Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Gospel and The Great Commission

"The gospel is the good news of all that God has done on behalf of sinners through the perfect life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus. As individual Southern Baptists, we must be gospel-centered from first to last. Gospel-centered living will promote a grace-filled salvation from beginning to end by putting on display the beauty of the gospel in every aspect of our lives. It will remind us that we do not obey in order to be accepted, but rather we obey because we are accepted by God in Christ. Gospel-centered living will help ensure that the bloody cross of a crucified King is the offense to non-believers rather than our styles, traditions, legalisms, moralisms, personal preferences, or unhelpful attitudes.

"The gospel must also guide and saturate our local churches and denominational ministries. Too many of our pulpits have jettisoned the pure proclamation of the gospel, which has resulted in many of our people losing the full meaning and wonder of the gospel. Too often our denominational programs and agendas have been crafted without a close tethering to the gospel. If we assume the gospel, we will lose the gospel. We must get the gospel right and proclaim it with clarity and boldness if we are to experience a Great Commission Resurgence."

* Dr. Danny Akin - President, Southeastern Baptist Seminary

"Toward A Great Commission Resurgence"

I'll tell you who's on the moon!


Benny Hinn wows Jan Crouch with his expertise in the Hebrew language.

Grace or Karma?


Okay, sometimes Bono drives me a bit crazy. I have, however, appreciated most of U2's music going all the way back to "Boy" and "War". In Michael Assayas' book Bono the author records this interview with the famous singer and activist:


Bono: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.

Assayas: I’d be interested to hear that.

Bono: That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.

Assayas: The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that.

Bono: But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there’s a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let’s face it, you’re not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled … It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

I've got to give credit where credit is due. Although I may have worded just a few things differently, Bono gets the gospel right. I love the fact that he points out the radical difference between karma (the basis of all man's religions) and grace.

It's Official: I'm Unfashionable


Tullian Tchividjian was kind to quote me in his latest book Unfashionable. Notice that at the time I was still serving as pastor of Metro East in Wichita.


Here's the quote from page 100:


One of the leading ways the church can testify to God's unifying power before our segregated world is to establish and maintain congregations that transcend cultural barriers, including age. Todd Pruitt, pastor of Metro East Baptist Church in Wichita is a good example of this. He recently wrote:
"At our church, we have made some deliberate choices not to segregate along lines of age, cultural backgrounds, musical preferences, etc. There is little doubt that dividing along these lines "works" in that people often prefer everything to be designed around what makes them most comfortable - their prejudices. But doesn't the gospel lead us toward putting down these impulses? Doesn't the gospel move us out of our comfort zones so that we might take hold of the unity that Christ has already given us?"
So far the book has proved worth the reading. It is endorsed by such men as Tim Keller, Michael Horton, J.I. Packer, and D.A. Carson.

Why it may become increasingly difficult for me to vote...


Adam Nagourney from the New York Times:


WASHINGTON — It was only five years ago that opposition to gay marriage was so strong that Republicans explicitly turned to the issue as a way to energize conservative voters. Yet today, as the party contemplates the task of rebuilding itself, some Republicans say the issue of gay marriage may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help.

The fact that a run of states have legalized gay marriage in recent months — either by court decision or by legislative action — with little backlash is only one indication of how public attitudes about this subject appear to be changing.

More significant is evidence in polls of a widening divide on the issue by age, suggesting to many Republicans that the potency of the gay-marriage question is on the decline. It simply does not appear to have the resonance with younger voters that it does with older ones.

Consider this: In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, released on Monday, 31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they supported gay marriage. By contrast, 57 percent under age 40 said they supported it, a 26-point difference. Among the older respondents, 35 percent said they opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, be it marriage or civil unions. Among the younger crowd, just 19 percent held that view.

Steve Schmidt, who was the senior strategist to Senator John McCain of Arizona during his presidential campaign, said in a speech and an interview that Republicans were in danger of losing these younger voters unless the party comes to appreciate how issues like gay marriage resonate, or do not resonate, with them.

“Republicans should re-examine the extent to which we are being defined by positions on issues that I don’t believe are among our core values, and that put us at odds with what I expect will become, over time, if not a consensus view, then the view of a substantial majority of voters,” he said in a speech.
Read the entire article HERE.


Steve Schmidt demonstrates one of the key deficiencies with political strategy - the message must change with the whims of popular sentiment. For a people shaped by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the reality is precisely the opposite. At the risk of being labeled a cynic, my days as a voter may be very limited.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hold Planned Parenthood Accountable



From Denny Burk's blog:
Lila Rose is a 20-year old college student at UCLA. She has the voice of a 14-year old, but she has an ingenious plan to expose Planned Parenthood’s serial abuse of vulnerable young girls who are pregnant. Rose produces undercover videos in which she poses as an underage teen seeking an abortion from Planned Parenthood. Recently, she was featured in a front-page story in the LA Times. Watch the video, and read the article. Unbelievable.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"The Embattled Bible"


As mentioned in an earlier post, the latest issue of Themelios is out. Of particular interest to regular readers of this blog may be the review by Robert Yarbrough of four new books on the Bible. One of the books that Dr. Yarbrough reviews is God's Word in Human Words by Kenton Sparks of Eastern University. Dr. Sparks has commented on this blog and is a gracious man although I have profound disagreements with him.


