RSS feed for this section

Archive | Marriage

A Wedding in the Woods

Only the Lord could take one day of heart-breaking tragedy, combine it with another day of anticipated joy, and transform it into a time of overflowing grace and beauty.

The day of tragic sorrow occurred less than three months ago when we too abruptly lost Jon, the husband of my wife’s sister. The day of expected joy was Saturday, when his daughter, Kimby, was married.

As Kimby and her groom Andre had desired, and Jon and Jennifer had agreed, the wedding took place in the wooded setting of their home. The day was a gorgeous one, with low humidity and the late afternoon sun shining yet shaded by the tall pines overhead, a breeze gently rustling through them. Large tables with round built-on seats, ones that Jon had secured months in advance for this occasion, were set on the various levels of the deck and yard.  Each one was simply yet elegantly decorated with wood slab chargers (Jon’s idea) holding brightly colored cloth napkins; rich bouquets of a variety of orange and peach colored roses and ranunculuses filled the centers of the tables. The sand volleyball court, the scene of innumerable outdoor games, now served as the sanctuary, with tons of fine sand hauled in by Jon’s friends offering a […]

“Beautiful Beyond Description”

I’m just back from a Jonathan Edwards conference in Durham. The last talk was superb and I thought I would share its outline with you [plus a few random thoughts of my own].
It called to mind an article I read on a BBC website some years ago on what makes a person beautiful. “True beauty”, said the author, “is about symmetry, balance and harmony”. He went on to illustrate this with precision line drawings and pencil sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci. “Every model” he asserted “when you look at their face, jaw, eyes and cheekbones, will have angles that are symmetrical and identical on both sides” [Just by the way, this is a dim, distant, paraphrase]. What depressed me the next morning, as I looked in the mirror, was a nose bent in the middle and one eye higher than the other – I decided I would settle for a little inner beauty!
Our conference speaker at Durham made exactly the same point. He illustrated balance, with all parts working harmoniously, in the abseiling activity of an arachnid descending from its thread, and spinning its silky web. ‘Thus’, he provisionally concluded, ‘we see the glory of divine beauty in nature through the […]

Sow Only One Seed in the Vineyard

You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear a material mixed of wool and linen together. You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself. If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin…’” -Deuteronomy 22:9-14

When you read the above laws prohibiting sowing two types of seeds in the vineyard or yoking an ox and donkey together, what kind of law do you consider them to be? The Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) gives three categories for the law – moral, judicial, & ceremonial. Yet sometimes sticking laws in these categories is not always as easy as it might first appear, and the wisdom that is to come from meditating on them and seeing them in context can be lost in the process (see Psalm […]

3GT Episode 5: Rebuked by a Baptist

After a delay due to Austin moving and other scheduling conflicts, 3GT has released another episode. From the podcast notes:

And thus begins the discussion all frothy-mouthed Calvinists will certainly enjoy: the extent of the atonement.  Foodolatry surfaces in section two.  And a more somber discussion is taken up in the third section: adultery.

First segment: 22:40
Second: 22:40- 44:20
Third: 44:20-End

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/episode-5.mp3

Browse Worthy: Kim Davis

Yes, Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk refusing to sign marriage licenses for same sex couples, is doing the right thing. Here are four good reasons why, stated by others clearly and logically.

“Kim Davis Broke an Illegitimate, Evil Law, and God Bless Her for It,” says Matt Walsh.

According to Mike Huckabee, she is asking the appropriate question. “Under what law am I authorized to issue homosexual couples a marriage license?” A Supreme Court ruling is not the law.

Douglas Wilson quotes Thomas Jefferson who said, “When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty.” He then explains why “it is a shame that a 18th century Deist has a better grasp of the relationship of righteousness to government than do two and a half busloads of 21st century Reformed seminary professors.” Ouch!

And as David Murray says, “We Don’t get to Choose Our Martyrs.”

