Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Giving Offence to God – Part 3

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Finally, with all the peripheral groups dealt with, we come to the reason for this set to posts and the real question at hand.

2. The unbeliever actively praying.

Worldly sense would say that this person is actively ingratiating themselves to God by this act of supplication. You could say “Surely this brings blessing to this person?”.

First, their status before a Righteous and Holy God. As with all human beings (past, present and future), this unregenerate person is in open rebellion against God in two ways: 1. by not acknowledging Him as God, creator and sustainer of all that is (see Rom 3:20 below) , and not worshiping Him accordingly: and 2. by not believing in His son as their sole saviour. Their failure is this regard results is their being wicked, as in our verse from the previous post

The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,  (Prov 15:3a)

Or even more pointed

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; (Prov 21:27a)

Notice that their are no caveats or exceptions. The wicked are always an abomination to the Lord. That means that their state makes everything they do an abomination to Him. Outside of salvation in Christ, can anyone be righteous in anything before God? No, not one (Rom 3:10b).

So, we have a person who is in active rebellion against what his Creator requires of him, who actively denies that Creator’s sovereignty and Son, approaching God in a way that He has reserved for believers.

Let us think back in the Old Testament to Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron (Lev 10:1-2). What happened to them when they inappropriately performed what the Lord specified. Right! – the Lord put them to death. So, the Lord clearly takes a very dim view of those who approach Him inappropriate and with the wrong attitude of submission and worship.

Since, as mentioned above, the unregenerate person is inherently and completely tainted by sin, all that they do is similarly tainted and can not please God. Their rebellion is reflected in the essence of who they are and thus in everything that they do. Moreover, their execution of actions that are reserved for believers, who are pleasing to God, is an even greater affront to the Lord.

If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. (Prov 28:9)

In conclusion -> This individual is putting themselves at further enmity with God by performing this act of supposed worship – digging the hole deeper, so to speak. They are incapable of acceptable worship or supplication in their spiritual condition and their attempt to approach God is an affront.

Unpleasant though it sounds, this is the biblical message, and it glorifies God by demonstrating His absolute, unwavering righteousness and justice.

Every unbeliever is called by all of creation around them to acknowledge the sole and total sovereignty of God. There are no exceptions.

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom 1:20)

They are further called to repent of their worldly self and turn to His only son Jesus Christ.

Only then are their worship and supplications acceptable to God – becoming a living sacrifice and a pleasant aroma to the Lord (Num 15:13).

For the Glory of God alone.

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Bible verses along the way…

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

In the course of following Prof. Horner’s Reading approach, I will tweet some of the verses that strike me as I go. It is interesting how the juxtaposition of readings adds context and insights…

The latest Tweets will be shown in our left sidebar. I should also note that all verses will be quote from the ESV Bible version, which is what I have adopted for this type of reading.

Please follow us on Twitter!

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Keep Your Greek – A Book Review

Friday, March 18th, 2011

So, you know a usable amount, or a lot, of NT Greek. You did the basic grammar courses, added a syntax and exegesis course, and maybe a related preaching or teaching course. Lots of sweat and a little inspiration. And voila, usable Koine Greek (hopefully).

We all agree that this is invaluable if not vital do quality study, preaching and teaching of the Word.

Now the real challenge begins. Retaining a language that you do not actively speak every day means deliberately keeping it up. But how?

Keep Your Greek

Keep Your Greek

Keep Your Greek, Strategies for Busy People by Constantine Campbell was created to address this problem.

This book was not created in the vacuum of the academic study. Each chapter of the book was created through a blog post and associated blog comments (some of which are included in most chapters). I followed this process online and the result is a timely compendium which hits the mark.

The book is clearly writen and addresses each issue concisely. There is lots of (Greek geek) humour and a point of view that those using Greek will appreciate. In short, it does the job in an engaging fashion, which is half the battle.

It is not that this book contains a lot of surprises, since there is little new under the language learning sun. However, it pulls together most of the tips and tricks appropriate to Kione under one roof. This is uniquely useful and encouraging.

The main requirement, as expected, is ongoing, consistent effort. No surprise there, but the encouragement is appropriate.

Along with the expected suggestions (keep your vocabulary up, practice parsing), there are a couple of strategies for retention and increased usability that are not as often suggested:
– skim reading, as you would in English, to practice getting the ‘just’ of the text. This is rarely suggested for this type of language work, especially for the less advanced.
– varying reading speed deliberately.

Lastly, there is a section on recovering your dormant Greek.

Overall, this is a useful, engaging and most of all encouraging look at a problem shared by most serious bible students. It is a welcome addition. Constantine Campbell is to be commended.

I should close by mentioning that Zondervan gave me a copy of this book for review. Irregardless, I would likely have purchased it and my opinions would be the same.

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Bible Reading Plan

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Yikes, another Bible reading plan! At first blush that was my reaction as well. Had it not been for an intriguing comment on another Reformed blog I would likely have dismissed it summarily with a polite yawn.

That would have been most unfortunate, and I am very thankful that the Lord prodded me appropriately.

The plan in question is called Professor Horner’s Bible reading plan. It has a web site and a facebook page if you Google for it.

In a nutshell, it proposes that one read one chapter from each of ten lists of Bible books each day – that is 10 chapters from 10 different books, daily. The ten book lists cover the whole Bible and are chosen by the good professor to reflect various New and Old Testament divisions and areas of importance.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it? But it works!

Each of the lists are different lengths, so over time the juxtaposition of books and chapters read daily changes. The result is a unique contextualization.

Here is the original article.

I made one modification. Acts was on a list by itself, while Romans was grouped with other Epistles. Given the Reformed doctrinal significance of Romans, I moved it to join Acts. This increases the frequency of Romans somewhat.

Here is a speadsheet of my version, which makes it easier to follow the program. Notice that the days have numbers, not dates, so you can start any time.

My opinion after 75 days -> his predication about the effects are both correct and wonderful. It is very profitable.

Try it…

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Sound Doctrine

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

I saw this image on the net and it needs sharing. It certainly expresses our desire to humbly seek and share the Truth of Scripture.

sound-doctrine

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Seeker Friendly People – Beware!

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Anyone who has read this site, or more especially my ThoughtPaths site know my option of the seeker friendly, emergent church.

Last Summer (2009) I came across this clip by Rev. Al Martin. It was big hit at the White Horse North.

Enjoy and take heed…

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A TULIP by any other name…

Monday, April 27th, 2009

We serve a totally sovereign God, proclaiming His absolute freedom in saving His elect as suits His own purposes. Being the result of His sovereign will alone, the calling of His elect proclaims that salvation does not depend upon man who wills or man who runs but on God who has mercy.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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