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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 […]