Archive for October, 2012

I just read this letter from my former boss and good colleague, Tripp Jeffords. It appears as if the folks at St Paul’s in Conway have figured out a way to handle the current split in our diocese without acrimony or bitterness. Tripp writes,

“However, even though both sides in our church realized long ago that this day has been coming, when we would finally have to walk our separate ways, divorce is never pleasant. Independent of our theological leanings and ideological beliefs, we still must deal with the long-standing relationships, which we have all enjoyed with one another. My prayer is that we all approach this “walking apart” with Christian love and charity. We cannot demean, demonize, nor destroy the character of persons with whom we might disagree theologically. Already, there has been a pledge that no lawsuits will be brought by either side. If lawsuits are forthcoming, they will probably be between the diocese and TEC, not on the local level. The minority group within our church has chosen to start a new church loyal to TEC, and they have vowed to do this peacefully.”

While the division in the body of Christ is sorrowful to behold, it is commendable that this church has figured out a way to separate amiably and they have established a way for those who wish to remain loyal to TEC to do so. You can download the full text of Tripp’s letter here:
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Training School of Grace

Posted: October 31, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Sanctification

 “Lastly, we must be holy, because without holiness on earth — we will never be prepared to enjoy Heaven. …I do not know what others may think — but to me it does seem clear that Heaven would be a miserable place to an unholy man. It cannot be otherwise. People may say in a vague way, that they “hope to go to Heaven,” but they do not consider what they say. There must be a certain “fitness for the inheritance of the saints in light.” Our hearts must be somewhat in tune. To reach the holiday of glory — we must pass through the training school of grace. We must be heavenly-minded and have heavenly tastes in the present life — or else we will never find ourselves in Heaven in the life to come!

J. C. Ryle:(Holiness)

New Discoveries

Posted: October 31, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

“One new discovery of the glory of Christ’s face and the fountain of his sweet grace and love will do more towards scattering clouds of darkness and doubting in one minute than examining old experiences by the best mark that can be given a whole year.”

– Jonathan Edwards, quoted in George M. Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life (New Haven, 2003), page 226.

Treasuring Jesus

Posted: October 30, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Sanctification

 “The inner essence of worship is cherishing Christ as gain – indeed as more gain than all that life can offer – family, career, retirement, fame, food, friends. The essence of worship is experiencing Christ as gain. Or to use words that we love to use around here: it is savoring Christ, treasuring Christ, being satisfied with Christ.”

John Piper:(Sermon, The Inner Essence of Worship)

“If it is I who determine where God is to be found, then I shall always find a God who corresponds to me in some way, who is obliging, who is connected with my own nature. But if God determines where he is to be found, then it will be in a place which is not at all congenial to me. This place is the Cross of Christ. And whoever would find him must go to the foot of the Cross, as the Sermon on the Mount commands. This is not according to our nature at all, it is entirely contrary to it. But this is the message of the Bible, not only in the New but also in the Old Testament . . . .”

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, quoted in Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer (Nashville, 2010), page 137.

Resurrection, does it matter?

Posted: October 29, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Anglican Communion

Is the resurrection of Jesus an important issue for Christians?

 

So what do some of the Leaders in the Episcopal Church say about the resurrection?

“The story of Jesus’ bodily resurrection is, at best, conjectural; that the resurrection accounts in the four Gospels are contradictory and confusing… the significance of Easter is not that Jesus returned to actual life but that even death itself could not end the power of his presence in the lives of the faithful.”
The Rt. Rev. John Chane, Bishop of Washington, D.C., Easter sermon in 2002

“Asked about the literal story of Easter and the Resurrection, Jefferts Schori said, ‘I think Easter is most profoundly about meaning, not mechanism.'”

Episcopal Life on line, April 8, 2008

 

 

And here is what some more faithful to scripture say about it:

“In the first place, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims that Jesus is alive. The tomb was empty! The Lord appeared to Peter and the other disciples! Jesus Christ is the same — yesterday, today and for ever!

In the second place, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims a risen Saviour. Our sins have been forgiven! God has set his seal of approval on the crucified! Jesus was raised to life for our justification!

In the third place, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims a glorious hope. Death has been swallowed up in victory! We shall be with the Lord for ever! Jesus has brought life and immortality to light!

In the fourth place, and of no less importance, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims a present power. The risen Lord Jesus is present with his people today! Already in the here and now we may begin to share in the risen life of Jesus! Even in our present moments of weakness we may experience the transforming power of his resurrection! Here is good news indeed. The resurrection is more than a past event and a future prospect; it is a present reality.”

— Paul Beasley-Murray
The Message of the Resurrection

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When the Word Confronts Us

Posted: October 29, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Sanctification

 “We need to repent of the haughty way in which we sometimes stand in judgment upon Scripture and must learn to sit humbly under its judgments instead. If we come to Scripture with our minds made up, expecting to hear from it only an echo of our own thoughts and never the thunderclap of God’s, then indeed he will not speak to us and we shall only be confirmed in our own prejudices. We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.”

John Stott: (Authentic Christianity)