Dr. Yarbrough's review is, I believe, fair. He points out the strengths of Dr. Sparks' book. But as an evangelical scholar with a high view of Scripture Yarbrough takes issue with the substance of Sparks' book. Commenting on the conclusion of God's Word in Human Words Yarbrough writes:


In “Conclusions: Biblical Criticism and Christian Institutions” (357–74), Sparks takes up thisquestion. The answer is, basically, that it must be embraced judiciously but maximally. As questions arise in a church setting and as parishioners can bear the truth, it should be shared with them. This will take time, perhaps generations. But it is a vital mission, as Sparks shows by adapting terms from WilliamCarey—so vital, to note one contrast, that nothing is said here or in the whole book about missions in the more usual sense. This mission to promote criticism is the particular responsibility of the Christian college. While this has the effect of giving professors like Sparks their way with impressionable students away from any guidance by their pastors and parents, that is not his point. He rather seeks to implement a merciful protective measure: taking care of this business in the Christian college classroom means “rank-and-file church members are better insulated from the potentially destructive effects of intense academic inquiry and debate” (364). It is not clear why these members should be spared but their children (likely funded by the members) fully exposed to this inquiry and debate. Nor is it clear why the results of criticism that Sparks promotes as so salubrious throughout the book must now suddenly be hidden from the view of people in churches.


Sparks quotes Duane Litfin, president of Wheaton College, but totally rejects his conception of “revelation and creation, or of faith and reason” (365), because it is too narrow and biblicistic. What happens at places like Wheaton is that leaders cater to “uninformed constituencies,” whether because they agree with them or “because they wish to attract their tuition dollars” (366). Instead, there must be
academic freedom; otherwise “ill-guided fundamentalist populism” will continue to drive schools like Duke, Emory, and Southern Methodist University “further away
from their traditional Christian roots”(367). Sparks does not document how this populism drives the direction of these institutions.


He likens “many evangelical theologians and biblical scholars” today to Edward Carnell (191 9–67), who died from overdose and possibly suicide because rigid evangelical institutional expectations at Fuller Seminary were so repressive that he cracked under the strain (368–69). There need to be changes and adjustments in institutional models so that full academic freedom can flourish even when this “flies in the face of external, populist constituencies” (369). The implication seems to be that otherwise evangelicalism can expect further tragedies among its psychologically victimized leaders.


“Students schooled in biblical criticism” should be cautious about airing what they know from college or seminary—Noah’s flood did not occur, nor (probably) the exodus, Nineveh did not repent, the Gospels disagree, Revelation errs in predicting Christ’s return, and so forth (371). So studentsshould be careful where and how they say what they now know, not because the facts are in question (historical criticism assures that) but because people in the pew are not yet ready for these historical critical insights, the church will recoil, the Christian academy that taught these things will be criticized, and Sparks’s mission of seeing historical criticism accepted in the church will be set back (371).


While Sparks sounds a conciliatory note at the very end—“The evangelical scholars that I know are wonderful people, and in many cases their scholarship is excellent” (373)—the grim truth is that “the evangelical tradition” is “equally culpable” with “Enlightenment rationalism and post-Enlightenment relativism” in destroying faith and fomenting apostasies (374). “A more robust faith” like Spark’s “believing criticism” “would chart a different course, one that is at the same time critical in its disposition and wholly committed to the theological and ethical demands of Christian orthodoxy” (ibid.).

A Great Commission Resurgence

Dr. Danny Akin of Southeastern Baptist Seminary recently delivered an important message entitled "Axioms of a Great Commission Resurgence." Listen to it HERE.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Themelios


The latest issue of Themelios is now available free online.


Themelios is an outstanding journal dedicated to biblical and theological studies and is edited by Carl Trueman of Westminster Theological Seminary and D.A. Carson of Trinity Evangelical.


I commend it to your reading.




Iconography gone very wrong


Perhaps we need to value cynicism a bit more.


Okay, maybe I'm overstating just a bit in order to make a point. But anytime we invest a politician (any politician) with messianic qualities then we are headed down a very dangerous road.


The portrait above is by Michael D'Antuono and is entitled "The Truth." It is to be unveiled on President Obama's 100th day in office in New York City's Union Square.

Sunday's Sermon

You can listen to or download the first message in the Hebrews series "Shadows and Substance" by clicking HERE.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Audio & Video from the Gospel Coalition


Listen to or watch the main session from the Gospel Coalition by clicking HERE. The messages which were particularly helpful for me were those of Tim Keller, Phil Ryken, Ligon Duncan, and Don Carson.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Is this really a parody?

Tominthebox is a parody blog that posts on subjects that relate to contemporary Christianity. This post was so close to the truth that I wondered for a moment if it was truly a parody.

Rob Bell tries to define the Gospel


When asked by Christianity Today how he would present the gospel on Twitter Rob Bell said that the Gospel is too big to present on Twitter's limited character space. But Bell then offers this definition of the Gospel:


I would say that history is headed somewhere. The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted. And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation. And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.

Not a word about Christ or His cross. Not a word about sin or repentance. There is a cryptic reference to an empty tomb but absolutely nothing to explain it. I'm not quite sure what Rob Bell is describing here but it most certainly is not what Paul described as the "matter of first importance" (1 Corinthians 15).


For a better explanation of the Gospel see Greg Gilbert's series of posts over at Church Matters.


