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Interview of Michael LeFebvre, Co-Author of Our Triune God

Friend and fellow Gentle Reformation blogger Dr. Michael LeFebvre recently had a new book he coauthored published.  Below is a short interview I conducted to find out more about the book and Michael’s reasons for writing it.

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Michael, what led you to work on this book on the Trinity?  How did it come about that you co-authored it with Philip Ryken, the pastor of the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church of Philadephia?

Electronic Dog Leash

Taking my daughter to a friend’s house a few times recently, I have noticed a sheltie collie at the end of one T-street on which I turn.  The little dog stands at the front edge of its fenceless yard, waiting for cars coming to its street.  As a car reaches the T of the intersection, the collie races madly to the end of the yard, then abruptly leaps and spins in the opposite direction and charges back that way, the whole time barking constantly.  As you drive past, you notice it keeps repeating this process – flying back and forth, back and forth, with non-stop barking.  Obviously it has been trained with an electric fence and collar, because it stays right on the front edge of the yard and never crosses the side edges of the property.  Indeed, the last time I went by the collie had worn a path in the snow right down to the ground.

Book Review: Addictions

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave

Edward T. Welch

Ed Welch is a long-time counselor and faculty member with CCEF (Christian Counseling & Education Foundation). Like many, I have benefited greatly from his writings and lectures. This book is no exception.

Welch dives skillfully into a topic that has touched all of our lives, if only indirectly. All of us have fought a sin so long that it could be labeled an

Ramblings

Reading a book called Breath, which tells the incredible tale of Martha Mason. Martha, a fellow Tarheel, spent over sixty years in an iron lung. She had an incredible spirit, seen in such things as her graduating from Wake Forest or managing her own mother’s health when senility struck Martha’s lifelong caregiver. She went through all this without losing her sense of humor.

Hiding Ourselves

Is it not easier to hide who we are than who we are not?

To disguise our selfishness is but the work of a moment, whereas the lack of a generous spirit is too big a void to conceal.
To covet a neighbor’s position can be mostly contained within, but a failure to rejoice spontaneously in a friend’s success creates a loud silence.
To talk big about prayer and pray big in public can, like a rug over swept-up dirt, mostly hide the fact that we do not pray quietly in private, but it is not a very good cover up for a long distance relationship with God.

Is this not the way of the Pharisee Jesus exposed so devastatingly?

On Qu’ran Burnings

Because of what the Bible teaches, I do not think the pastor in Florida, who appears to be vacillating on whether to burn Qu’rans or not, should do so. Why?

Well, it is not because I believe that the Qu’ran is a holy book. To be as direct as possible, in its denunciations of Christ as the Son of God and crucified Redeemer; its upholding of a polygamous charlatan as the prophet of God; and its teaching that men are justified by works (i.e. keeping the Five Pillars of Islam), I believe the Qu’ran is a book that contains Satanic lies and is leading millions to the eternal doom of the burning flames of hell. Yet I still do not think he should burn them or Christians should participate in this type of demonstration. Again, why?

First, it is not consistent with the Scriptures on book burning. The Biblical proof-text Pastor Jones might offer for holding book burnings would come from Acts 19:19, where we are told this about the people of Ephesus who had responded to the gospel:

“And many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted […]

Impurity of Worship

Interesting what you come across where you least expect it.

I have been reading the first volume of a trilogy on the 26th President’s life, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris. My purpose in reading it has been simply to enjoy learning more about this larger-than-life man. Never did I expect to have to examine my own heart regarding worship the way I did when I came across this excerpt from a letter of Roosevelt. Listen to what then Civil Service Commissioner Roosevelt said about President Benjamin Harrison following a meeting they had just had:

“Damn the President! He is a cold-blooded, narrow-minded, prejudiced, obstinate, timid old psalm-singing Indianapolis politician.”

Though Roosevelt’s rant is typical of him when he did not get his way, it is interesting how he related the President’s action with his worship practices – in Indiana, no less!This reminded me of a similar line I had read long ago but not forgotten in Gene Stratton-Porter’s (born in Indiana) classic book Freckles. At this point in the story the main character Freckles, a one-handed orphan learning to work the once-great lumber lines of northern Indiana, is recounting his experience of how people […]

Summer Sparks

Setting sun, in its finale,
Drenching clouds with changing hues;

Glowing bits like shooting stars, Fly up then fade from the backyard fire;

Rising fireflies o’er darkening fields, Myriads of tiny angels, signaling the news:

Soon gone are summer sparks, Brief joys of which we never tire.

Slapping thighs, along with a few mosquitoes, As stories meander in the dimming light;

Water’s magnet still attracting Splashing children too soon grown;

Even quieting voices sharing crossesMake hearts glow in the peace of the stilling night;

Summer sparks become dying embersUnless remembrance be over them blown.

Funny How

Funny how – What I see now:On her back the ladybug Struggling against little thugs,Ants, not gentlemen, with a goal, “Drag her down into the hole.”

Funny how – What I see now:This micro tragedy Reminder of my own trajectory,Sin and death, no gentlemen, with a goal, “Drag him down into the hole.”

Funny how – What I see now:Tiniest red and black providence Reminder of my own recompense,Christ, the Gentle God-Man, with a goal, “Take Me instead into the hole.”

Funny how – What I see now.

Life and Language in the Old Testament

I’m currently reading a little treasure of a book entitled “Life and Language in the Old Testament” by Mary Ellen Chase. I happened upon this book by chance in a used book store on the South Side of Pittsburgh. Having no first-hand knowledge of this author I was skeptical at first, but I took it to be a low stakes gamble with a price tag of 8$. I’m always eager to read something different in the realm of Old Testament studies, and this book did not disappoint.

Chase is no theologian, and when her comments do broach the realm of theology there is the slight hint of higher-critical leanings. However, her great strengths are her appreciation for the literary uniqueness of the Old Testament and her grasp of Hebrew thought patterns. She writes like a novelist, with vivid, descriptive language, and has an unmistakable love for the rich literary features of the Hebrew Bible. The categories and tendencies of Hebrew thought and language, so different from out own, are masterfully described with enthusiasm that is contagious to the reader.

Chase’s approach is an important one. In the Reformed tradition we tend to see any given Hebrew text as a theological nut to […]