Archive for October, 2010

Thabiti- The Gospel

Posted: October 31, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

Below is an excerpt from Tyerman’s biography of John Wesley.  I often wrestle with how the Gospel should play out in my finances, particularly as I look at the great abundance of that God has blessed us with.  I often wonder how I can cling to things when Christ so graciously released his life on my behalf.  I found the story below especially convicting.  How does God’s extravagant gift on the cross translate to us giving extravagantly?

“One cold winter’s day, a young girl, whom the Methodists kept at school, called upon John Wesley in a state nearly frozen, to whom he said, ‘You seem half-starved; have you nothing to wear but that linen gown?’  The poor girl said, ‘Sir, this is all I have.’  Wesley put his hand in his pocket, but found it nearly empty.  The walls of his chamber however were hung with pictures, and these now became his accusers.  ‘It struck me,’ says he, ‘will thy Master say, “Well done thy good and faithful steward?”  Thou hast adorned thy walls with the money that might have screened this poor creature from the cold!  O Justice!  O Mercy!  Are not these pictures the blood of this poor girl?’  To say the least, this story shows the intense conscientiousness of the man, and his dread of spending anything upon himself that might have been spent properly on the poor.”

Tyerman, The Life and Times of John Wesley vol I pg 71

Because there was some confusion over the original wording of this post, I would like to draw your attention to a clarification. The intent of the letter attached below is not to invalidate the ministry of the clergy of St. Andrew’s, merely to acknowledge that they no longer share ministry in the Episcopal Church.

I received this interesting bit of news in a forwarded e-mail this morning.  The clergy of St. Andrew’s Mount Pleasant have been formally removed from ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

The church of St. Andrew’s voted to leave the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina last April.  They are now a member church in the ACNA Diocese of the Holy Spirit.  Below is the actual letter of removal from ministry in the Episcopal Church.  Simply click the link to view it for yourself.

Declaration of Removal Alexander Kowbeidu Morgan Wood

see what the Anglican Curmudgeon has to say about it here

see what the EpiscopalCafe has to say about it here

see what Steve put up over at his blog here (be sure to read the comments)

(Re-post) You Must Be Born Again

Posted: October 27, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

by Ray Ortlund

“You must be born again.”  John 3:7

You.  This is personal.  If I resent it as threatening, that could be evidence I have not been born again.  If my heart welcomes the approach of this truth and waves the white flag of surrender, that could be evidence I have been born again.

Must.  This is authoritative.  If I take evasive action, that could be evidence I have not been born again.  If I breathe a sigh of relief that finally Someone is telling me the truth and taking me in hand, that could be evidence I have been born again.

Be born again.  This is passive.  I need more than self-correction; I need a miracle deep within.  I need God to call into existence within me a new aliveness to God, new tastes, new desires, new openness and humility and fears and hopes, such as I have never experienced before and cannot conjure up out of my admirable upbringing and good intentions.  I need newness of Genesis 1-magnitude.  In fact, my eternal destiny hangs on something only God can do for me.

“It is a noteworthy and striking fact that no doctrine has excited such surprise in every age of the Church and has called forth so much opposition from the great and learned as this very doctrine of the new birth.  The men of the present day who sneer at conversions and revivals as fanaticism are no better than Nicodemus.  Like him, they expose their own entire ignorance of the work of the Holy Spirit.”

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: John 1:1-10:9 (Grand Rapids, n.d.), page 139.  Style updated.

You must be born again is a post from: Ray Ortlund

Below is an excerpt from the introductory section of a work written by Augustine that God used to help lead me into a deeper understanding of God’s grace and my own sinfulness.  I first encountered this work at the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford in 20I’ve attached a link at the bottom where you can click through and read the whole thing.