Friends, it matters what we do with the Gospel. The Gospel is the good news of what God has accomplished through the doing, dying, and rising of Christ Jesus. Our task is to gratefully receive this good news and proclaim it as it is, not as we might reimagine it. Why would we want to change this best of all good news? When did preachers start believing that they had a better gospel than the one given to us by God in the Scriptures?


The House that Osteen Built?


If the old Yankee Stadium was the house that Ruth built then perhaps the new and spectacular Yankee Stadium will be the house that Joel Osteen built. That's right. Joel Osteen will be "preaching" at the new Yankee Stadium.


Considering that he is fast becoming the most popular preacher in the country, Joel Osteen doesn't act or sound like a preacher at all.

He has no seminary training and can hardly talk about any religion other than his own brand of creamy, fat-free Christianity (all the hope, none of the sin).

He prefers telling endearing domestic stories about himself and his 21st-century friends and relatives to rehashing the dusty tales of Scripture.

When he preaches at the new Yankee Stadium on Saturday, becoming the first nonbaseball attraction there, he will be his humble, likable, wavy-haired self and nothing more...

"Our music is not traditional hymns," he said. "My message is not about doctrine. I don't have to get 50 references from Scripture in a sermon for it to be a good sermon. Churches that are helping people live out a Christian life are growing and flourishing."...

Sonja Smash, a member of Greater Centennial AME Zion Church in Mount Vernon, went to hear Osteen at the Garden and found him to be "electrifying."

"He reaches everyone, regardless of your background, and goes beyond doctrine," said Smash, 40, an executive assistant who discovered Osteen on TV. "He delivers a universal message, inspirational nuggets, something for you to chew on and contemplate. We don't need just fire 'n' brimstone, but inspirational messages on how to live our daily lives."
Check out the rest of the story HERE.


Well, I better get back to preparing my inspirational nuggets. Who needs 50 verses anyway?

Back from the Gospel Coalition

One of the highlights of the National Conference was Ligon Duncan's message on Thursday morning. It is an exposition of 2 Timothy 4. I encourage you to listen to it HERE.

At one point Duncan quoted from Spurgeon's sermon on 2 Timothy 4:13 where Paul asks Timothy to "bring the books and especially the parchments":
We do not know what the books were about, and we can only form some guess as to what the parchments were. Paul had a few books which were left, perhaps wrapped up in the cloak, and Timothy was to be careful to bring them. Even an apostle must read. . . . A man who comes up into the pulpit, professes to take his text on the spot, and talks any quantity of nonsense, is the idol of many. If he will speak without premeditation, or pretend to do so, and never produce what they call a dish of dead men's brains—oh! that is the preacher. How rebuked are they by the apostle!

He is inspired, and yet he wants books!

He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books!

He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books!

He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books!

He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which it was unlawful for a men to utter, yet he wants books!

He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books!

The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, "Give thyself unto reading." The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own.

Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people. You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible. We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master's service. Paul cries, "Bring the books"—join in the cry.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Road Trip Listening

Flying is not exactly my favorite thing to do so I drove to Chicago for the Gospel Coalition Conference. I like road trips because they give me a chance to listen to a lot of good stuff. This trip I have been enjoying a class by Carl Trueman on The Person and Work of Christ. Trueman is an excellent teacher. He understands that theology must be doxological and devotional. Do yourself a favor and download the sessions HERE.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Idolatry and the souls of men


In the opening address of the Gospel Coalition's National Conference Tim Keller made reference to the 17th century Puritan David Clarkson's sermon "Soul Idolatry Excludes Men Out of Heaven."


It is worth your reading...



David Clarkson (1621-1686)

"You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or covetous person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a such a person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world." Ephesians 5:5

A covetous man is an idolater. Not only the covetous, but the immoral, are idolaters. For the apostle, who here makes covetousness to be idolatry, considers voluptuous people to be idolaters also, where he speaks of some who make their belly their God (Phil. 3:19). Indeed, every reigning lust is an idol—and every person in whom it reigns is an idolater. "The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life." Pleasures, and riches, and honors are the carnal man's trinity. These are the three great idols of worldly men, to which they prostrate their souls! And giving that to them which is due only to God, they hereby become guilty of idolatry. That this may be more evident—that covetousness, immorality, and other lusts are idolatry—let us consider what it is and the several kinds of it.

Idolatry is to give that honor and worship to 'the creature', which is due to the Creator alone. When this worship is communicated to other things, whatever they are, we thereby make them idols, and commit idolatry. Now this worship due to God alone, is not only given by the savage heathen to their stick and stones—and by papists to angels, saints and images—but also by carnal men to their lusts.

There is a twofold worship due only to God–

1. External, which consists in acts and gestures of the body. When a man bows to or prostrates himself before a thing, this is the worship of the body. And when these gestures of bowing, prostration are used, not out of a civil, but a religious respect, with an intention to testify divine honor, then it is worship due only to God.

2. Internal, which consists in the acts of the soul and actions answerable thereto. When the mind is most taken up with an object and the heart and affections most set upon it, this is 'soul worship'—and this is due only to God. For He being the chief good and the chief end of intelligent creatures, it is His due, proper to Him alone, to be most minded and most loved. It is the honor due only to the Lord to have the first, the highest place, both in our minds and hearts and endeavors.

Read the entire sermon HERE.

