Jul 21 2012

Red Cord, Blue Threads – 2

Red Blood, Blue Blood

Behold, when we come to the land, you shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window from which you let us down… Joshua 2:18

Each Israelite was to wear blue tassels on the four corners of his robe. The tassel was a blue cord that unraveled into threads, a “one” that became many. Using the “systematic typology” of the Bible Matrix, we can see that these four blue tassels correspond to the four rivers the flowed down from the spring under the Garden of Eden. [1]

So, what’s the deal with the “red cord” that Rahab was commanded to display in her window in Jericho? Firstly, the Hebrew word isn’t the same word as the “cord” in Numbers 15.

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Jul 20 2011

Grace Is Not Tame

Grace Agenda Conference Trailer from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

This looks like good medicine. Guess I will have to settle for the MP3s again. You know Doug and Mark. Ben preaches at Doug’s church and his messages are simple yet profound. They really stick with you. I’ve read Nate Wilson but not heard him speak. I hear he’s also very good.
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Apr 17 2009

Cheap Grace

“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession… Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate… Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Apr 16 2009

Scum and Mercy

You’ve probably heard people talk about “the scandal of grace.” I was reminded of one weeknight meeting last year when we discussed God’s mercy. One couple, who met while they were both in the police force, felt that there were some people who really deserved hell.

They are relatively new Christians, and the high temperature of their interest in the Bible was matched by this sudden ferocity toward the scum of our society. They had seen, close up, the worst of what people are capable of, repeatedly, defiantly. “They don’t deserve mercy.”

Of course, no one can deserve mercy. It demonstrated to all present that night (especially we who are so sheltered) the breadth of the bloodied, open arms of the Son of God.

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Apr 8 2009

True Wealth

Adam Smith was a true son of Adam when he wrote these famous words in Chapter 2 of The Wealth of Nations (1776).

But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

The motivation here is clear: “More for me in history.” 

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Apr 8 2009

How to live the Christian life

The Eternal Son came to earth and lived the Christian life . . . visibly. But pause for a moment. The Eternal Son is the second member of the Godhead (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit). Did it ever occur to you that your Lord . . . the Lord Jesus Christ . . . stated publicly that he could not live the Christian life? Of himself, he could not live the Christian life (John 5:30). Isn’t that amazing! (So, if you’re having a hard time, just consider John 5:30.) Now let us inquire of him, “How did you live the Christian life?”

Was the mainstay of his Christian life prayer and Bible study? He did pray, but was prayer the central pillar of his secret to living the Christian life? That just does not seem to fit, does it? The Son depending on prayer and Bible study to make it through the day?

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Apr 8 2009

Reframing Paul

reframingpaul“What’s gone wrong? How can the church be an attractive, relevant community of transforming grace and conversation?”

Excerpts from Reframing Paul, by Mark Strom

“Grace is subversive. It undermines the ideals and standards of those of us who cannot tolerate weakness in others (or in ourselves). It undermines the pride of those of us who search out every vestige of unbiblical belief and practice. It undermines the presumption of those of us who preach the pure gospel to cure all ills. It undermines the safety of those of us who throw off the shackles of abusive and codependent relationships only to refuse grace to those who have hurt us. It undermines our need to find the ideal, the answer, the method, the cure. We are left with the weakness of grace-full conversation.

Grace leaves us with Jesus. Jesus leaves us with his Spirit. His Spirit draws us into conversation. The conversation opens us to the wonder and fragility of life. The Father who gave us life bids us live and converse in grace.”

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