The book which you sent to me, my beloved sons, Timasius and Jacobus, I have read through hastily, but not indifferently, omitting only the few points which are plain enough to everybody; and I saw in it a man inflamed with most ardent zeal against those, who, when in their sinsthey ought to censure human will, are more forward in accusing thenature of men, and thereby endeavour to excuse themselves. He shows too great a fire against this evil, which even authors of secular literature have severely censured with the exclamation: The human race falselycomplains of its own nature! This same sentiment your author also has strongly insisted upon, with all the powers of his talent. I fear, however, that he will chiefly help those who have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge, who, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. Now, what the righteousness of God is, which is spoken of here, he immediately afterwards explains by adding: For Christ is the end of thelaw for righteousness to every one that believes. This righteousness of God, therefore, lies not in the commandment of the law, which excites fear, but in the aid afforded by the grace of Christ, to which alone the fear of the law, as of a schoolmaster, usefully conducts. Now, the man who understands this understands why he is a Christian. For If righteousness came by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. If, however He did not die in vain, in Him only is the ungodly man justified, and to him, on believing in Him who justifiesthe ungodly, faith is reckoned for righteousness.  For all menhave sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His blood.  But all those who do not think themselves to belong to the all who have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,have of course no need to become Christians, because they that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick; whence it is, that He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

click here to read the whole thing.  Read it carefully and follow the logic.


Grace to become something

Posted: October 24, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

This calling of Abram is a signal instance of the gratuitous mercy of God.  Had Abram been beforehand with God by any merit of works?  Had Abram come to him, or conciliated his favour?  Nay, we must ever recall to mind that he was plunged in the filth of idolatry; and God freely stretches forth his hand to bring back the wanderer.  He deigns to open his sacred mouth, that he may show to one, deceived by Satan’s wiles, the way of salvation.

But this is done designedly, in order that the manifestation of the grace of God might become the more conspicuous in his person.  For he is an example of the vocation of us all; for in him we perceive, that, by the mere mercy of God, those things that are not are raised from nothing, in order that they may begin to be something.

John Calvin, Genesis, (Banner of Truth), p. 343

“What should I do with my life?”

Posted: October 21, 2010 by limabean03 in Uncategorized
Re-Think Session 3

As we continue our series through Proverbs we’ll look this Sunday at the topic of the “sluggard” which simply means “a person who is habitually inactive or lazy.”  You might want to discuss this topic with your friends or family before this Sunday to have your own thoughts about it before you come in.  You also might want to remember your pastors in your prayers as they prepare for this sermon.  Below you’ll find some of the principal texts from Proverbs dealing with this issue.  As you go through these passages think about:

  1. What are the material consequences of laziness?
  2. What does the lazy person want?  What motivates him?
  3. Is the lazy person free? Or does the lazy person experience a form of bondage/ slavery?
  4. In what areas of my life do I exhibit these tendencies?
  5. What hope do I have in Jesus for those aspects of my life?

Proverbs 6:6

Go to the ant, O sluggard;

consider her ways, and be wise.


Proverbs 6:9

How long will you lie there, O sluggard?

When will you arise from your sleep?


Proverbs 10:4-5

A slack hand causes poverty,

but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,

but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.


Proverbs 10:15

A rich man’s wealth is his strong city;

the poverty of the poor is their ruin.


Proverbs 10:26

Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,

so is the sluggard to those who send him.


Proverbs 12:11

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,

but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.


Proverbs 12:24

The hand of the diligent will rule,

while the slothful will be put to forced labor.


Proverbs 13:4

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,

while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.


Proverbs 15:19

The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,

but the path of the upright is a level highway.


Proverbs 19:24

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish

and will not even bring it back to his mouth.


Proverbs 20:4

The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;

he will seek at harvest and have nothing.


Proverbs 21:25

The desire of the sluggard kills him,

for his hands refuse to labor.


Proverbs 22:13

The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!

I shall be killed in the streets!”


Proverbs 24:30-34

I passed by the field of a sluggard,

by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,

and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;

the ground was covered with nettles,

and its stone wall was broken down.

Then I saw and considered it;

I looked and received instruction.

A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

nd poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and want like an armed man.


Proverbs 26:13

The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!

There is a lion in the streets!”


Proverbs 26:14

As a door turns on its hinges,

so does a sluggard on his bed.


Proverbs 26:15

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;

it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.


Proverbs 26:16

The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes

than seven men who can answer sensibly.