Live from the Gospel Coalition (2)

Between sessions I had a chance to speak to Matt Schmucker the executive director of Nine Marks Ministries. Nine Marks made a huge impact on my life when I was a new pastor in Wichita, Kansas. When I found them (around 2000 or 2001) they were a fairly new ministry. I was excited because in Nine Marks I had found people with whom I had a strong sense of affinity.

Nine Marks Ministries was founded by Dr. Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C. They exist to help churches conform to Scripture in all that they do and thus give God greater glory.

Matt and I spoke about the possibility of hosting a Nine Marks Workshop at Church of the Saviour in 2011 or 2012. It would be a wonderful event and certainly in keeping with my vision for Church of the Saviour.

Live from the Gospel Coalition


Tim Keller's opening session was quite good. His text was Acts 19:23ff. Keller is particularly good at teasing out the contemporary implications of the biblical text. In this particular passage he pays careful attention to Paul's interaction with the idols in Ephesus. From there Keller challenged us to deal with the idols of our time and cultural milieu. Keller maintains that one of the reasons why there is so little difference between the way believers and unbelievers actually live is that we have not properly dealt with our idols so when people are converted they have not been taught to walk away from what they formerly were.


The three points of application were: 1) Discerning Idols, 2) Exposing Idols, 3) Destroying Idols. It was a very helpful message.


The theme for the conference centers on the themes found in 2 Timothy. It is a book that particularly challenging to those engaged actively in ministry.


John Piper preached from 2 Timothy 1:1-12. It's daunting task to preach on a text that could easily be made into four sermons. Anyway Piper was his usual engaging self. His main point was also classic Piper: "Timothy, keep on feeding the white hot flame of God's gift in you namely the unashamed courage to speak openly of the Gospel and suffer for it."


Phil Ryken preached at the 7:00 pm session. His text was 2 Timothy 1:13-2:13. Now, I really would not want to take a text that long and rich and preach one sermon from it. But Dr. Ryken was characteristically brilliant in his dealing with the text. I was simultaneously sobered and encouraged by his message. His closing reflections on Paul's words in 2:11-13 was worth the price of admission.


I did not stay for Mark Driscoll's message. I will watch it later.


You can access the messages HERE.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What did you expect?

Below are some clips from Paul Tripp's teaching series on marriage: "What Did You Expect?" Paul presented this series at Metro East Baptist in Wichita not long before I departed for Philadelphia. It was outstanding.






You can order the DVD's or audio CD's from Westminster Bookstore.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Gospel Coalition (2)


There will be live streaming video posted HERE of the Gospel Coalition National Conference.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday's Sermon

You can download or listen to this week's sermon, "Identified with Christ" by clicking HERE.

Machen's Apologizing Children

Carl Trueman of Westminster Seminary reflects on Time Magazine naming "the new Calvinism" as one of the ten things shaping our culture today:
Some months ago, I wrote a short piece for the e-zine, Reformation 21 , about the tendency of Reformed Christians over the last twenty or so years to be rather embarrassed about their heritage and to be continually fretting about whether they are relevant or not.

Frankly, Machen’s worrier children seem to have spent more time apologizing for, or even trying to hide, their theological and ecclesiastical history than appropriating it and applying it. “I’m Reformed but…..’ is almost a liturgical response in some quarters to questions about personal beliefs. Hard to imagine a credible Catholic or Eastern Orthodox person giving a similar response. In my experience, they understand the warts-and-all of their respective traditions, but they face them honestly and tend not to be embarrassed to be upfront about who and what they are.

Well, if Time magazine is to be believed, the worrier children can stop wringing their hands, shave off their soul patches, put aside their candles and censer bowls, and start reading Calvin, Owen, Edwards, Warfield and Machen once again because, ironically, this kind of seemingly Paleolithic activity puts them on the cutting edge of Christianity in North America.

Indeed, Time has listed neo-Calvinism as number three in its list of ten things that are shaping the world today. Perhaps those who speak of regeneration are actually more in tune with the Christian Zeitgeist than those who talk endlessly about their ‘journeys.’

To those of us who believed all along that – well, traditional Reformed doctrine basically got it right on all the key points, the fact that Christianity is finding new vitality by revisiting the old paths is no surprise. Alternatives have come and gone, but the old biblical gems of divine sovereignty, human depravity, atonement, regeneration, etc. keep coming back, making sense of both the Bible’s testimony and human experience of the world. It is also 'preachable' in a way that the alternatives – even, or perhaps, especially, those alternatives which make such a noise about preaching, kerygma and dynamism – are not.
Read the entire post HERE.

Lecrae - Don't Waste Your Life





I am excited about a number of rappers who are writing some seriously good lyrics. Who would have thought that we would see rap that is grounded in Scripture and influenced by the great Reformers? Good stuff.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Luther on Christ's Substitutionary Atonement


‘This is that mystery which is rich in divine grace to sinners: wherein by a wonderful exchange our sins are no longer ours but Christ’s: and the righteousness of Christ not Christ’s but ours. He has emptied himself of his righteousness that he might clothe us with it, and fill us with it: and he has taken our evils upon himself that he might deliver us from them . . . in the same manner as he grieved and suffered in our sins, and was confounded, in the same manner we rejoice and glory in his righteousness’


‘Learn Christ and him crucified. Learn to pray to him and, despairing of yourself, say: “Thou, Lord Jesus, art my righteousness, but I am thy sin. Thou hast taken upon thyself what is mine and hast given to me what is thine. Thou hast taken upon thyself what thou wast not and hast given to me what I was not”’


‘All the prophets did foresee in spirit, that Christ should become the greatest transgressor, murderer, adulterer, thief, rebel, blasphemer, etc., that ever was . . . for he being made a sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world, is not now an innocent person and without sins . . . our most merciful Father . . . sent his only Son into the world and laid upon him the sins of all men, saying:


Be thou Peter that denier; Paul that persecutor, blasphemer and cruel oppressor; David that adulterer; that sinner which did eat the apple in Paradise; that thief which hanged upon the cross; and, briefly, be thou the person which hath committed the sins of all men; see therefore that thou pay and satisfy for them. Here now cometh the law and saith: I find him a sinner . . . therefore let him die upon the cross . . .’