 

 

Bearing fruit in old age

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. (Psalm 92.12-15 ESV)

Yesterday our family spent a few hours with one of the elderly couples in our church. It caused me to reflect afresh on the rich blessing of what might be labelled ‘cross-generational fellowship’ but which is nothing more or less than simply ‘Christian fellowship.’ We are blessed in our congregation to have a good spread of ages across the years, and a long and deliberately cultivated tradition of a genuine ‘church family’ ethos, where the young and the old mix in many different ways. Most importantly, we all worship together twice a week. The children are encouraged to go and speak to the most senior saints after the services. We have regular social events which are for the whole congregation, when young and old talk together. Many of our older folk who are able delight […]

Stop the Conversation Stoppers!

As Bible-believing Christians continue to speak out against sinful, seismic social changes and against atrocities enacted in the name of health care, they are met with predictable charges of hypocrisy.  “You have no right to protest when people of your faith fail so miserably to tangibly care for the people you claim to champion.”  Despite the civilization shaking significance of the evil these Christians decry, some people are far more interested in decrying (sometimes without specific example) the evil of Christian hypocrisy.  The mere existence of Christian hypocrisy apparently invalidates all public Christian protests.   We could expect such thinking and accusations from opponents of Christianity.   What’s unnerving is that these predictable accusations and the imbalanced moral outrage they represent are coming more and more from Bible-believing Christians.      

Browse Worthy: The Drumbeat Continues Against PP

Now the fifth video by the Center for Medical Progress has come out, and it just adds to the incriminating case against Planned Parenthood as whole body fetus sales are coldly discussed (Note: YouTube has added a content warning to this video.)

Planned Parenthood: 4 Ways to Respond – Tim Challies discusses these videos and offers what the title states.  He also re-posted the following slideshow that will help you learn to make what is known as the SLED pro-life argument, a simple way to use comparative analogies to show the illogical ethics of abortion supporters.

Abortion: Making the Case from timchallies

Pro-Lifers Are Today’s Abolitionists – This article at The Federalist reminds us of the history of William Wilberforce’s long-term battle to end the institution of slavery in Great Britain and its similarities with the fight against the abortion industry today.

Planned Parenthood: Our Wilberforce Moment – In light of the videos, Joel Howerton offers ten reasons to support the above comparison.  The best line from this article are these words:

Abortion is the evil reverse-image of the gospel. Instead of “I’ll die for you“, it says, “You die for me.”

Weighing in on Planned Parenthood – Over at 3GT, Austin, Kyle, and I discuss the question, […]

A Lament for Sally (and the rest of us)

There is a difference between freedom and autonomy (literally, self-law).  Freedom allows flourishing within a defined context conducive to life.  To bloom bright and beautiful, flowers are “constrained” by their need for water, good soil, and sun.  Autonomy demands the right to redefine terms and refuse any restraint.  Pop culture and political activists in black robes have made it clear:  We demand autonomy.  No fixed definitions for social institutions and therefore none for us as individuals.  We demand the right to self-define, no matter whose freedom gets trampled in the process and no matter who gets hurt, including ourselves. As we will increasingly see, but will likely keep refusing to learn, self-definition is self-destruction.

The following satire is barely hyperbolic.  As these recent articles show – doctors in Belgium to kill healthy 24 year old  and  Aggressive pursuit of the right to die – this scenario is now nightmarishly close to materializing.    

Homosexuality: A Losing Battle?

Guest Blogger: Michael LeFebvre 

Dr. LeFebvre is the pastor of Christ Church on the west side on Indianapolis, IN, and editor of The Gospel and Sexual Orientation. This post was originally given as a talk in January of 2014 and has an audio link at the bottom of this article.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The title for this morning’s workshop points our thoughts in two directions. The title is, “Homosexuality: A Losing Battle?” This question confronts us on two levels.

First, and in my view most importantly, it confronts us on the personal level. For those who personally experience this battle, it can often feel hopeless. The phrase that we hear so often today, and that captures this feeling of hopelessness, is the phrase, “You cannot pray the gay away.” That popular phrase communicates hopelessness to those who experience same-sex temptations. Furthermore, by citing prayer as the cure that fails (“you cannot pray the gay away”), that popular phrase is a direct challenge to the church—indeed, to Christ as the one who has let us down. In the face of such a message, how is a Christian caught in this battle to feel? Is this battle, faced on the personal level, a losing battle?

Secondly, this question […]