March 2011

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Mar

02

2011

MacArthur on Reading the Old Testament

There was an interesting aside comment John MacArthur made in one his sermons on Luke that I ran into awhile back. The comment was spoken toward the end of his sermon where Jesus says, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath" (Luke 6:5). He moves beyond this situation and generalizes an interpretive principle with the following words:

And, beloved, I say it to you, you can never ever understand the Old Testament law without the New Testament interpretation of that law by Christ and the apostles who wrote the words that Christ wanted them to write to interpret the truth. Jesus is the interpreter of God's will, God's law and God's Word.  (cf. Jesus: The Divine Truth-Teller; emphasis mine)

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Mar

15

2011

The Bruising of Reeds

Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed:

After conversion we need bruising so that reeds may know themselves to be reeds, and not oaks. . . . Such bruising may help weaker Christians not to be too much discouraged, when they see stronger ones shaken and bruised.
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Ungodly spirits, ignorant of God's ways in bringing his children to heaven, censure brokenhearted Christians as miserable persons, whereas God is doing a gracious, good work with them. It is no easy matter to bring a man from nature to grace, and from grace to glory, so unyielding and intractable are our hearts.

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Mar

15

2011

Battling Depression, by Dan Phillips

"Battling Depression", by Dan Phillips

Great post. Depression is just as much a sin to be fought against as lust. He nails it right on the mark with point #7:

Here's a hard one: have you realized and "owned" how much laziness there is in the unbelief that fuels depression, how much pride and stubbornness too? Remember: everything we do, we do because we think (perversely, sometimes) that it will make us happy. Have you come to take pleasure in being seen as a noble sufferer, a tragic victim — has that become an important element of your self-image?

Mar

16

2011

Disaster in Japan from a Holy and Good God

Martyn Lloyd-Jones said in his Preaching and Preachers something to the effect that a preacher should always respond to large-scale disasters / crises. I was considering preparing a sermon for this Sunday on the sovereign freedom of God and the urgent need to repent and believe in Jesus Christ, and pray for and evangelize the lost.

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Mar

17

2011

Spirit-Backed Preaching with Freedom and Authenticity

For various reasons, I have been brought these days to read more on the church and on preaching in particular. If there is one firm conviction I have about ministry, if I know anything at all, it is this: the Word of God is true, is the authority, is the power to change, and preaching it in the power of God's Spirit is the essence of ministry. On my blog's "about me" page, I say it this way: I believe that Spirit-backed expository preaching of God's word is the heart of the Christian ministry.

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Mar

21

2011

Updated design

I had some fun today redesigning the site a bit. (It is good to exercise those CSS and JS muscles every now and then!) Hopefully the site is now less cluttered, easier to read and more usable! That is all. 

Mar

21

2011

Reverberation

Having recently read The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love, I was excited to pick up Reverberation by Jonathan Leeman and see what he had to say about how the word of God works in the life of the church, and what this means for how pastoral ministry is to be done. As I mentioned in a recent post, his thesis is, "God's Word, working through God's Spirit, is God's primary instrument for growing God's church" (Reverberation, 19).

I came to the book with two desires. For one, I wanted to see how he would map out the trajectory of God's word in the life of the church. I want to make sure that my expectations are set on the right things and have the right priorities in the church. Secondly, I wanted to learn more how the word works so that my confidence in it may be deepened. All in all, mission accomplished.

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Mar

27

2011

Jesus of History is Christ of Faith

Reading commentaries on the gospels has been wonderfully mind-numbing and particularly frustrating these days. I feel like I'm reading about someone / something different than I expect / intend to. Even evangelical commentaries seem so often to detheologize what is there. Bock's commentary on Luke even has been discouraging in this regard; perhaps because I had high hopes for it. At the end of the day, it seems like not much is left, especially with regard to the deity of Jesus and the doctrine of salvation.

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Mar

30

2011

Understanding More than the Disciples

When studying the Gospels, it is a valid interpretative principle that we can, nay, we must understand more than the disciples did. If we were to only understand Jesus and his words based on what they understood at that time, then we would be radically misreading the Gospels.

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Mar

31

2011

Chinese Parenting Is Superior?

Al Mohler writes about a book entitled, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, written by a Chinese mother about the superiority of Chinese parenting over Western parenting. I do not necessarily approve of "Western" parenting. Yet neither can I approve of much Chinese parenting I see.  The selfish, rebellious, idolatrous heart of mankind rears its ugly head in parenting in different ways in Chinese culture than it does in American culture. 

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Matt Hauck (郝柏昇)

A once enemy now son, forgiven and freed by Jesus' blood, adopted and called by grace for glory.   (more...)