"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Religion of Rescue

For centuries now, there has been a move to understand Christianity more by the religious experience it provides than by its doctrines. We want to feel God, or at least feel better. We want to see our commitment or sobriety or intimacy with God. We want to see our lives here and now improve. The crucifixion of Christ seems like an important, even necessary, event historically, but not anything that needs to be highlighted today. It may be a moving story, but how will it help my work on Tuesday or my marriage tonight?
Yet the neglect of the cross in our churches is the result of more than our growing fascination with the subjective and self-improvement. There is also a growing hostility to the whole notion that Christ suffered as a substitute, that God would desire such a thing, or that God is at all wrathful. Theologians and biblical scholars have reread parts of the Bible - or set it aside - in order to fashion a seemingly more humane religion, a religion of improvement rather than rescue. In such a domesticated version of Christianity, there is no place for a bloody cross.

IT IS WELL - Mark Dever

Monday, March 21, 2011

Law and Gospel - Thesis IV


Thesis IV

Understanding how to distinguish Law and Gospel provides wonderful insight for understanding all of Holy Scripture correctly. In fact, without this knowledge Scripture is and remains a sealed book.

Walther in this rather short lecture on Thesis IV explains that the Bible is indeed a book of great and many contradictions unless you are able to distinguish between its two great doctrines of Law and Gospel.


In fact, all of Scripture seems to be full of contradictions, worse than the Qur’an of the Turks. Here Scripture pronounces you blessed; there it condemns you. When the rich young ruler asked the Lord, “What good deed must I do to have eternal life?” the Lord replied, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” When the jailer at Philippi addressed the same question to Paul and Silas, he received this answer:” Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you and your household will be saved.” P.69

The Key to Scripture:

“Do not think that the Old Testament reveals a wrathful and the New Testament a gracious God, or that the Old Testament teaches salvation by a person’s own works and the New Testament salvation by faith. No. We find both teachings in the Old as well as in the New Testament. But the moment we understand how to distinguish between Law and Gospel, it is as if the sun were rising upon the Scriptures, and we behold all the contents of the Scriptures in the most beautiful harmony. We see that the Law was not revealed to us to put a notion into our heads that we could become righteous by it, but to teach us that we are completely unable to fulfill the Law. Then we will know what a sweet message – what a glorious doctrine – the Gospel is and will receive it with exuberant joy. P.70

Thursday, March 17, 2011


New Poll on eschatology shows that 65% of Evangelical leaders are premillenial, 14% are amillenial and 4% are postmillenial (with the rest confused about what eschatology means).

So, I guess that is not about me since I'm not an Evangelical leader (or self-described as Evangelical even) but it is interesting to think that I am a minority (since I am amillenial). I wonder if I am a protected minority group?

Hat Tip: Riddleblog

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What is Worship?

Do we come in worship of God to give or to receive? I think the answer would surprise many filling our churches to discover that true humility lies in the receiving.

Psalm 50:10-15 (emphases mine)
I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds.
For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.
"If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

So yes, come to Church this Sunday to receive the gifts of Christ from his word and sacraments. Come to GET something out of it, and then return the sacrifice of thanksgiving because you were needy and he clothed you in his own righteousness. It's ok to come and drink.

For more check out this great broadcast of Issue Etc.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Valley of Vision: Prayer on Confession

"Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering 'no' to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in Thee. Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright."

-From Valley of Vision