Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself for all his other vices by a conviction that “his heart’s in the right place” and “he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature. We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble.
Lewis, C.S. The Problem of Pain (p. 56). Macmillan.
In Colossians 1:16, Paul says more specifically that “all things were created by [Christ] and for [Christ].” Therefore bread was created for the glory of Christ. Hunger and thirst were created for the glory of Christ. And fasting was created for the glory of Christ. Which means that bread magnifies Christ in two ways: by being eaten with gratitude for his goodness, and by being forfeited out of hunger for God himself. When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food—the Bread of Life. And when we fast we say, “I love the Reality above the emblem.” In the heart of the saint both eating and fasting are worship. Both magnify Christ. Both send the heart—grateful and yearning—to the Giver. Each has its appointed place, and each has its danger. The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift; the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our willpower.
Piper, John (2008-04-07). A Hunger For God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer (p. 21). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.
The uninterrupted democracies that I can think of are Britain, the US, Australia and Canada. The most striking thing these countries have in common is England and an Anglo-Saxon-protestant heritage. From the Instrument of Government, penned in 1653 by Cromwell and his council of officers after the Glorious Revolution, sprang an English constitutional heritage that was the source of the charge against King George in the Declaration of Independence; “taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments” (American Historical Documents. 152. Harvard Classics, 1969). The American colonists and revolutionaries all speak in their writings of the rights and constitution of Englishmen that had been established for generations. “But the Americans were a high-spirited people who claimed all the rights for which Englishmen had fought since the Magna Charta, and would settle for nothing less. Make no mistake; the American Revolution was not fought to obtain freedom, but to preserve the freedom that the colonies already had” (A concise History of the American Republic. 62. Oxford, 1983. Morison, Commager, Leuchtenburg) There was not an official written British Constitution. So to what were they referring?
Continue reading “A Tradition of Gospel Government”
Through the Gospels, Jesus introduces us to something more primal and profound about God than anything formerly revealed. With the incarnation of Jesus Christ and in His life and ministry, man was introduced to God in a way never previously communicated to man (John 1:1-5). In the beginning was the Father, His spirit and His word who is Jesus Christ. This new revelation does not destroy what is recorded of God in the Old Testament, but instead recasts God in ever increasingly beauteous and humbling depths.
Continue reading “How Jesus Changes Everything”
Nothing we do as evangelicals makes sense if it is divorced from a strong experiential and doctrinal grasp of the coordinated work of Jesus and the Spirit, worked out against the horizon of the Father’s love. Personal evangelism, conversational prayer, devotional Bible study, authoritative preaching, world missions, and assurance of salvation all presuppose that life in the gospel is life in communion with the Trinity. Forget the Trinity and you forget why we do what we do; you forget who we are as gospel Christians; you forget how we got to be like we are.
Sanders, Fred (2010-08-31). The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything (p. 9). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition. http://www.amazon.com/The-Deep-Things-God-Everything/dp/1433513153
This principle carries into the way we live our personal lives as well. People ought to see the transformation in our lives and respond by saying, “The Lord—He is God!”
Has anyone ever been amazed by your peace? Love? Joy? Have they ever envied your self-control? Have you ever prayed that God would so fill you with the Spirit that people would know the change could be empowered only by the Spirit? It is when we are filled with true peace and hope that people notice there is something different about us. The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us both peace (Rom. 14:17) and hope (15:13).
Continue reading “God Desires To Do More”
The majority of the issues of private citizens are not dealt with by the government; not for a lack of trying by the government, but because most problems people have cannot be adequately addressed by the government. We are given the right to gather and petition our Government by the Bill of Rights under the First Amendment. However, this process is controlled in large part by big business and special interest groups so that most common citizens cannot break into it and get the ear of their representative. The defense is often made that representatives couldn’t possibly hear from that many people. I agree and assert that there needs to be a centralized representation in greater proportion to our population closer to us. Most consider the rise of special interest groups counter intuitive to representative federalism but I believe there should only be concern for the manner in which these groups currently operate. The primary problem in our system, is the system itself; democratic federalism. We need to develop a system closer to that of democratic confederalism; smaller republics self-governed with a local centralized power in which these republics are loosely covenanted together for purposes of trade and defense.
Continue reading “A Call for Confederalism”
In our era, sociologically, man destroyed the base which gave him the possibility of freedoms without chaos. Humanists have been determined to beat to death the knowledge of God and the knowledge that God has not been silent, but has spoken in the Bible and through Christ-and they have been determined to do this even though the death of values has come with the death of that knowledge.
Continue reading “The Powerful Influence of Affluence”
In the Beginning the Triune God created the heavens and the earth as His kingdom. God created His first son Adam from the dust of the earth with the mission to protect and cultivate His garden-home and rule over all the other creatures. God gave Adam a wife as a helpmate to cultivate and fill the earth with faithful children.
Adam failed to protect his wife and his garden-home by disobeying God. Adam worshiped and believed the lies of the dragon and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that God had commanded Adam not to eat. Through Adam’s disobedience, sin and death entered the world God had made. Adam was cast from his garden-home, his wife’s labor was increased, the ground would no longer produce fruit without toil and estrangement consumed Adam and his relationships. Within this just judgment of Adam, God cursed the dragon and gave a promise that another Son would come and crush the head of the dragon. God decreed the two warring families would come from the wife of Adam; the sons of God and the sons of the dragon. These warring families are the context of the promised heir, the true Son of God who would restore the Creation and Glory of God in His kingdom.
Continue reading “The Story of God’s Son”
The Trinity is not an introductory doctrine, meant to be set aside after our intellectual assent, to move on to more “practical” subjects. The Trinity is a mystery that defines our relationship with God. We are not talking about the kind of mystery found in a Sherlock Holmes novel, in which we search for clues and deduce a conclusion that is perfectly reasoned and accounts for all the evidence. The mysteries of God are secrets which, in part, have been or are being, disclosed to His people.
Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Matthew 11:25-27 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
This passage is at the heart of the Christian Faith. It is God who reveals himself, in nature to everyman, and in special revelation to those who believe through His Spirit. Indeed, what is revealed belongs to us and to our children forever. Yet, we have to understand that even what is revealed about the Trinity is itself a mystery. There is a progressive revelation in regards to the doctrine of the Trinity. Some aspects of it remain beyond our comprehension. The Trinity, in many ways, will always be a mystery because the finite cannot comprehend the depth and breadth of the infinite. But what is revealed about the Trinity teaches us about our world. A tension between the one and the many permeates our existence; individuals and the collective. This tension is at the heart of our marriages, churches, communities and politics. Self or selflessness? It’s fundamental to being human. And the answer to this tension is Jesus Christ, who reveals the Trinity to us. Who in himself has two natures, divine and human, and what we learn is that harmony between the individual and the collective is found in divine Love.
Continue reading “How the Trinity Changes Everything”