Originally posted by Justin Taylor, Nov 12, 2010
Jack Collins, Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? (Crossway, 2003), pp. 331-332:
It’s pretty common to hear that we’re in a culture war—the traditionalists and the secularists are fighting over who will control the culture. There is a sense in which the image is right: as we will see in the next chapter, there are worldviews that are at odds with each other, and therefore it’s no surprise that we find conflict.
Originally posted here | challies.com
At the 9Marks Ministries blog I recently came across a brief article that outlined some of the ways church members can (and should!) serve their church on a Sunday morning. These are, in turn, drawn from a Trellis & Vine conference led by Colln Marshall.
Inconsistency of life is utterly destructive of peace of conscience. The two things are incompatible. They cannot and they will not go together. If you will have your besetting sins and cannot make up your minds to give them up, if you will shrink from cutting off the right hand and plucking out the right eye when occasion requires it, I will engage you will have no assurance.
Originally posted at: Challies.com All rights remain his. 🙂
Recently I ran into a woman I had not seen for several weeks. I hardly recognized her. Her hair, normally blonde, had turned completely white. The transformation was dramatic. All it took was forty minutes and some bleach.
If only spiritual transformation were that easy. Just read a book, see a counselor, attend a conference, make a fresh commitment, shed a few tears at an altar, memorize a few verses … and, presto, out comes a mature, godly Christian.
To the contrary, the experience of many believers looks like this.
Commit. Fail. Confess.
Re-commit. Fail again. Confess again.
Re-re-commit. Fail again. Give up.
After all the struggle and effort, we tend to want a “quick fix”—a once-for-all victory—so we won’t have to keep wrestling with the same old issues.
In my own walk with God, I have discovered some helpful principles about how spiritual change takes place.
It can be easy to come to church, expecting to hear a message on how to be a better Christian or how to walk in greater obedience to God. These, of course, are good things and certainly one of the goals of gathering together. But too often, we misunderstand how that happens. It’s not enough to be exhorted to this end – obedience that doesn’t flow from the heart is actually considered disobedience. We must be reminded and inspired and motivated by the gospel of Jesus Christ Sunday by Sunday so that our hearts overflow with love and commitment to Christ.
To Grace Church –
What a fantastic time we had last night! God has been so abundantly faithful to us in our first year together as a church. I have personally witnessed the gospel’s transformation in so many of your lives. It’s been inspiring!
Thank you ALL for your sacrifice of giving, time, and service over this first year. Your investment reaches far beyond what you’ll see – with Christ as the foundation, you are building a spiritual house for people to experience the grace of God. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations – forever and ever Amen!
We’ve been studying John 17 together as a church. Jesus has much to offer us (by way of prayer) regarding our gospel mission in the world. When we think about the Christian’s relationship to the world, we often find ourselves polarized into two camps – licenciousness or legalism. Neither of them honors Christ and His cross. We must pursue the middle way of the gospel. Here’s a short picture of what they look like, using some imaginary friends.
Thanks to the new Sovereign Grace Kids CD “Walking with the Wise”, we’ve been talking a lot in our family about the sluggard. It’s a much needed discussion and study in our family, mostly for the chief! I came across this great post by Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition, giving us Derek Kidner’s observations on the sluggard from Proverbs. Here it is for your enjoyment (and conviction!):
Derek Kidner, in his 1964 commentary on Proverbs, writes about the sluggard (pp. 42-43):
The sluggard in Proverbs is a figure of tragi-comedy, with his sheer animal laziness (he is more than anchored to his bed: he is hinged to it, 26:14), his preposterous excuses (“there is a lion outside!” 26:13; 22:13) and his final helplessness.
So I preached last week that Jesus’ central prayer is “God, Bring Yourself Glory”. And as that is Jesus’ deepest desire, it should be our deepest desire as well. When we wake in the morning, we should wake praying, “God, Bring Yourself Glory”. When we clock into work, we should be praying, “God, Bring Yourself Glory.”
I should have added this – when you find yourself at IKEA, pray “God, Bring Yourself Glory”.
Jesus’ opening prayer in John 17 is “God, Bring Yourself Glory”. He died so that we could see and live for His glory. His cross is the unique display of glory and our hearts should be for God to bring glory to His name through our lives.
I closed the message on Sunday by saying that we can do this by boasting in our weaknesses. One question that was emailed in: What’s the connection between our weaknesses and God’s glory in the cross?