Jesus is the image of the invisible God. This is not merely a matter of Jesus’ features; the size of His nose or the color of His hair. It has to do with how Jesus conducted Himself. How did He act? What did He do throughout the Gospels? How did he respond to the Father? Jesus came to show men how to live in relation to God. He bore the image of God with His life, so that we would know how to bear the image of God with our lives. Jesus’ Lordship is unlike any kingly conduct in all of scripture. We look at Jesus’ life and truly know that God is love (1 John 4:8), because greater love knows no one than this; that someone lays down his life for his friends (John 15:13). Love involves more than one person. A lover must have a beloved. Without another person there is no love. Monads like Allah cannot love because there is nothing to direct their love toward. Monads like Allah are sterile, distant, impersonal tyrants. Continue reading “How Lordship Changes Everything”
Amidst the ripening of light upon the world,
there in the small hours
The silver sheen
accumulates on all things
alive and dead, handmade, grown
natural and wild
Refreshes with a drink in spirit and flesh
bright and cool
The still agitation of moisture
A renewal and drink of divine blessing
Awash, the morning, the world
It is a ministry methodology to which those of us in Reformed traditions are particularly susceptible: an approach to ministry that is solely directed to the mind, defining spiritual success as the intellectual acquisition of biblical and theological knowledge. ‘Can he articulate the five points of Calvinism?’ ‘Does he know the standard answers to the difficult texts which appear to teach an unlimited atonement?’ ‘Is he committed to the regulative principle of worship?’ One’s acumen in answering questions such as these can often become a litmus test of spiritual growth. Let it be said that this is no attempt at minimizing the importance of biblical and theological truth. Spiritual maturity is not possible apart from such truth. But the fact remains, it is possible for a Christian to possess a vast amount of biblical and theological knowledge while at the same time being altogether devoid of Spiritual maturity.
Azurdia, Arturo G., Spirit Empowered Preaching. 36-37.
WCF, Chapter 1, Section 2-5
Of the Old Testament.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk , Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi Continue reading “Why leave books out of the bible?”
“Your heart can become a prayer factory because, like Jesus, you are completely dependent. You needed God ten minutes ago; you need him now. Instead of hunting for the perfect spiritual state to lift you above the chaos, pray in the chaos. As your heart or your circumstances generate problems, keep generating prayer. You will find that the chaos lessens.
We see this pattern in Paul’s advice to the Philippians about anxiety.
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
…When you stop trying to control your life and instead allow your anxieties and problems to bring you to God in prayer, you shift from worry to watching. You watch God weave his patterns in the story of your life. Instead of trying to be out front, designing your life, you realize you are inside God’s drama. As you wait, you begin to see him work, and your life begins to sparkle with wonder. You are learning to trust again.”
Miller, Paul. A Praying Life. 72-73.
With Augustine and the medieval tradition that followed him, the telos of the vision of God was the goal that animated and informed his intellectual deliberations. This goal could be stated in different ways. Like Augustine, Thomas and Dante spoke of the vision of God as the ultimate telos of man. Man is on a journey to the city of God, and the climax of this journey is to one day see God face-to-face.This journey motif informs much of the Western intellectual tradition, whether in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, or even Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The telos of the beatific vision of God—the thought of seeing him face-to-face one day—impressed upon premodern Christians that the intellectual life is not simply its own end but contributes to a larger goal,the glory of God.While the notion of a telos or goal is not distinctively Christian, it certainly took root in the Christian soil of the West as the gospel spread throughout the world.
Green, Bradley G. (2010-11-03). The Gospel and the Mind (p. 59-61). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.
How came you to reside here upon the green
with wine-skin in hand drinking merrily and singing splendidly?
I far off heard your song and came to see.
Alas, I wander far from home
my stock finds no lush foliage for fodder while your sheep grow fat
all the while you sit idle in the shade
and turn happy thoughts.
But such is the service of the God-man,
Who from on high; through many a peril
by his safe-conduct-markings and livery
has led me to this happy spot.
But I rest only anxiously content,
for happier spots beyond the farthest hill, yet remain. Continue reading “Eclogue 1”