciful God. He really does work all things according to the council of His perfect will. If you are in Christ, there is no safer place in the universe then in the center of His plan.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Just as the Philippian Christians would have had trouble seeing the joy they had received due to the Judaizers false teachings pressing upon them, you are reminded to rejoice in the Lord and dwell on the joy you are given while dealing with difficult circumstances. I would challenge you to think about what it would look like to not be dependent on yourself and immediately rush to fix your circumstances. Rather, allow God to be the God who is worthy of rejoicing, allow him to take control and fight your battles and your circumstances.
The two little boys that ran with unbridled adoration and complete passion into the arms of their aunt that they had learned to unequivocally trust. Likewise, I challenge you to run into the arms of Jesus! To unashamedly run into his arms, knowing he loves us and calls us to trust in him. It is only in the arms of Jesus, that true joy can be found.
3rd Year MDiv Student RTS Orlando
Sunday, July 15, 2012
- He is moral and religious. If you were to ask the “almost Christian” whether or not he is a “good man,” he will unhesitatingly say yes. It will annoy him slightly that you even had to ask. In fact he is in his own mind the “quintessential good man.” He views himself as intelligent, wise, and stately. He shows up for duty, and volunteers for service. A model citizen, he wears medals of honor, both real and imagined, on his chest. Ask him if the world would be a better place if more people were like him. He will respond “of course” (and he really believes it!).
- He fears not for his soul. Ask him if he is going to heaven, and again he will give an unqualified yes. His self-righteousness and confidence in his own nature yields little doubt that he will stand unassailable on the Day of Judgment. Anything that God might have against him is clearly nothing but a misunderstanding on God’s part. A few words of clarification and God would soon reckon aright. If he should be summoned to the Great Judgment Seat at all, he believes it will be as a standard by which God might judge other men. In fact, like Festus and Agrippa, he believes it is often HIS duty to do the judging even in this life!
- He has heard the gospel. He knows Christian theology well. He can never use “I didn’t know” as an excuse for his unconverted state. Some of the greatest Bible debates relate to the fate of the un-evangelized people groups. What will God do with that tribe that never gets a missionary? Never has the Bible translated into their tongue? Has no church? But as interesting as that debate is—it is completely immaterial to the “Almost Christian.” Both Festus and Agrippa cannot use ignorance as any excuse for their state of rebellion.
- Has a noble view of Jesus. Throughout the ages, philosophers, ethicists, historians, politicians and free-thinkers alike have had a noble view of Jesus. They have admired His teaching, life, purity, pacificism, His love and compassion. Pontius Pilate himself said, “I find no guilt in this man!” (John 18:38).
- But He is NOT a Christian. But despite his “goodness,” and “rectitude”; despite his self-assurance and his high view of his own achievements, and even his high view of Jesus, there is one thing he most certainly is not—a Christian. He has never repented. Never begged for mercy. Never sought shelter in the blood of Christ. Never made Christ his deepest joy and highest prize. He might be but one millimeter from grace, and yet he might as well be a thousand miles away separated by the highest mountains and deepest oceans.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built. 29 And they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And after they had searched and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.” 30 Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.” 31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.” 32 Therefore on that day Gideon was called Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar. (Judges 6.28-32 ESV)
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
By: Drew Taylor
RTS Orlando MDiv Student (3rd year)
Pastoral Intern at Willow Creek Church (PCA)