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Archive for March, 2009

 

Shorter Catechism, week 4

 

Q. 9. What is the work of creation?

A. The work of creation is, Gods making all things of nothing, by the word of his power,[24] in the space of six days, and all very good.[25]

 

Q. 10. How did God create man?

A. God created man male and female, after his own image,[26] in knowledge,[27] righteousness, and holiness,[28] with dominion over the creatures.[29]

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A headline in this past Sunday’s edition of the Lancaster Sunday News reached out and grabbed my attention. It read, Time for God? Over-scheduled believers squeeze in religion with books, emails, podcasts. In the article, the reporter answers the question as to how busy believers find time for God in their hectic schedules. What struck me in the article was some of the books that are offered in bookstores and online to help God followers to be able to squeeze God into their schedules. Some of the titles of these books include, The One Minute Bible – Day by Day, 5 Minute Theologian: Maximum Truth in Minimum Time, 7 Minutes with God and The One Minute Bible.

 

As I reflected on these titles, the words of Psalm one (which I had just read yesterday morning in my own devotional time) came to my mind. Read what the psalmist has to say about interacting with the Word of God and the benefit of doing so.

 

Blessed is the man

who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

or stand in the way of sinners

or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever he does prospers.

Now if followers of Jesus desire to be like this prosperous tree pictured here in Psalm 1:3 – then it won’t happen with spending one minute or five minutes or seven minutes a day interacting with the Scripture. If we are going to be ALL that God wants us to be (and there’s nothing better!!!) – then we must MAKE time for God and His Word! My guess is that most of us could watch a little less TV for starters – and then go from there. And if you don’t have a hunger for the Word of God then ask God to give you a hunger for it – and then make time for God!

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Holy Spirit

Mark Driscoll

 

Known affectionately as “the Doctor” because of his medical career prior to preaching, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981) is considered by many to be the preeminent British preacher of the twentieth century. He began working at the famed Westminster Chapel in London the day after World War II broke out. That same year he became president of InterVarsity Europe. Lloyd-Jones was famed for his exposition of the Scriptures as he preached different messages on Friday nights, Sunday mornings, and Sunday evenings for upwards of an hour each, often taking many months to work through even short chapters of the Bible.

Joy in the Holy Spirit

Lloyd-Jones retired from preaching at Westminster in 1968 following a major operation. He said that he believed God stopped him from continuing to preach through Romans because he did not personally know enough about “joy in the Holy Spirit,” which was the text of his forthcoming sermon from Romans 14:17.

Lloyd-Jones is widely admired by Christians from a number of networks, denominations, and traditions. In my own experience this would include Tim Keller, Terry Virgo, and J. I. Packer, all of whom have spoken of their great appreciation for the work of Lloyd-Jones and his influence on their ministry.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Many charismatic Calvinists love Lloyd-Jones because he taught that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a distinct work of the Holy Spirit separate from regeneration. Furthermore, it is reported that he had his own baptism in the Spirit in 1949, which some have called “the moment when the Charismatic Movement in Britain was born.” Not surprisingly, Lloyd-Jones also opposed the cessationistic teaching that some of the gifts of the Spirit have ceased in our age. He critiqued Calvinists such as B. B. Warfield for quenching the Spirit.

Lloyd-Jones was very much led by the Holy Spirit in his preaching, as evidenced by the fact that he would often wander from his planned talks as the Spirit led and the length of his messages varied greatly. He also preached on television a time or two but refused to do it ever again because he felt the time constraints might also quench the freedom of the Spirit.

For Further Study

For those wanting to study more about Lloyd-Jones, Iain Murray’s two-volume biography is a good place to start. For preachers, Lloyd-Jones’ Preaching and Preachers is a must-read. In addition, if you want to hear him preach, you can. For example, I am listening to his sermons on 1 and 2 Peter from 1959 and taking advantage of a free podcast of his sermons here.