- Martin Luther


"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

- 2 Corinthians 5:21


"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
- Romans 3:21-26


"It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification."

- Romans 4:24-25

Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting Substitutionary Atonement Right


"The penal substitution model has been criticized for depicting a kind Son placating a fierce Father in order to make him love man, which he did not do before. The criticism is, however, inept, for penal substitution is a Trinitarian model, for which the motivational unity of Father and Son is axiomatic. The New Testament presents God’s gift of his Son to die as the supreme expression of his love to men. ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son’ (John 3:16). ‘God is love, . . . Herein is love, not that we love God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins’ (I John 4:8-10). ‘God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us’ (Rom. 5:8). Similarly, the New Testament presents the Son’s voluntary acceptance of death as the supreme expression of his love to men. ‘He loved me, and gave himself for me’ (Gal. 2:20). ‘Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends . . .’ (John 15:13f.) And the two loves, the love of Father and Son, are one: a point which the penal substitution model, as used, firmly grasps."


- J.I. Packer from his classic article "What Did the Cross Achieve? The Logic of Penal Substitution."

The Gospel Coalition


I'm looking forward to the Gospel Coalition's 2009 National Conference. Check out the details HERE.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Witherington on Ehrman


Ben Witherington has been interacting with Bart Ehrman's latest - Jesus Interrupted.











"What Did You Expect?"


Paul Tripp's excellent series on marriage, "What Did You Expect?" is now available in DVD and audio CD's. Highly recommended!

Ancient Word, Changing Worlds (3)


I am continuing my reading of Ancient Word, Changing Worlds by Nichols and Brandt.


As chapter one continues there is mention of J. Gresham Machen, a champion of inerrancy and Harry Emerson Fosdick whose views boldly diverged from biblical orthodoxy. Fosdick's famous sermon, "Shall the Fundamentalists Win?" was widely disseminated. Fosdick was of the opinion that the Bible needed retooling to fit a modern world-view. He believed that instead of beginning with the Bible preachers should begin with the felt needs of their hearers. The sermon, in Fosdick's view, should come to resemble a kind of therapy.


Machen's view was that Fosdick promoted a religion that was fundamentally different from Christianity. The fruit of Machen's interaction with views like those of Fosdick was his classic Christianity and Liberalism. Although written in 1923 Christianity and Liberalism is as relevant now as it was then.


According to Machen, one's view of inspiration and consequently of the text of the Bible itself has to do with one's starting point. If you start with the supposition that God has revealed himself in all of the words of Scripture, then you submit to the teachings of Scripture, however hard they may be for a modern person or however seemingly challenging they are. If you start with the legitimacy of modern sensibilities, then you can conveniently overlook and downplay those difficult elements. Machen did not deny Fosdick the right to his view of Scripture. Machen just had problems with Fosdick claiming that his view was Christian. (p. 36)

Christian Citizenship

It would probably be a good idea to know how the federal government spends our tax dollars. Click HERE to find out more.

When our unity is challenged...


Great stuff on how to treat each other from John Piper:



Six Biblical Guidelines for Loving Each Other Amid Differences
1. Let’s avoid gossiping.


2. Let’s identify evidences of grace in each other and speak them to each other and about each other.


3. Let’s speak criticism directly to each other if we feel the need to speak to others about it.


4. Let’s look for, and assume, the best motive in the other’s viewpoint, especially when we disagree.


5. Think often of the magnificent things we hold in common.


6. Let’s be more amazed that we are forgiven than that we are right. And in that way, let’s shape our relationships by the gospel.


Read the whole thing HERE.

Our Divine Substitute


"And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness."
- Leviticus 16:21-22


"Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed."

- Isaiah 53:4-5

"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
- Romans 3:21-26


Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
- Mark 15:34

"As the high priest confessed all the sins, iniquities, and transgressions of the people, and laid them on the head of the scape-goat, which he bare, undergoing the utmost punishment he was capable of, and that punishment which, in the general kind and nature, is the punishment due to sin,--an evil and violent death; so did God lay all the sins, all the punishment due to them, really upon one that was fit, able, and appointed to bear it, which he suffered under to the utmost that the justice of God required on that account."
- John Owen


“They (the liberal preachers) speak with disgust of those who believe 'that the blood of our Lord, shed in substitutionary death, placates an alienated deity and makes possible welcome for the returning sinner'. Against the doctrine of the cross they use every weapon of caricature and vilification. Thus they pour out their scorn upon a thing so holy and so precious that in the presence of it the Christian heart melts in gratitude too deep for words. It never seems to occur to modern liberals that in deriding the Christian doctrine of the cross, they are trampling on human hearts.”
- J. Gresham Machen from Christianity and Liberalism, p.120


The notion which the phrase ‘penal substitution’ expresses is that Jesus Christ our Lord, moved by a love that was determined to do everything necessary to save us, endured and exhausted the destructive divine judgment for which we were otherwise inescapably destined, and so won us forgiveness, adoption and glory. To affirm penal substitution is to say that believers are in debt to Christ specifically for this, and that this is the mainspring of all their joy, peace and praise both now and for eternity.
- J.I. Packer


"God dealt with him as if he had been exceedingly angry with him, and as though he had been the object of his dreadful wrath. This made all the sufferings of Christ the more terrible to him, because they were from the hand of his Father, whom he infinitely loved, and whose infinite love he had had eternal experience of. Besides, it was an effect of God’s wrath that he forsook Christ."
- Jonathan Edwards

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another Good Book on Scripture?


