Archive for July, 2011
Our sin must be extremely horrible. Nothing reveals the gravity of sin like the cross. For ultimately what sent Christ there was neither the greed of Judas, nor the envy of the priests, not the vacillating cowardice of Pilate, but our own greed, envy, cowardice, and other sins, and Christ’s resolve in love and mercy to bear their judgment and so put them away.
It is impossible for us to face Christ’s cross with integrity and not feel ashamed of ourselves. Apathy, selfishness, and complacency blossom everywhere in the world except at the cross. There these noxious weeds shrivel and die. There they are seen for the tatty, poisonous things they are. For if there was no way by which the righteous God could righteously forgive our unrighteousness, except that he should bear it himself in Christ, it must be serious indeed…
John Stott –from The Cross of Christ
The Rev. John Stott, one of the world’s most influential figures in the spread of evangelical Christianity over the past half-century, died Wednesday in Lingfield, Surrey, in the south of England. He was 90.
His death was confirmed by Suanne Camfield, a spokeswoman for his publisher, InterVarsity Press.
The religion scholar Michael Cromartie once said that if evangelicals could elect a pope, they would be likely to choose Mr. Stott. Though less known in the United States and hardly a household name outside the evangelical sphere, Mr. Stott, an author, preacher and theologian, was often compared to the Rev. Billy Graham, his American contemporary.
But while Mr. Graham’s influence is rooted in a rousing preaching style and a personal magnetism that has filled stadiums, Mr. Stott’s relied on a proliferation of books — grounded in learning but accessible to all — and the evangelical organization he founded, Langham Partnership International, named after its cradle, All Souls Church at Langham Place in London’s West End.
“We must be global Christians,” he once wrote, “with a global mission, because our God is a global God.”
read the whole thing here
The revelation of the Trinity is to be found in the incarnation of the Son and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and these events took place intertestamentally. No one has put it better than Warfield:
We cannot speak of the doctrine of the Trinity, therefore, if we study exactness of speech, as revealed in the New Testament, any more than we can speak of it as revealed in the Old Testament. The Old Testament was written before its revelation; the New Testament after it. The revelation itself was made not in word but in deed. It was made in the incarnation of God the Son, and the outpouring of God the Holy Spirit. The relation of the two Testaments to this revelation is in the one case that of preparation for it, and in the other that of product of it. The revelation itself is embodied just in Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is as much to say that the revelation of the Trinity was incidental to, and the inevitable effect of, the accomplishment of redemption. It was in the coming of the Son of God in the likeness of sinful flesh to offer Himself a sacrifice for sin; and in the coming of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment, that the Trinity of Persons in the Unity of the Godhead was once for all revealed to men.
And he went on to say,
We may understand also, however, from the same central fact, why it is that the doctrine of the Trinity lies in the New Testament rather in the form of allusions than in express teaching, why it is rather everywhere presupposed, coming only here and there into incidental expression, than formally inculcated. It is because the revelation, having been made in the actual occurrences of redemption, was already the common property of all Christian hearts
(B.B. Warfield, “The Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity,” The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981), II:144., p. 145).
Before each question there is a verse of Scripture. If you look at each verse, the answers become very clear.
Eph 1:11 – “him (God) who works all things according to the counsel of his will.”
1. If God works all things after the counsel of His will, how much does He work to the will of you, me, Satan, etc.?
D. 85% (more…)
“How astonishing is it that a person who is blessed forever and is infinitely and essentially happy should endure the greatest sufferings that ever were endured on earth! That a person who is the supreme Lord and Judge of the world should be arraigned and should stand at the judgment seat of mortal worms and then be condemned. That a person who is the living God and the fountain of life should be put to death. That a person who created the world and gives life to all his creatures should be put to death by his own creatures. That a person of infinite majesty and glory, and so the object of the love, praises and adoration of angels, should be mocked and spit upon by the vilest of men. That a person infinitely good and who is love itself should suffer the greatest cruelty. That person who is infinitely beloved of the Father should be put to inexpressible anguish under his own Father’s wrath. That he who is the King of heaven, who has heaven for his throne and earth for his footstool, should be buried in the prison of the grave. How wonderful is this! And yet this is the way that God’s wisdom has fixed upon as the way of sinners’ salvation, as neither unsuitable nor dishonorable to Christ.”
– Jonathan Edwards, “The Wisdom of God Displayed in the Way of Salvation,” in Works (Edinburgh, 1979), II:144.
The letter copied below, titled “Dear Mr. Antinomian” (anti-law), is an amusing little bit of satire with quite a serious point. Because of our emphasis on grace here at Trinity, I will occasionally have to deal with church member fear that our Gospel focus will make people serve less, give less, and just be generally lazy. My experience is that this fear is typically unfounded. Rather, I’ve found that the Gospel, when it truly grips someone has quite the opposite effect. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed this letter so much.
Dear Mr. Antinomian,
Forgive me for writing to you in such an open forum but I’ve been trying to meet you for years and we just never seem to connect. While it’s true that I live in a little corner of the States and while it’s true that I am, well, a woman, I did assume that I would meet you at some point in my decades old counseling practice. But alas, neither you nor any of your (must be) thousands of brothers and sisters have ever shown up for my help… So again, please do pardon my writing in such a public manner but, you see, I’ve got a few things to say to you and I think it’s time I got them off my chest.
I wonder if you know how hard you’re making it for those of us who love to brag about the gospel. You say that you love the gospel and grace too, but I wonder how that can be possible since it’s been continuously reported to me that you live like such a slug. I’ve even heard that you are lazy and don’t work at obeying God at all…Rather you sit around munching on cigars and Twinkies, brewing beer and watching porn on your computer. Mr. A, really! Can this be true?
So many of my friends and acquaintances are simply up in arms about the way you act and they tell me it’s because you talk too much about grace. They suggest (and I’m almost tempted to agree) that what you need is more and more rules to live by. In fact, I’m very tempted to tell you that you need to get up off your lazy chair, pour your beer down the drain, turn off your computer and get about the business of the Kingdom.
I admit that I’m absolutely flummoxed, though, which is why I’m writing as I am. You puzzle me. How can you think about all that Christ has done for you, about your Father’s steadfast, immeasurable, extravagantly generous love and still live the way you do? Have you never considered the incarnation, about the Son leaving ineffable light to be consigned first to the darkness of Mary’s womb and then the darkness of this world? Have you never considered how He labored day-after-day in His home, obeying His parents, loving His brothers and sisters so that you could be counted righteous in the sight of His Father? Have you forgotten the bloody disgrace of the cross you deserve? Don’t you know that in the resurrection He demolished sin’s power over you? Aren’t you moved to loving action knowing that He’s now your ascended Lord Who prays for you and daily bears you on His heart? Has your heart of stone never been warmed and transformed by the Spirit? Does this grace really not impel zealous obedience? Hello…Are you there?
Honestly, even though my friends talk about you as though you were just everywhere in every church, always talking about justification but living like the devil, frankly I wonder if you even exist. I suppose you must because everyone is so afraid that talking about grace will produce more of you. So that’s why I’m writing: Will you please come forward? Will you please stand up in front of all of us and tell us that your heart has been captivated so deeply by grace that it makes you want to watch the Playboy channel?
Again, please do forgive me for calling you out like this. I really would like to meet you.
Trusting in Grace Alone,
Go read the whole thing here