Monday, March 28, 2011

lloyd-jones: on preaching

"Every preacher should believe strongly in his own method; and if I cannot persuade all of the rightness of mine, I can at least stimulate them to think and to consider other possibilities. I can say quite honestly that I would not cross the road to listen to myself preaching, and the preachers whom I have enjoyed most have been very different indeed in their method and style. But my business is not to describe them but to state what I believe to be right, however imperfectly I have put my own precepts into practice. I can only hope that the result will be of some help, and especially to young preachers called to this greatest of all tasks, and especially in these sad and evil times. With many others I pray that 'the Lord of the harvest may thrust forth' many mighty preachers to proclaim 'the unsearchable riches of Christ.'"
- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in Preaching and Preachers

Saturday, March 19, 2011

on Christ and the Holy Spirit

Today I am turning in 40-pages of writing for my Systematic Theology class. Among that vast swath of papers there are two creeds that I was asked to write on Christ and the Holy Spirit. These are my joy and my conviction:

Christological Credo:

I believe in the Son

Equal and coeternal with the Father and Spirit—One God

Without beginning and without end

Through whom the world was created

Humbled Himself to enter limited time

This being accomplished through the means of a lowly birth in a manger to a faithful virgin

Relating with broken humanity in every way

Declaring a coming kingdom and Himself as the King

This being accomplished through the means of being cursed and dying upon a cross

The result of the cross was true physical death

The shame of the world was nailed there

However, death could make no claim on the perfect Son of God

On the third day He rose from the dead

Conquering death and the fear it had imposed on mortals

To ransom, save, and declare sinless once lost humanity

In his death and subsequent resurrection Jesus fulfilled the eternal plan of the Godhead

He was without sin, but took upon Himself the sin of the world

Healing the world by His own wounding

Of His own fullness we have receive grace upon grace

Now He intercedes on behalf of the church, His chosen Bride

Awaiting the time of His coming again

To judge the quick and the dead

To bring his children into the eternal glory shared within the Triune godhead.

And to be worshiped forever and ever…Amen.

Pneumatological Credo:

I believe in the Spirit,

Equal and coeternal with the Father and Son—One God

Who dwelt within the council of God creating the world

Breathing life into all the living

Always present in the power of God and the communication of true holiness

Inspiring the saints of old, speaking by prophets, and enabling godly kings

Showing humanity in diverse ways their need of a Savior

Present in the conviction of sin and longing for coming kingdom

Working miraculously in the virgin to bring the promised Messiah into the world of flesh

A reliable guide for Jesus throughout His mortal life

Instrumental in raising the Son in power

Introducing the world to salvation

Through conviction of sin and righteousness and judgment

Completing the work of Christ in the life of the all those who believe

Filling the saints with correct understanding of Jesus

And uniting them around this common confession

Declaring the work of redemption through powerful witness

Overflowing life onto all who would believe the Gospel message

Now guiding the believer as He once guided Christ

Bringing peace, conquering fear, and healing relationship

Freely giving gifts to the Church

Interpreting the believing prayer

Groaning in creation

Authoring all true worship

And bringing sad consequence to those who grieve him

But to those who obey a distinguishable and increasing growth in holiness

—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control—

Even now cultivating the soul for eternal communion with the Triune Godhead.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

caught the interest of God

Karl Barth wrote in his famous essay The Humanity of God:

“What is culture in itself except the attempt of man to be man and thus to hold the good gift of his humanity in honor and to put it to work?...Above all, the fact remains that man who, either as the creator or as the beneficiary, somehow participates in this attempt is the being who interests God.” (54)

What!!! We have caught the “interest of God”? I think this is correct wording, but how it makes me tremble! There is a fear that is talked of when you finally discover you are loved. And I feel something of that sort of emotion. The questions come: am I worthy? Can I love in return? What part do I play? He is very good at loving and he is so pure, will he continue loving me when he sees that I do not always keep my word? For some reason I do not know what to say and am strangely afraid when I hear that God is interested in me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

on the existence of God

It has been a little while since I have picked up any material in philosophy. An article in the Huffington Press caught my eye today. The title of the article read: "A Reasonable Argument for the Existence of God." Since I would like to be considered reasonable I read it. The article was written by Rabbi Adam Jacobs. As it should be with reasonable things, the argument is not new. I am skeptical of new things. There is nothing new under the sun. The presentation might be different (facebook, video, etc.), but the content differs very little. It has been said that philosophers have come up with nothing new since Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. You might be surprised to read them. What I find most helpful about these articles is that it makes me dig deep again. The mind is a terrible things to waste! I am done with my preamble if you would like to read the article you can find it here:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where is the Life we have lost in living?

How would you respond to these opening lines of T.S. Eliot's poem "The Rock":

The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.

O perpetual revolution of configured stars,
O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying.

The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.

All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from GOD and nearer to the Dust.