29 March 2008

Sinclair Ferguson Interview

As a follow up to my last post on the finished work of Christ, CJ Mahaney has been posting excerpts of an interview with Sinclair Ferguson this week on the Sovereign Grace blog and its brilliant stuff. Mahaney has been quoting Ferguson and asking him to comment and this ties in so well with my last post.

Ferguson's quote:

The glory of the gospel is that God has declared Christians to be rightly related to him in spite of their sin. But our greatest temptation and mistake is to try to smuggle character into his work of grace. How easily we fall into the trap of assuming that we can only remain justified so long as there are grounds in our character for justification. But Paul’s teaching is that nothing we do ever contributes to our justification.

How often we feel that if we had only done this or that then such and such would not have happened or if I had just not been thinking this way or if I was just a better Christian then.... This line of thought is biblically false and I am so glad it is. Our character will never earn us God's grace and we need to be thankful for that for it never could.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest
any man should boast. Eph 2:8-9

27 March 2008

A Prayer and the Finished Work of Christ

In the latest issue of Reformation 21’s online magazine we find a prayer by John Leonard. One portion stuck out to me in considering the finished work of Christ on the cross. But Lord, some days I feel like I can really pray and you hear me because I have been good or done something for you. Doesn’t that place you in my debt? Forgive me for making Christ’s death meaningless by valuing my pitiful acts as more significant than Jesus’ life and death. Why do I, Lord, desire to cover the perfect righteousness of Christ with my own filthy rags? Don’t we often still find ourselves working to repay our debt to Christ or trying to earn his forgiveness? Aren’t we all guilty of this?

In like fashion we read in the Valley of Vision Evening Prayer, But I bless thee that the finished work of Jesus needs no addition from my doings, that his oblation is sufficient satisfaction for my sins. We often need to be reminded that the pathetic works we perform truly are nothing more than filthy rags and that is even when we’re at our best. Moreover, we’re often not at our best and this is where the grace of our Creator is awesome.

Wonderful News about Mohler

It has been determined that the tumor removed from Al Mohler was NOT cancerous. Praise God indeed. The story is here and his comments are worth reading especially, "We do not know what is within us at any given moment," Mohler said. "I had no perception, no spiritual wisdom, to know that I had a tumor that was growing inside me. That is a reminder that we can think we are in control, but we don't even know what's going on inside ourselves."

25 March 2008

Westminster Wednesday 57-59

As we come to this week's study let's continue with John Flavel's excellent commentary on the catechism for our examination of the fourth commandment.

Q. 57. Which is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is, [Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger which is with in thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it.]

Q. 58. What is required in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God, such set time as he hath appointed in his word, expressly one whole day in seven, to be an holy Sabbath unto the Lord.

Q. 59. Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath?
A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath.

Q. 1. What special marks of honour hath God set upon this fourth commandment?
A. God hath set four peculiar marks of honour on it.
(1.) It is the largest of all the commands.
(2.) It hath a solemn memento prefixed to it.
(3.) It is delivered both positively and negatively, which the rest are not. And,
(4.) It is enforced with more arguments to strengthen the command on us, than any other.

Q. 2. Why will God have a Sabbath on earth?
A. God will have a Sabbath on earth, to give us therein an emblem of that eternal Sabbath in heaven, wherein his people shall be serving him, and praising him without interruption, or mixture of any other business throughout eternity; Hebrews 4:9. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Q. 3. For what other reasons will God have a Sabbath?
A. He will have a Sabbath for the honour of his name, Isaiah 58:13. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. For the good of men’s souls; Mark 2:27. And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath, And in mercy to the bodies of men and beasts.

Q. 4. Is this commandment moral and perpetual, or ceremonial and temporary?
A. It is, and must needs be moral, and not ceremonial; because all the reasons that enforce it are perpetual, and the Sabbath continued when the ceremonial law ceased, and was vanished; Matthew 24:20. But pray ye, that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath-day.

Q. 5. What day of the seven is the Christian Sabbath?
A. The first day of the week is our Sabbath, since the resurrection of Christ. This is the day which was foretold to be our Sabbath; Psalm 118:24. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. The Lord hath marked it for himself, by setting his own name on it; Revelation 1:10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. And the apostles and primitive church constantly set it apart to religious uses and ends; Acts 20:7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, &c. 1 Corinthians 16:2. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Q. 6. When doth the Christian Sabbath begin?
A. It appears that this day is not to be reckoned from evening to evening, but from morning to morning; because the Christian Sabbath must begin when the Jewish Sabbath ended, but that ended towards the morning, Matthew 28:1. In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.