Followers of this blog know that we have been dealing a lot with the Bible's trustworthiness. I am reading Stephen Nichols' excellent book Ancient Word, Changing Worlds. It looks as if another worthy volume is soon to be released: Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God by Timothy Ward.


Here are some impressive endorsements posted by Justin Taylor:


Here is [Kevin] Vanhoozer's take on the book:
"I have been on the lookout for a compelling and contemporary treatment of the nature and authority of Scripture for years. I ask of every promising new title, 'Are you the one who is to come, or shall I look for another?' Ward's book may be the one. Words of Life rightly roots its thinking about Scripture in the doctrine of God, and that means trinitarian theology. His central insight: God's word is something that God does. The Bible is not simply an object to be studied but the principal means by which the Lord engages his people and administers his covenant. Ward is a British pastor-theologian in the best sense of the term. The deft treatment of inerrancy by one from the other side of the pond is an added bonus. Highly recommended!"


And here is [J.I.] Packer's:
"Timothy Ward's exposition of the nature and place of the Bible is well-informed and thoroughly thought through. It is a product of alert contemporary awareness, deep-level theological discernment and mature personal judgment. Rarely has a book on this subject stirred me to such emphatic agreement and admiration."


Paul Helm recently blogged about the book:
Timothy Ward’s Words of Life (IVP) is a beautifully written, clear, calm, reasonable – very English - treatment of the historical evangelical and classical Christian approach to Scripture. Besides being explicitly Reformed – he builds on Calvin, Turretin, Bavinck and Warfield - its orientation is also noteworthy for stressing the Bible’s own witness to itself, in particular to the closeness of God’s words and God’s action. He then proceeds to place this material in an explicitly theological, Trinitarian framework, and to apply it in the restatement of the traditional doctrinal attributes of scripture as necessary, sufficient and clear. Finally, the doctrinal formulation is brought to bear on the to the life and witness of the Christian and the church; doctrine, and then application. Most important of all, perhaps, Timothy Ward puts all this in his own way, not simply mouthing traditional doctrine in traditional ways. And he comes to theological conclusions the proper way, from the scriptural data to scriptural doctrine. To cap it all, he has an eye both to history and to contemporary discussion.

That's One Good Cracker!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Carl Trueman audio


Carl Trueman is Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary. I have very much appreciated his ministry of teaching and preaching. You can access some of Dr. Trueman's audio HERE. Really good stuff!
Carl is also an outstanding writer. He blogs regularly at Reformation 21.

Bible Battles


It's the fight that seems never to end. Every generation of Christians is faced with those who challenge the truthfulness and reliability of the Bible. We expect this from unbelievers and those who are hostile toward Christianity. What is disheartening is when these voices of criticism come from within the church. It is a subject that has prompted some interesting conversations on this blog.


Al Mohler has posted some thoughts on a USA Today article attacking the trustworthiness of the Bible:


The Monday "On Religion" feature in USA Today is consistently interesting, even if often exasperating. That is what should be expected of an opinion column -- strong opinions in both the column and the reaction it prompts. Well, get ready to form your own opinion about today's feature, for it is likely to make a lot of waves.

Tom Krattenmaker, a Portland, Oregon based member of the paper's Board of Contributors, levels a broadside attack on the unity, inspiration, and veracity of the Bible as the Word of God in his column, "Fightin' Words".

Krattenmaker first celebrates what he describes as "a year of retreat and retrench" for conservative Christianity. Now, he says, "here come more challenges to traditionalist views of the Bible and Christian faith from a lineup of big-name, liberal-leaning scholars and theologians."

First up on Krattenmaker's list is Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina. As Krattenmaker explains, Ehrman "mounts evidence against literalist conceptions of the Bible as factual history and a divinely transmitted testament to an afterlife-focused religion called Christianity."
This is an important and timely post. Read the whole thing HERE.

Sunday's Sermon

You can listen to or download Sunday's sermon, "The Meaning of Easter" by clicking HERE.

Michael Horton Audio


Michael Horton of Westminster Seminary California is one of the church's most important theologians. He teaches a Sunday School class at Christ United Reformed Church. Some of the classes are "Introduction to Systematic Theology," "Romans," "Christianity and Culture," and "God and Suffering."


Check out the audio HERE.

It's Official: I'm an Extremist

It's just this sort of thing that could turn me into a conspiracy theorist. Anyway, if you have a pro-life bumper sticker, are concerned about the government's refusal to enforce immigration laws, believe that the federal government ought to respect the rights of states, or have served in the military then you may be a dangerous right-wing extremist. This is according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security under the leadership of Janet Napolitano. Miss Napolitano is also noted for replacing references to terrorist attacks with the curious euphamism "man-made disasters."

