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Browse Worthy: The Law in the Life of the Believer

Samuel Bolton, one of those present at the Westminster Assembly, wrote a pamphlet called The True Bounds of Christian Freedom.   In this work he gives this simple yet profound Biblical formulation regarding our relationship to the law.

We cry down the law with respect to justification, but we set it up as a rule of sanctification.  The law sends us to the gospel that we may be justified; the gospel sends us to the law again to inquire what is our duty as those who are justified.

Sadly, it appears that yet once again confusion is rising with respect to the place of the law of God in the life of the believer.  Tullian Tchividjian  (pronounced cha-vi-jin), the talented grandson of Billy Graham now serving as Senior Pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and a contributor to The Gospel Coalition, is at the center of this controversy.  Here are some links that, if you follow them, will give you an overview of the problem, help alert you to its danger, and sharpen your understanding on this vital subject.

David Murray – Over two years ago, with his gracious reviews of Tchividjian’s book Jesus + Nothing = Everything, Dr. Murray of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary pointed out […]

Let’s Not Forget the Weekly Day of Prayer

My quiet wife really surprised me yesterday.  As the following letter to a Christian radio station manager shows, she was moved to write to address a concern. I’ll let the letter speak for itself.  Just thought I’d share it with you so you could join me in saying “Amen!”  

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Thank you for your programming. We are fairly new to the area and I’ve tuned in a few times. Since I’ve only listened occasionally I cannot comment specifically on your programming, but did want to address something I just heard this morning. Please understand I’ve never written an email or letter like this before. My heart was burdened to do so today.

I tuned in to hear the tail end of your segment on the National Day of Prayer. I listened as men and women earnestly prayed for our country. We, as a nation, have indeed largely turned from faithfully following Jesus Christ, and are in desperate need of His help. But how can we expect Him to honor us when we, as His people, are unwilling to honor Him in many ways?

What troubles my heart is the disregard that many who would call themselves followers of Christ have for keeping His Day. A […]

Life is Winning in Indiana

Last night, Life Centers, a pregnancy resource center here in central Indiana, hosted its thirty-first annual Celebration of Life banquet. The fund-raiser was headlined by keynote speaker Eric Metaxas. Indiana Governor Mike Pence addressed the audience of nearly one-thousand friends of life, and he ceremonially signed new pro-adoption legislation.

Testimonies were shared by women who have had abortions in the past but who are now counseling in centers around Indianapolis. Other stories highlighted the lives of nearly seven-thousand men, women, and children helped over the last year with a wide range of services. Two-hundred-thirty-nine women over the last year came to the centers seriously considering abortion but, by God’s grace, chose to carry their children to term. Many also put their faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of Life Centers and have become part of local churches that labor together with it. How anyone could sit through these stories at the banquet with dry eyes, I’ll never know.

Geneva’s Chapel

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of being present at the chapel service of Geneva College.  I would like to report on my experience there.

Each person entering Metheny Fieldhouse was given a program that had the service printed in it.  The theme printed on the front of the program was thoughtfully woven into the elements of the service.  As students and faculty took their seats, members of New Song, a music and drama ministry of the college, were singing psalms.  Announcements regarding upcoming events flashed up on two large screens at the front of the assembly.  The gym was abuzz with people laughing and visiting with one another.  Those participating in the service were gathered together beforehand by Chaplain Rutledge Etheridge, in his first year at Geneva, to be introduced to one another and have the details explained.  Then we spent time praying for the service.

Following some enthusiastic verbal announcements by students regarding various activities on campus, the service began.  I would describe it as orderly, Scriptural-based, and God-honoring.  A few students led the packed gym in prayer and Scripture readings, and as they did so the gym quieted down as people participated.  For the singing during the service itself, New Song did […]

16 Messages That Will Transform Your Life. (The Last 8)

Without further ado, the next eight:

The Curse Motif of the Atonement, R.C. Sproul

The Goodness of Sex and the Glory of God, Ben Patterson

The Ironies of the Cross, D.A. Carson

Can Man Live Without God, Ravi Zacharias

The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul

The Triumph of the Gospel in the New Heavens and New Earth, John Piper

The Grand Demythologizer: The Gospel and Idolatry, Tim Keller

The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World, Voddie Baucham

Law School

The Bible repeatedly urges us to meditate continually on God’s Law, meaning primarily its first five books (see Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3; 119:97-100 for examples).  Yet many modern Christians not only fail to do so but would consider this to be a detrimental practice. Taking the Pauline phrase “we are not under law but under grace” out of context and using it as a law-repellent mantra of sorts, this generation of churchgoers miss so much of the gospel because they are not meditating on God’s Law as they are commanded to do.

