Those who “freed science from Moses” rejected true science.
One of the most underrated aspects of theology is the importance to God of legal witness. Not only is it rarely spoken about in evangelical circles but it is rarely mentioned as an answer to the scientistic objections of the day.
[This post has been refined and included in Sweet Counsel: Essays to Brighten the Eyes.]
In Deep Comedy, Peter Leithart compares the Bible’s essentially comic and hopeful view of history with the Greco-Roman view, which is essentially and irredeemably tragic.
In Paul’s estimation, anyone who thought that the new life through Jesus pertained to some realm outside this history was simply an unbeliever. For the gospel says otherwise.
If you feel spiritually barren, that is a good thing. It is because you are, and because God has shown it to you. However, a barren heart cannot praise God. So often we rock up to church with empty hearts and attempt to feel “worshipful.” Well, we are commanded to worship, but must we draw water from dry wells?
Stephen Henderson posted this quote from Doug Jones’ In Defense of Wind Grasping:
Hebrews 11:1-16 | Sermon Notes 24 July 2011
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Movies and TV teach our children a lot about faith. “It doesn’t matter in what or in whom you have faith, even if it’s in yourself, just as long as you have faith.”
Modern Christians go one step further and tell us to have faith, to trust in Jesus to save us. That’s a big step in the right direction, and a saving one, but it doesn’t give us much practical help in the day-to-day trials and temptations of life. The reason for this is because moderns do not understand biblical Covenants.
‘OPEN THEISTS’ TEACH THAT GOD CANNOT KNOW THE FUTURE. He gave human beings a true free will, so if God knows the future, human beings cannot truly be free. The Old Creation (the Old Testament) and the New Creation (a new humanity beginning with Christ) were thus both gigantic g ambles on God’s part. Does God g amble? After all, He commanded His priests to “throw the d ice.”
“God is up to something, and He is taking us all the way through.”
“Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…” Hebrews 8:1
Conservative Christian people know and understand that we deserve to be brought low. We know and understand the Law of God. We know our own sinfulness. We are very aware of how we fall short in many ways. We know that the holiness of God casts us down. This is all good, as far as it goes. This is healthy, as far as it goes. This is much needed in our day, as far as it goes. But we need to follow God’s purposes all the way out.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Hebrews 12:11)
It becomes apparent that every one of God’s curses in the Bible sooner or later turns out to be a blessing. Every judgment has one eye on the present, which is usually grievous, and another eye on the future. Every discipline is a pruning to bring greater fruit. You just want to make sure you are one of the good figs, not a bad one. God’s justice is always visionary.
“There’s no such thing as a dead-end job. There are only dead-end people.”
Work seems like a curse, but even before the Fall there was work. After the Fall, work was a curse-cloud with a silver lining. Imagine a world where people didn’t have to work? Imagine what all those idle hands would get up to? There are places in the world where this is the case; depressed places where nothing ever changes, nothing improves; where people look at our western rat race with envy.
By faith, we understand that all employment is part of the glorification of the world.
Many Christians view work as something holding them back from ministry. This is not only incorrect, but a terribly gnostic way of viewing the world. Our work is actually not only central, but something extremely important to God. I read this old article I posted in Be Still years ago, adapted from a book by Dallas Willard. I have one of the best jobs in the world and I still grumble, so I really needed to hear this again. Here’s an excerpt:
I have a friend who owned and ran a small restaurant for six years. Very hard work. He tried to sell his business for the last three of those years without success. We prayed and he sold it at 9.20am the next morning.
Other friends also have a business. They are well past being ready to retire and have been trying to sell their business for a couple of years. Their prayers seemed to be answered but the buyer dropped out. What is God doing?
The hidden God has you where you are for a reason. The bad things in life crush us to show us what we are. If good comes out, it is a fragrance that blesses and encourages everyone. If bad comes out, and we are like a lanced boil, we can still use it as a step towards obedience and healing in our lives and others. It’s better to be like the son who verbally disobeyed his father then thought better of it.
Mike Lawyer’s exhortation at ChristKirk on March 7 is encouraging:
Some great quotes from an interview by Barbara Demarco-Barrett with author Mary Karr:
“[My young son] came flouncing in in his Power Ranger pyjamas and said “I wanna go to church.” I said “Why?” and he said, “To see if God’s there.” It was about the only sentence he could have said that would have gotten me to go. So we did this thing we called God-a-rama in which we went to various temples and mosques and zendos. I had no interest in going to church so I brought a latté and a paperback.