Saturday, September 10, 2005

Tolle lege - Michael Haykin Joins the Blogosphere!

Tolle lege
The best of news! Dr. Michael Haykin has dipped his pen into the big wide world of blogs! Two great posts to begin with - you will want to bookmark this page.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina Ruins Darwinism

I found this paragraph from today's Chuck Colson's Breakpoint particularly insightful:

"So, in watching this [mercy by others to the displaced of Katrina], we saw altruism at its best. Altruism is the one characteristic of human behavior that destroys a key element of Darwin's theory of evolution: that is, natural selection. According to natural selection, we would allow a disaster to weed out the unfit, the weak, and the poor—anyone who could not contribute to society. But Americans, because of our Christian heritage—a heritage that remains strong no matter how secular the nation becomes—do not behave this way. We carry our wounded off the field of battle. We risk our lives to rescue strangers. We offer food and shelter to the stranger's child—even to prisoners. And when we do, Darwin is disproved."

Imminent Death or Glory in Romans 8

Paul describes those who live in the realm of the flesh (unbelievers) as being, literally, “about to die” (8:13). He is referencing, of course, the imminent, eternal destruction in hell of everyone who does not repent and believe on Jesus Christ for salvation. Their life is a continual, urgent state of “about to die.”

On the other hand, those in the realm of the Spirit (Christians) who love Jesus in this life – even though enduring colossal sufferings – are, eagerly waiting for a glory that is, literally, “about to be revealed” (8:18)

Life is short, in other words, and our transfer to the eternal realm is going to come faster than we ever dreamed. In that light, what is your status? Are you about to die or about to inherit glory (better: “inherit God”)?

We are fools to live for what is short, transient and temporal.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Guest Post - Some Thoughts on Sovereignty Vs. Fate

Twin #2 offered these quotes in response to a post I made earlier. Once again, such great thoughts seemed a shame to bury in the comments section, so I have produced a slightly edited version here. Consider:

Romans 8:28-30 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

C.H. Spurgeon, said:

"We are no believers in fate, seeing that fate is a different doctrine altogether from predestination. Fate says the thing is and so it must be, so it is decreed. But the true doctrine is-God has appointed this and that, not because it must be, but because it is best that is should be. Fate is blind, but the destiny of Scripture is full of eyes. Fate is stern and adamantine, and has no tears for human sorrow. But the arangements of providence are kind and good."


"Opposition to divine sovereignty is essentially atheism. Men have no objection to a god who is really no God, a god who shall be the subject of caprise, who shall be a servile follower of their will, who shall be under their control. But a God who speaks and it is done, who commands and it stands fast, a God who does as he will among the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of this lower world, such a God as this they cannot endure. And yet, is it not essential to the very being of God that he should be absolute and supreme? Certainly to the scriptural conception of God, sovereignty is an absolute necessity."

Monday, September 05, 2005

John Owen on Mortification...

"Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you. Your being dead with Christ virtually, your being quickened with him, will not excuse you from this work."

Nothing better has ever been written on the subject of putting sin to death in the Believer. At least that I have found. You can download various selections or find links to the whole book here.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Nearer Heaven for September 4

Grace Fellowship Church
Here is a wonderful tool to lead you in loving thoughts toward your Maker!

Guest Post! (On Learning the Bible's Original Languages)

The following is a guest post... actually, it was a comment made to another post I made, but I thought it was so much better than my post that I posted it here. Here are tomgee's thoughts on learning Hebrew and Greek:

"Here is Martin Luther who credits the (human) launch of the entire Reformation to knowing Greek and Hebrew:

If the languages had not made me positive as to the true meaning of the word, I might have still remained a chained monk, engaged in quietly preaching Romish errors in the obscurity of a cloister; the pope, the sophists, and their anti-Christian empire would have remained unshaken.

Or his poetic description of the "scabbard of the sword of the Spirit"?:

Do you inquire what use there is in learning the languages...? Do you say, 'We can read the Bible very well in German?'

Without languages we could not have received the Gospel. Languages are the scabbard that contains the sword of the Spirit; they are the casket which contains the priceless jewels of antique thought; they are the vessel that holds the wine; and as the gospel says, they are the baskets in which the loaves and fishes are kept to feed the multitude.

If we neglect the literature we shall eventually lose the gospel.

Personally, having just finished my first year of Greek and entering into my second year (exegesis), I enjoy the language courses immensely. It is a delight to be able to (very, very slowly) translate directly from the Greek. It isn't nearly as hard as people expect it to be, at least for the majority.

Even my children (5 and 7) have learned the Greek alphabet, several words, and a single phrase in Greek. You can do this!

(By the way, the phrase is "ego eimi hay anastasis kai hay zoe", which is "I am the resurrection and the life." And if you are studying your Greek, you'll recognize that saying "ego eimi" means that Jesus is emphatic about himself, "*I* am the resurrection and the life".)

And, to be very frank with fellow would-be pastors, if we're not willing to put forward the effort to learn the original languages, should we not question just how much we really value the Word of God? I mean, pastoring is a lot of work, preaching is a lot of work; we're going to be putting a lot of effort into our labour as a pastors. Where better to invest our effort at the beginning of our studies than in the word which feeds all of the other tasks required of a pastor?

Which book better deserves this effort? Leadership books by Hybels and Maxwell? Pastoring books by Petersen (who I enjoy) and Cymbala? Better to go to the source. Go to the Word, in the original!

Parting words from Martin Luther:

As dear as the gospel is to us all, let us contend with its language.

and John Newton:

The original Scriptures well deserve your pains, and will richly repay them.

and finally from the aforementioned Bitzer himself:

The more a theologian detaches himself from the basic Hebrew and Greek text of Holy Scripture, the more he detaches himself from the source of real theology! And real theology is the foundation of a fruitful and blessed ministry."

Thanks tomgee!

Katrina Relief

Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto will be accepting donations this Sunday to send for Hurricane Katrina Relief Work. We will send all our money to the Sovereign Grace Fellowship of Canada, who intend to pass on the entire amount to Grace Bible Church in Olive Branch, Mississippi. Pastor Mark Webb and his elders will oversee the disbursement of funds.