Q. 7. What is the ground of changing the day?
A. The solemn commemoration of our redemption by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, is the ground of translating the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week: Psalm 118:24. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Mark 16:9. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Q. 8. Is it the whole day, or only some hours of the day, that are set apart for God?
A. Not a part, but the whole day is the Lord’s; and it is as dangerous to halve it with God in point of time, as it was for Ananias and Sapphira to halve their dedicated goods, and bring in but a part. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath-day, is the command.

Q. 9. Is there any other day holy besides this day?
A. No day but this is holy by institution of the Lord; yet days of humiliation and thanksgiving may he lawfully set apart by men on a call of providence; but popish holidays are not warrantable, nor to be observed; Galatians 4:10. Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Q. 10. But seeing every day should be a Sabbath to a Christian, what needs any other set time?
.4. Though Christians must walk every day with God, yet every day cannot be a Sabbath, because God calls us to other duties on those days, but will have this to be a solemn and entire day to himself.

Q. 11. But if a man scruple the change of the Sabbath, may he not keep both days weekly?
A. No; for then, by doing more than God requires, he breaks a plain command, Six days shalt thou labour.

Q. 12. At what time should Christians he up, and at their duties, on the Lord’s day?
A. As early in the morning as their strength will permit, to prepare by private for public duties; yet the public are not to be entrenched on by private duties; Acts 10:33. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

19 March 2008

For Our Spiritual Recovery

Sometimes our guilt hurts so much that we madly want to do something extraordinary to make the pain stop. But what does God require of us for our spiritual recovery? Simple: renewed obedience in his means of killing the flesh. His means are outlined throughout his word and they're familiar: constantly reading his word, hearing it preached, and reflecting on it; fervent prayer; careful watching against temptation; and fixing the mind always on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. - Kris Lundgaard, Through the Looking Glass

Westminster Wednesday 53-56

In our study of the Westminster Shorter Catechism
we come to the third commandment.

Q. 53. Which is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is, [Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain.]

Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requireth the holy and reverend use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, words, and works.

Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning or abusing of any thing whereby God maketh himself known.

Q. 56. What is the reason annexed to the third commandment?
A. The reason annexed to the third commandment is, that however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment. from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment.

John Flavel explains:
Q. 1. How doth this commandment differ from the first and second?
A. The first hath respect to the object of worship, forbidding us to worship any other but God. The second respects the means of worship, forbidding us to worship God by any other means than what he hath prescribed. But the third respects the manner of his worship, forbidding all careless, or profane use of his name, and commanding an holy reverence from us in all our solemn addresses to him, or ordinary mention of his name. Malachi 1:6. A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: If then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear! saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name: And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

Q. 2. What is the first thing especially required in the third commandment?
A. It requires the most awful and reverential frame of our hearts in all our approaches to God; Psalm 89:7. God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints; and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. And in his worship; John 4:24. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Q. 3. What is the second thing required in this commandment?
A. It requires truth in our witness bearing, as knowing God seeth our hearts, and is witness to all that we think or speak; Zechariah 5:4. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name, &c.

Q. 4. What is the third thing required in this commandment?
A. That in all our appeals to God in secret, or doubtful matters, we be sure that the appeal be necessary, awful, and true; Jeremiah 17:16. As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee, neither have I desired the woeful day, thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee. Psalm 139:23-24. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.

Q. 5. What doth this commandment especially forbid?
A. It forbids and condemns all profane oaths, as most injurious to the name of God, Matthew 5:34, 37. Swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne, &c. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil.

Q. 6. What is the danger of profane or false swearing?
A. Such are reckoned enemies to God, Psalm 139:20. Thine enemies take thy name in vain. The curse of God enters into such families. Zechariah 5:4. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name, &c. And the Lord will not hold them guiltless.

Q. 7. What else is forbidden in this commandment?
A. It forbids and condemns all heedless, wandering, and drowsy performance of God’s worship; Isaiah 29:13-14. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouths, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work, and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. And 2 Kings 10:31. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the Jaw of the Lord God of Israel, with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.

Q. 8. What other sin is forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all light and irreverent use of the scriptures, especially in our jests, or by way of scoffing; Jeremiah 17:15. Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now. Jeremiah 6:10. Behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.