The Wise Woman (Proverbs 31)

Posted: October 19, 2010 by limabean03 in Uncategorized
preached by Rob Sturdy

On Nov 6th the Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon will be visiting us as part of the Immersion Lecture Series. Find out more about Immersion here. Kendall will be spending the morning at Trinity Church (click here for directions) discussing topics about Biblical Theology that he is most passionate about. Do not miss this great opportunity to deepen your faith by expanding your mind!

Our Great God

Posted: October 18, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

Required Text:  ESV Study Bible, Vos, G. Biblical Theology (if you wish to order this through the Trinity Book Stall let me know ASAP)

Oct 20th:          An Introduction to Biblical Theology and the Gospel in Creation

  • Biblical Readings:             Luke 24:  13-35, Gen chs. 1-2
  • Readings from the ESV:   The Theology of the Old Testament (pg 29), Old Testament Timeline (pg 32), God’s Relationship With Creation (pg 2529), Interpreting the Bible (pg 2561), Interpreting the Bible: a historical overview (pg 2563), Reading the Bible (pg 2567-2576)
  • Other Readings:    Walton, J.H. “Creation in Genesis 1.1-2:3 and the Ancient Near East” Calvin Theological Journal 43 (2008) pgs 48-63.  Click here for a link to this article

Oct 27th:          The Fall and the Promises of Redemption

  • Biblical Reading:              Gen chs. 3-11
  • Readings from the ESV:   Introduction to the Pentateuch (pg 35), Introduction to Genesis (pg 39)
  • Other Readings:    Vos pgs 41-65

Nov 3rd:           Covenant and Redemption

  • Biblical Reading               Gen chs. 12-50
  • Readings from the ESV:   God’s Plan of Salvation (pg 2501)
  • Other Readings:                Jeon, J.K. Covenant Theology pgs 116-130 & 213-234

Nov 6th:           A day with the Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon

Nov 10th:         The Exodus and the Covenanted People

  • Biblical Reading               Exodus
  • Other Readings:                Vos pg 100-183

Nov 17th:         Covenant Null and Void?  The Fall of Kingdom

  • Biblical Readings              1 & 2 Kings, (Pick one MAJOR Prophet)
  • Other Readings:                OPTIONAL BUT USEFUL Vos pg 234-296


A friend from Charleston has begun an interesting new community to discuss pressing issues regarding acknowledged or unacknowledged approaches to reality.  Check out there website by following the links below.

Marginal Conversations (MC) is a community building group that encourages reflection about our working theories about reality through conversations in community. MC cultivates continuing conversations at  “third places” , or informal meeting places outside of home and work where people spend much of their spare time and form close community ties. Examples of third places include coffee shops, pubs, smoking shops, places of worship and community centers. Third place regulars can participate in continuing conversations with each other that grow in depth over time (thus the “conversations” in “Marginal Conversations”). But what are “marginal” conversations, and how can they build community?

Think of the margins of a page in a book. When we read a page of text, we’re paying attention to the words, not the blank margins surrounding the text. The margins don’t get a lot of attention, but it would be difficult to read if the margins weren’t keeping the text in alignment. The text is justified against the margins in a way that gives it order and makes it readable. Everybody has a working picture or theory of how the world works that serves as their “text.” The “margins” in our lives are the assumptions that frame our theories and hold them up. Just as we don’t pay attention to the margins of the page when we’re reading the text, we rarely pay attention to our background assumptions about how the world works as we rely on them to interpret our experience. We look through our marginal theories at the world.

Go on over and pay them a visit here

The Wise Man (Proverbs Series)

Posted: October 17, 2010 by limabean03 in Uncategorized
preached by Iain Boyd

All resolutions passed without a hitch. The day is a bit of a blur to me since I spent most of it with a fever. I’ll share my thoughts on the convention when I have a bit more energy to do so. In the meantime Kendall has compiled enough links to make you feel like you were there yourself.

Watch Bishop Fitz Allison’s Sermon here

Watch Bishop Lawrence’s Address here

You can read the full text of Bishop Lawrence’s address here

Watch Alan Runyan explain the constitutional and canonical changes here. If you only have time to watch one, this would be the best. This is what the entire convention was about

See a post convention interview with Kendall Harmon here