Oh, yes, I have probably already lost some of you.  Not only am I promoting meditating on the Law, but I only listed Old Testament references above for support.  Sorry!  So if you are still with me, please read Matthew 5:17-20, take a deep breath, then ask yourself, “How am I going to keep the least of the commandments of the Law if I do not meditate on them?”  Then read the rest of the chapter and consider the deep heart applications Jesus is making from His own meditations on the Law of God into the lives of His disciples.  If this still does not convince you, go back a chapter […]

Something Magical

Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin. 
Proverbs 30:18-19

First, a quick exposition of this proverbial riddle: our teacher invites us to consider what these four things have in common, with the fourth one being the main point. The first couple lines introduce the riddle with the enticing “too wonderful for me…I do not understand”, inviting the reader to ponder alongside the teacher. So let’s do that.

What do the first three have in common? Well, a “way.” That is, I think, a “way” of movement. In each scene, there’s a mover and a backdrop over which they move. The eagle moves through the sky, the snake moves on the rock, the ship moves through the high seas. But keep going: what do these three movements have in common? Each of them are movements that are powered by something unseen, something perhaps magical (in the good and decent sense of that word). Without a knowledge of physics and animal anatomy, an eagle’s flight and snake’s slithering are unexplained phenomena. […]

Anathema (Letter Three)

Journal Entry One

June 14th

I have decided to start journaling.  I must confess that the activity feels rather foreign, as I have never been one to scratch out my thoughts on paper, at least not such personal thoughts.  Chronicling facts or one’s ideas might be easy enough, I suppose, but there’s something about a diary that feels peculiarly feminine.  I don’t know why.  Yet that’s my sense of the matter.  But if this is going to be a journal- a real journal- then I’m off to a marvelous start; I’m getting in touch with my feelings.

I’m currently sitting at desk in a small room with a singular window.  Outside the window I can see trees dotting a simple landscape.  To my right rests a bed.  This is my room for the next 41 weeks. 

I reside in the third wing of the Institute, section A-Q, to be exact.  Here is where students in residency subsist.  This is what I have been striving after for so very […]

The Discipleship Growth of…Jesus

After His birth events, the one other story of Jesus in His childhood, contained at the end of Luke 2, is such an intriguing one. For it contains an incredible statement. In telling us about our Lord’s trip to Jerusalem at the age of twelve to prepare for participation in the Passover, Luke 2:40 says, “The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.”  Have you ever thought fully about the mystery of how Jesus increased in wisdom?

At this point, Jesus was a growing boy.  He was developing physically into manhood.  Perhaps the physical growth of His body does not pose much trouble to our thinking.  Yet Jesus was growing in His mind as well.  This is what can cause us problems in our understanding of the Savior.  How could Jesus, the Son of God, grow in wisdom?  Unknowingly, we can practically be Apollinarians in our beliefs of Christ, which describes those who believed in an ancient heresy in the church that taught Jesus had a human body but a uniquely divine mind “untainted” by human nature.  We can so focus on the deity of Christ we set aside a significant aspect of His humanity.  We […]

A Providential Perspective

In his book, The Mystery of Providence, the seventeenth century Puritan John Flavel wrote a chapter on how grateful English believers should be for their birth and upbringing.  In seeking to create gratitude in the hearts of his countrymen, Flavel has them reflect on the fact they could have been born in other places than cultured, privileged England.

For instance:

Suppose your mothers had brought you forth in America, among the savage Indians, who herd together as brute beasts, are scorched with heat, and starved with cold, being naked, destitute and defenseless. How poor, miserable, and unprovided with earthly comfort and accommodations are many millions of the inhabitants of this world!

Just a few centuries ago, America was considered in the manner we think now of a Third World country.

Every time we drive down a paved road, open a refrigerator, answer a cell phone, turn up the thermostat during this cold streak, or hit another link on the internet, we should not marvel so much at the ingenuity of man and his technology but at God’s kind providence in allowing us these comforts.

We should also be warned by them.  The very blessings the Lord has given in abundance can suddenly be taken away.  Psalm 107:33-34 […]