Q. 9. By what argument doth God enforce the third commandment on men?
A. That the breakers of this commandment shall surely be punished by the Lord, either in this life, Deuteronomy 28:58-59. If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law, that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God: Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sickness, and of long continuance: Or in that to come, Romans 2:5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God: Except they repent and reform.

Q. 10. What is the first instruction from the third commandment?
A. That great and infinite is the patience of God in forbearing and provoking sinners so long as he doth; Romans 9:22. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?

Q. 11. What is the second instruction from hence?
A. That God is to be justified in the severest of his judgments, by which at any time he manifests his displeasure against the profaneness of the world; Hosea 4:1-3. Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: For the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, arid blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

Q. 12. What is the third instruction from hence?
A. That God takes special notice of, and greatly delighteth in them that fear and reverence his name; Isaiah 66:5. Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word: Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. Malachi 3:16. And a book of remembrance was written before him, for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

Q. 13. What is the last inference from hence?
A. That those parents have much to answer for, that by their examples teach, or by their negligence encourage their children to profane God’s name: Jeremiah 5:7. How shall I pardon thee for this? Thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods, &c.

17 March 2008

More on J.I.Packer

The Chairman of Reform, Rod Thomas, has written a protest letter to the Church Times which I think captures the sentiments of many of us....The threat by the Bishop of New Westminster in Canada to suspend the Revd Dr Jim Packer from ministry because his church has sought the oversight of the Primate of the Southern Cone has rightly created a huge sense of outrage across the Communion and especially among evangelicals in the Church of England. We are all indebted to Dr Packer for his monumental contribution to our understanding of Christian doctrine. To treat such a scholarly, godly and elderly man, who has been a key evangelical leader for over half a century, in this mean-spirited and aggressive manner is deeply upsetting. Read the entire letter here.

On another note, I found the following clips of Packer commenting on work and worship worth some reflection.

15 March 2008

In Honor of St. Patricks's Day...

In honor of St. Patrick's Day I offer the following Irish toast:

May you live to be
a hundred years,
With one extra to repent


Photo credit

A Couple of Disappointments and a Highlight

Jason over at the Pilgrim's Pub seemed to like the Sam Adams Irish Red, I thought it was a bit disappointing. It was OK, for something different but I won't spend the hard earned cash on this brew again. I guess its just a bit flat & missing excitement compared to some of the other Reds that are out there like Murphy's or even Killian's. Its not a throw away though, I'll finish the six pack don't you worry about that. I was just expecting something more from Sam Adams. On the Renegade 1 to 10 scale it rates a poor 6.

Another disappointment was the Blackened Voodoo Beer from Dixie Brewing. Its won great reviews but I won't be heading to Lousiana for a visit anytime soon. Perhaps I'm spoiled having some great brew pubs in my area or perhaps I was simply drawn in by its name but never again. I'm struggling just to finish the last couple of bottles. At best the is just an average beer, a step above a Miller Lite and a step below most other brews. On the Renegade scale of 1 to 10 it rates a dismal 3.

One highlight this week was that I found my local grocery store (of all places - go figure!) is now carrying Young's Double Chocolate Stout. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it on the shelf. This stout has everything your asking for. Its smooth and creamy with delicious chocolate and coffee flavor. From Youngs website we read...Chocolate malt and real dark chocolate are combined with Young’s award winning rich, full flavoured dark beer to craft a satisfyingly indulgent, but never overly sweet experience.Its first rate and at only 5.2 ABV you can drink all you want (well, you know what I mean). The Renegade gives this one a 9.5 rating. Drink up!

12 March 2008

Carl Trueman Comment on the Health, Wealth and Prosperity Gospel

I was listening to a lecture by Carl Trueman today on Luther’s Theology of the Cross. He was making some modern day applications & as part of his conclusion he remarked:
I want to raise the question that maybe the difference between Joel Osteen and your typical North American Presbyterian is this: Joel Osteen is merely more honest about what he actually believes. Maybe that’s the real difference between many of us and Joel Osteen: he’s honest and we’re not. Which actually makes him a superior moral person to us. I raise that question because its one thing to say on paper that you don’t subscribe to the health, wealth & prosperity gospel and I hope probably everybody in this room would subscribe to that. It’s a different thing to subscribe to it in practice. Are you tempted to curse God when you don’t get that pay raise? Are you tempted to curse God when the plumbing goes wrong and suddenly you’re slapped with that $1000 bill you didn’t expect and didn’t budget for? Are you tempted to curse God when you catch some illness that sets you back? I know I would be in all of those situations. Cards on the table, I’d be very tempted to be disillusioned with God in those situations. Where my question then comes, am I not really a heath, wealth and happiness theologian at that point? Is the difference between myself and Osteen not simply that he’s public and honest about what he believes and I hide what I really believe behind a veneer of Westminster orthodoxy?
He goes on to say that a true understanding of the cross (not just an agreement with penal substitution) will change our expectations.
I appreciate Trueman’s honesty here and I found this a powerful and convicting observation as I’m going through some of the things he mentioned. Let’s ask ourselves what we truly believe about the cross and the promises of God that flow from it. I think many of us could profit from a few moments of reflection on this.