An article in the Washington Times reports:
The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in "rightwing extremist activity," saying the economic recession, the election of America's first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.

A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines "rightwing extremism in the United States" as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

"It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration," the warning says...

The Homeland Security assessment specifically says that "rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat."
Read the entire article HERE.

William Ayers who is active in Chicago politics is a real live domestic terrorist as is his wife. Following the reasoning of Miss Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security should we therefore investigate every politician who comes out of the Chicago political machine as a possible left-wing extremist?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oz, Oprah, and Stem Cells


Check out this story from Catholic News Agency:
Chicago, Ill., Apr 8, 2009 / 01:08 pm (CNA).- Yesterday, Dr. Mehment Oz
appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to voice his support for adult stem cell research and to argue that “the stem cell debate is dead,” but instead of giving his statement a fair hearing, Oprah’s website buried and edited Oz’s comments.


Actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was invited on the show to talk about his struggle with Parkinson’s and his foundation’s endorsement of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR).

Fox told Oprah that he believes President Obama’s decision lifting President Bush's restrictions on ESCR was a “step in the right direction” and that “we had eight years where there was no forward progress.” The United States has to make up for a lot of lost time, Fox added.

He also empathized with ethical concerns over ESCR, but said, “I just have faith in our scientists and the research community that they’ll do this ethically and to good purpose.”

After a commercial break, Oprah introduced Dr. Oz, who is the vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University, to explain how stem cells could be used to treat or cure the effects of many diseases.


To demonstrate how stem cells could be used, Oz brought out a human brain. Both Oprah and Fox laughed and joked with Oz as he discussed how stem cells would work in the brain. But Dr. Oz became more serious as he spoke about the future of embryonic stem cell research.

“Now, I’m going to say something that’s going to be a bit provocative. I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead, and I’ll tell you why,” said Oz.

“The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us were made from embryos. And those cells can become any cell in the body. But it’s very hard to control them, and so they can become cancer.”

Oprah and Fox then became visibly uncomfortable, shifting around in their chairs, as Oz explained that, contrary to Fox’s earlier testimony, incredible medical advances are being made using adult stem cells and not embryonic stem cells. He claimed that, “in the last year, we’ve made a 10 year advancement.”
Read the entire post HERE.

It's Monday Again

Over at Ref21 Stephen Nichols has written a timely post entitled "The Day After Easter."

"Easter is over. The new clothes are hung up, the candy has been eaten, and choir directors and pastors everywhere--not to mention ushers--are enjoying the quiet routines of a Monday. For the diehard Reformed, you know who you are, this Monday is like every other Monday because Easter Sunday is like every other Sunday: Resurrection Sunday comes every seven days for you, not once a year.

"For the rest of us, I have some thoughts. It was after Christ rose from the dead that the work of the church, of beginning and building the church, began in earnest. The euphoria of the Resurrection moment would abate and the grind of routine would set in. The hard work, the daily commitment to love and care for people, the challenge of a hostile world crushing in, all this and more was what the early church, the New Testament church, had to look forward to.

"Weeks, months, years after the resurrection how did they do it?

"Being faithful in the routines, on the Mondays after the Sundays, is important. It is as inversely important as it seems unglamorous.

"We can all be thankful for the Resurrection, even and especially for Resurrection Sunday. It is a reminder that Christ conquered all our enemies, the enemies of sin and death and guilt. He even conquered the enemy of our unfaithfulness, the enemy of our running in fits and spurts, the enemy of our languid efforts at a patient and long obedience, and the enemy of letting Mondays, weeks and months and years of Mondays, simply roll on by, becoming a mass of missed days of worship, service, love, and obedience."

Bart Ehrman on Colbert

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bart Ehrman
colbertnation.com
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Ehrman is a hack who gets his facts wrong. He is a man who, for whatever reason has a grudge against biblical Christianity.

Read Professor Denny Burk's review of Ehrman's last book HERE.

The Difference the Resurrection Makes


The Bible makes it plain and experience confirms that we are all of us, sinners. “For all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory” (Rom 3:23). Elsewhere we are told that Christ “died for the ungodly,” and “while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” In Romans 3 we’re told that no one is righteous and no one does good. Perhaps that sounds strange to you but compared to the righteousness of God it is absolutely true. My best good works are filthy rags compared to the matchless righteousness of God.

In Ephesians 2 we’re told that because of our sin we are under the wrath of God. For people like this the great need is not simply a good moral example or a good teacher. What we need is a Saviour! What we need is one who is able to justify us before the eyes of a holy God. And this is precisely what Jesus accomplished through his perfect obedience, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection. Referring to Jesus, Paul writes “who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Rom 4:25).

The greatest dilemma in the universe was how a perfectly holy God could have fellowship with sinful people. We did not simply need help from God. We needed to be reconciled to God. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Rom 5:10-11).

Three important ideas connected to our being saved are connected directly to the resurrection of Christ.

We have release from guilt.
By Christ’s dying and rising we are released from far more than guilty feelings. In Christ we are released from real, objective guilt. You see apart from Christ we are lost in our sins. We are guilty before the bar of God’s righteous justice. Our problem is that we do not tend to understand ourselves as sinners who must give an answer to God.