Today, the confluence of a love for Calvinism and the Holy Spirit is found in a growing movement thanks in large part to Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology and his other works. God is also using men such as my friend C. J. Mahaney for the purpose of blending the best of what is Calvinistic and Charismatic so that the mind is engaged and the passions are ignited for the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Dualism

 

[doo-uh-liz’-um]

(Latin duo, “two”)

Early philosophical system which sees the universe in terms of two antithetical forces which are continually at odds. These two forces are responsible for the origin of the world. Often the dualist worldview produced a metaphysical separation between the spiritual and physical, with the spiritual being good and physical being evil. Christianity has rejected all forms of a dualism yet its assumptions often find their way into the church.

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THIS IS NOT CHILD FRIENDLY

 

A British imam was raping his daughter for ten years, and when she fled her family to avoid being sent to Pakistan for a forced marriage and became a Christian, he led a gang through the streets trying to kill her:

 

We are all too familiar with the persecution of Christians in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Yet sitting in front of me is a British woman whose life has been threatened in this country solely because she is a Christian. Indeed, so real is the threat that the book she has written about her experiences has had to appear under an assumed name.

 

The book is called The Imam’s Daughter because “Hannah Shah” is just that: the daughter of an imam in one of the tight-knit Deobandi Muslim Pakistani communities in the north of England. Her father emigrated to this country from rural Pakistan some time in the 1960s and is, apparently, a highly respected local figure.

 

He is also an incestuous child abuser, repeatedly raping his daughter from the age of five until she was 15, ostensibly as part of her punishment for being

“disobedient”. At the age of 16 she fled her family to avoid the forced marriage they had planned for her in Pakistan. A much, much greater affront to “honour” in her family’s eyes, however, was the fact that she then became a Christian – an apostate. The Koran is explicit that apostasy is punishable by death; thus it was that her father the imam led a 40-strong gang – in the middle of a British city – to find and kill her.

 

Hannah Shah says her story is not unique – that there are many other girls in British Muslim families who are oppressed and married off against their will, or who have secretly become Christians but are too afraid to speak out. She wants their voices to be heard and for Britain, the land of her birth, to realise the hidden misery of these women.

 

Hannahs description in the book of the moment when her “community” discovered the “safe” home where she had fled after becoming an apostate is terrifying. A mob with her father at its head pounded and hammered at the door as she cowered upstairs hoping she could not be seen or heard. She heard her father shout through the letter box: “Filthy traitor! Betrayer of your faith! Cursed traitor! We’re going to rip your throat out! We’ll burn you alive!”

 

(Via Betsy’s Page.)

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1. Who or What Defines Reformed?

2. Calvinism Old and New

3. For Those Just Tuning In: What is the Federal Vision?

4. A Word to Students in the Midst of Controversy

5. Thinking About the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals?

6. Covenant Theology is Not Replacement Theology

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He Hideth My Soul

Fanny J. Crosby, 1820–1915

The blind American poet, Fanny Jane Crosby, did not begin writing gospel texts until she was in her mid-forties. But from then on, inspiring words seemed to flow constantly from her heart, and she became “the happiest creature in all the land.” Friends stopped in frequently to see her with requests for new texts for special occasions.

One day Fanny was visited by William Kirkpatrick, a talented gospel musician who had just composed a new melody that he felt needed suitable words to become a singable hymn. As William sat at the piano and played the tune for Fanny, her face lit up. She knelt in prayer, as was always her custom, and soon the lines to this hymn began to flow freely from her heart.

The life of Fanny Crosby can be as uplifting to us as her wonderful hymns. Her lyrics revealed the triumph God gave her over a life of blindness. She wrote at least 8000 hymn texts during the remaining years of her life and she traveled extensively as a speaker throughout the country in her later years. She said it was her continual prayer that God would allow her to lead every person she contacted to Christ.

1. A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,

A wonderful Savior to me;

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,

Where rivers of pleasure I see.

 

2. A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,

He taketh my burden away;

He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,

He giveth me strength as my day.

 

3. With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,

And filled with His fullness divine,

I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God

For such a redeemer as mine!

 

4. When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise

To meet Him in clouds of the sky,

His perfect salvation,

His wonderful love I’ll shout with the millions on high.

 

Chorus:

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock

That shadows a dry, thirsty land;

He hideth my life with the depths of His love,

And covers me there with His hand,

And covers me there with His hand.

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