Westminster Wednesday 49-52

Westminster Shorter Catechism q&a's 49-52.

Q. 49. Which is the second commandment? A. The second commandment is, [Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing, that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.]
Q. 50. What is required in the second commandment? A. The second commandment requireth, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances, as God hath appointed in his word.
Q. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment? A. The second commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his word.
Q. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment? A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, are God’s sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he hath to his own worship.

From John Flavel we read:

Q. 1. What is the sin especially forbidden in the second commandment? A. The sin here forbidden, is the corruption of God’s worship, by making any similitude of any person in the Godhead, and performing divine worship before it, or to it; Exodus 32:8. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: They have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, these be thy gods O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 4:15-16. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves (for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire) lest ye corrupt yourselves and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.
Q. 2. What is the second sin forbidden in this commandment? A. The second sin against this commandment is will-worship, consisting in the addition of man's inventions to the worship of God, as a part thereof; Matthew 15:9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Colossians 2:20-23. Whereof if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances. (Touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will-worship and humility, and neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
Q. 3. But if those additions be for the more decent worshipping of God, is it not allowed by 1 Corinthians 14:40. Let all things be done decently, and in order? A. No; that scripture commands that God’s institutions be regularly and decently performed, but not that we invent ceremonies that are symbolical, to make them more decent than Christ left them.
Q. 4. Why is the second commandment left out in all the public offices of the popish church? A. Because it expressly condemns their idolatrous images, kneeling at the sacrament, prayers to saints, and all their superstitious crosses, surplices, and chrisme, as sinful.
Q. 5. Do they not clear themselves from idolatry, by telling us they only worship God before, or by them, but not the images themselves? A. No, they do not; for the use of images in God’s worship is expressly condemned in this commandment; as if this would excuse the papists, it had also excused the Israelite in worshipping the calf, Exodus 32:4. And they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, that brought thee out of the land of Egypt.
Q. 6. What is the first reason annexed to the second commandment? A. The first reason annexed is God’s sovereignty, I the Lord; which shews that it belongs to God only to institute his own worship, and make it effectual; and therefore to do that in his worship which he never commanded, is sinful and dangerous; Jeremiah 7:31. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
Q. 7. What is the second reason annexed to the second commandment? A. The second reason is God’s propriety in us: He is our God, and we belong to him; and therefore to corrupt his worship, greatly aggravates our sins; Hosea 9:1. Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people; for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, &c.
Q. 8. What is the third reason annexed to the second commandment? A. The jealousy of God over his worship and worshippers; so that this sin of corrupting his worship will dreadfully incense his wrath, as it did, Leviticus 10:1-2. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire thereon, and offered strange fire, before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
Q. 9. What is the first instruction from the second commandment? A. That it is an heinous sin to neglect the worship of God in that manner he hath appointed us to worship him, as in prayer; Jeremiah 10:25. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name. Hearing the word; Proverbs 28:9. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Q. 10. What is the second instruction from the second commandment? A. That those who suffer for endeavouring to preserve the purity of God’s ordinances, and nonconformity to the contrary injunctions of men, have a good warrant to bear them out in all such sufferings; Deuteronomy 4:2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you.
Q. 11. What is the third instruction from the second commandment? A. That it is highly sinful and dangerous to innovate and prescribe by human authority such symbolical rites in the worship of God, as he never appointed or allowed in his word; Matthew 15:9. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction hence? A. Hence we learn how much parents and children are obliged to worship God constantly, spiritually, and agreeably to his will revealed in his word; otherwise the jealousy of God will visit them both in the way of judgment: For as obedience entails a blessing, so disobedience entails a curse on posterity; Exodus 34:14. For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

09 March 2008

Just One Book....Part 2

OK, so since no one chimed in on this its down to me to just fill in the blank. So, if I could only give an unbeliever one book what would it be? I would also have to go with Piper's Desiring God (as Reformed Christian UK did) and I'd follow that up a short time later with his Don't Waste Your Life. Both are fine books for a believer at any stage in their walk.
Piper has such a great balance to his preaching and teaching, he just can't be beat.

