Archive for the ‘While wandering . . .’ Category
Here I try to map Piper’s assessment – “twelve features [not unique and exclusive distinctives] of the movement as I see it” which are, he said, “not dividing lines” between the old and the new Calvinism, matters of separation – over mine for the purpose of a very brief analysis. I understand that we are not always saying the same things, but it is interesting to look at the points of contact.
See the whole at Reformation21.
It is the darkness of the night that makes the dawn precious. It is the torment of pain that makes relief so sweet. It is the misery of sickness that makes recovery so valued. It is the grief of lostness that makes being found so wonderful. It is the emptiness of self that makes the fullness of Christ so delightful. It is the horror of the curse that makes the blessing of salvation so great. It is the weight of sin’s burden that makes its removal so overwhelming. It is the pain of rebellion that makes peace so dear. It is the distance of being cast out that makes the nearness of being drawn in so enticing. It is the frailty of the creature that throws the might and mercy of the Creator and Redeemer into sharp relief.
Read more at Reformation21.
The turn of the year – like a birthday or other significant anniversary – can be an appropriate time for review and reflection, for the making or making fresh of a covenant with the Lord. Such times can be helpful waymarkers in our pilgrimage, and it is not wrong to harness the sense of significance that such occasions present.
But we ought to make sure that such occasions do not become for us excuses, a means of assuaging our consciences by the promise that we will reform another time. Extravagant promises for tomorrow are worth nothing compared with definite obedience today. If something ought to be done, then it ought to be done now, and not postponed until tomorrow.
Read the rest at Reformation21.
We need tools to help us, but we need the Holy Spirit to illumine, convict, and empower. And much of the Spirit’s work in us will be done in conjunction with prayer.
Joe Thorn presses it painfully home.
‘Twas the Sunday pre-Christmas, and all through the church,
On the laps of their parents the children did perch.
All sitting agog in great anticipation
Of the visiting preacher’s pre-sermon oration.
(For this was a place where the children receive
Their own little talk and then promptly they leave,
And the preacher is left with a half-congregation –
But that’s not my point in today’s proclamation.)
And so I began to compare and contrast
With an image I hoped would be sure to stick fast,
Between God and his goodness in giving his Son
And the myth of the Chubby and Red-Suited One.
Read the rest of this cautionary tale.