Our tendency is to dumb down sin. So instead of calling sin, sin we use euphemisms like “mistakes”. We imagine sin to be something as nebulous and hard to define as “failing to live up to my full potential,” or “letting myself down,” or “not living in accord with my value system.” And while sin is, in one sense, a way that we fail ourselves, first and foremost sin is rebellion against God. Jesus did not come to help the flawed but to justify the guilty. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1).

We have hope for eternity
Eternal hope is really the only thing that can give meaning to present existence. The apostle Paul bears witness to this reality.
“For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor 15:17-19).


Paul’s conclusion is that if Christ has not been raised then we are still in our sins and we have no hope beyond this life. If the sum of our existence is found in this short earthly existence then we are to be pitied. If this is all there is then the Apostle Paul’s prescription is to do anything and everything to medicate the meaninglessness.

The fact is, we live in a kind of Romans eight world.
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:22-25).

In this life we groan just as all creation groans. Things are not as they should be. There is sin and suffering and injustice. So we wait with longing for all that was lost and damaged by sin to be fully restored. The most visible reminder of this groaning that Paul writes about is death. Death is the great and terrible reminder that we live in a fallen world. And Christians do not need to act as if death is not anything other than an enemy. But for those who know the risen Christ death is a defeated enemy. And that makes all the difference in how we face death.

“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?”

(1 Corinthians 15:51-54)

About the year 125 A.D. a Greek by the name of Aristeides was writing to one of his friends about the new religion, Christianity. He was trying to explain the reasons for its extraordinary success. Here is a sentence from one of his letters:
“If any righteous man among the Christians passes from this world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God, and they escort his body with songs and thanksgiving as if he were setting out from one place to another nearby.”

John Knox, the great Scottish reformer of the 16th century said while dying, “Live in Christ, live in Christ, and the flesh need not fear dying.” The great Puritan Richard Baxter when he was dying said, “I have pain; but I have peace. I have peace.” The last two thousand years is peppered with examples such as these of men and women who faced the grave in peace through the Lord Jesus.

What a stark is the example of the notorious French atheist and philosopher Voltaire. On his death bed he said, “I am abandoned by God and man. I will give you half of what I am worth, if you will give me six months’ life.” The doctor replied, “Sir, you cannot live six weeks.” Voltaire replied, “Then I shall go to hell, and you will go with me.”

None of us escape our appointment with the grave. Christians are not joyful because we miraculously escape death. So long as we are south of heaven we will, to use Paul’s words, “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons.” The difference is that we know this groaning lasts a comparatively short time.

Of his awesome vision of heaven the apostle John writes: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away’” (Rev 21:1-4)

We have comfort for today
The resurrection of Jesus is a down payment on our own resurrection. Because Jesus has risen He will raise us up also. Christ took death and the grave and made a public spectacle of them. As already mentioned, this does not mean we escape death. We still live in a fallen world in fallen bodies. But consider this – what is the true power of death?

The true power of death is the power to hold. And once the power to hold has been stripped of it, death becomes a 90 pound weakling. Paul tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The Lord Jesus promised the repentant thief who hung next to him dying, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” The grave could not hold our Lord and as a result the grave will not hold any of his people. And this not only puts our own death in perspective but it ultimately puts all our suffering in perspective. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Emergent "Atonement"


Here is what Emergent Church leader Tony Jones thinks about Christ's work of atonement:


Some people today may find it compelling that some Great Cosmic Transaction took place on that day 1,980 years ago, that God's wrath burned against his son instead of against me. I find that version of atonement theory neither intellectually compelling, spiritually compelling, nor in keeping with the biblical narrative.
Even though I have come to expect these kinds of statements from Jones, MacLaren, Pagett, etc. I still am stunned by their bold heresy. Nevermind that Christ's death in the place of sinners is inescapably biblical, Tony Jones does not find it intellectually or spiritually "compelling." Can you hear the wanton hubris in those words? That he does not find Christ's atoning work "in keeping with the biblical narrative" only shows his ignorance of the biblical narrative. Of course once one throws away the inerrancy of the Scriptures then we are free to discard those portions of the Bible that we do not find to be "in keeping" with the bits we find "compelling."
Now consider the words of J.I. Packer from the book Knowing God:

Has the word propitiation any place in your Christianity? In the faith of the New Testament it is central. The love of God [1 John 4:8-10], the taking of human form by the Son [Heb. 2:17], the meaning of the cross [Rom. 3:21-26], Christ's heavenly intercession [1 John 2:1-2], the way of salvation--all are to be explained in terms of it, as the passages quoted show, and any explanation from which the thought of propitiation is missing will be incomplete, and indeed actually misleading, by New Testament standards.

In saying this, we swim against the stream of much modern teaching and condemn at a stroke the views of a great number of distinguished church leaders today, but we cannot help that. Paul wrote, "Even if we or an angel from heaven"--let alone a minister, a bishop, college lecturer, university professor, or noted author--"should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! ("accursed" KJV and RSV; "outcast" NEB; "damned" Phillips--
Gal. 1:8). And a gospel without propitiation at is heart is another gospel than that which Paul preached. The implications of this must not be evaded.

* Thanks to Justin Taylor

Friday, April 10, 2009

New York








The first picture is of some ugly guy with a beautiful woman. The next shot is of Maundy Thursday Mass at St. Patricks. The last two pictures are of St. Paul's Chapel which is located directly across the street from the World Trade Center.


The Power of the Cross

He Bore our Curse