Snowstorm Finish and Psalm 96:1-6

A sunnier view out our front window!

As I awoke to sunny skies this morning I was relieved the snow storm was over. I'm sure we got over 12 inches here. As I was plowing yesterday I was running out of places to put the snow! The church we were going to attend this morning meets in a school and is closed for the weekend. Most likely we'll watch a Mark Driscoll sermon on the iPod and settle in for the rest of the day.

Looking out the back window we have a view of the Ukranian Cathedral. St Josaphat's is the American capital, so to speak, of the Ukranian church

Psalm 96

1 O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
4 For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

08 March 2008


The view out my front window today about 1pm

I have not seen the kind of weather that we're having here today for years. Before its all done we'll have somewhere between 9 and 16 inches of snow. Its beautiful and humbling at the same time. I'm glad its the weekend so we can stay home and not fight it getting to and from work. I've plowed the driveway 4 times since yesterday at 4pm and it looks like I'll be doing it again several times before the weekend is over.

Looking out the back door, mind you I have plowed the
driveway 4 times already at this point

Psalm 147:12-20
12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
13 For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.
14 He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.
16 He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
17 He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?
18 He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19 He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.

07 March 2008

Packer on Same Sex Unions

Its very distressing to read about the discord in the Anglican church over the issue of same sex unions. And now J.I. Packer's spiritual authority in the Anglican church may be revoked. This is heart breaking and we must support those in the middle of this issue that are standing for biblical truth such as Packer. Read more about it here and check out the video below.

To find out more on all the Anglican issues at stake search "St John's Shaughnessy" on You Tube for a ten part series.


05 March 2008

Westminster Wednesday #48

John Owen
Are we all set for WSC #48?

Q. 48. What are we especially taught by these words, [before me,] in the first commandment?
A. These words, [before me,] in the first commandment, teach us, that God who seeth all things, takes notice of and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God.

1. Are we always in God's sight? Yes: Thou knowest my down-sitting, and my up-rising, Ps. 139:2. Are all our actions in his sight? Yes: All my ways are before thee, Ps. 119:168. Does he take notice of them? Yes: he pondereth all our goings, Prov. 5:21.
2. Are all our good works before him? Yes: I know thy work, and thy labour, and thy patience, Rev. 2: 2. Does he know all our inward worship of him? Yes: The Lord hearkened, and heard those that thought on his name, Mal. 3:16. And should that encourage us to have him for our God? Yes: for your Father sees in secret, and will reward openly, Matt. 6:4.
3. Are all our evil works before him? Yes: He sets our iniquities before him, Ps. 90:8. Is the having of other gods oftentimes a secret sin? Yes: They do it in the dark, and say, the Lord sees us not, Exod. 8:12. But does God see? Yes: He that formed the eye, shall he not see it? Ps. 94:9. Does he take notice of all our neglects of him? Yes: if we have forgotten the name of our God he knows it. And does he take notice of all our inclinations to other gods? Yes: if we have stretched out our hands to a strange god, shall not God search this out? Ps. 44:20, 21. And is he much displeased with secret idolatry? Yes: Seest thou the great abominations that they commit? Ezek. 8:6. And should this oblige us to be faithful to him? Yes: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, 1 Chron. 28:9.

Need it be said what we all know? Other gods creep into our lives very slowly and very easily. Whether it be a hobby, TV viewing, a person such as a family member, money, power, fame, materialism and the list of “other gods” goes on & on. Often we won’t even notice the growing sin within that takes over as we start to worship that which pulls us away from the Creator of the universe. We must daily mortify this sin, as John Owen instructs us, as any other sin. For certainly God knows our hearts, If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart (Psalm 44:20-21).

01 March 2008

Hermeneutics Quiz

Hhmm...I scored a 49 on the Hermeneutics quiz which puts me in the conservative bracket. The definition, according to the authors of the quiz is: ...the conservative hermeneutic group scores 52 or lower. The strength of this view is its emphasis on the authority, ongoing and normative authority, of all of Scripture. It tends to operate with the line many of us learned in Sunday school: "If the Bible says it, that settles it." Such persons let the Bible challenge them with full force. Literal readings lead to rather literal applications. Most of the time. I can live with that. Its difficult for anyone to fall into one bracket but I think I'd rather be tied to being a conservative in this case rather than falling in with one of the other two. Take the quiz and see where your leanings are.