Active Vs. Passive Hospitality

Monday, April 20, 2009

Here is a good post on why we should seek to be hospitable rather than just falling into it.

Jesus: The Way, the Truth, the Life

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

D.A. Carson, in his remarkable commentary on the Gospel according to John, shares a poem of his on

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6

I am the way to God: I did not come
To light a path, to blaze a trail, that you
May simply follow in my tracks, pursue
My shadow like a prize that's cheaply won.
My life reveals the life of God, the sum
Of all he is and does.  So how can you,
The sons of night, look on me and construe
My way as just the road for you to run?
     My path takes in Gethsemane, the Cross,
     And stark rejection draped in agony.
     My way to God embraces utmost loss:
     Your way to God is not my way, but me.
Each other path is dismal swamp, or fraud.
I stand alone: I am the way to God.

I am the truth of God: I do not claim
I merely speak the truth, as though I were
A prophet (but no more), a channel, stirred
By Spirit power, of purely human frame.
Nor do I say that when I take his name
Upon my lips, my teaching cannot err
(Though that is true).  A mere interpreter
I’m not, some prophet-voice of special fame.
     In timeless reaches of eternity
     The Triune God decided that the Word,
     The self-expression of the Deity,
     Would put on flesh and blood – and thus be heard.
The claim to speak the truth good men applaud.
I claim much more: I am the truth of God.

I am the resurrection life.  It’s not
As though I merely bear life-giving drink,
A magic elixir which (men might think)
Is cheap because though lavish it’s not bought.
The price of life was fully paid: I fought
With death and black despair; for I’m the drink
Of life.  The resurrection morn’s the link
Between my death and endless life long sought.
     I am the firstborn from the dead; and by
     My triumph, I deal death to lusts and hates.
     My life I now extend to men, and ply
     Them with the draught that ever satiates.
Religion’s page with empty boasts is rife:
But I’m the resurrection and the life.

D. A. Carson, The Gospel according to John, Pillar (Eerdmans, 1991), 492-93.

This poem alludes to many of the themes in John.  When studying, it can be easy to let intellect rule and headiness prevail.  It is the mark of a useful commentary to meld intellect and emotion.  I recommend Carson’s commentary wholeheartedly.

The Horror of Holy Wrath

Friday, April 10, 2009

There had never been a display like that before, and there never will be again.  The whole of life is to be spent in understanding the truth displayed that day.  The unparalleled mixture of grace and justice resonates throughout all eternity.  It is the echoes of this divine display that is to  fill the words and lives of Christians centuries later.

Here are resources that I have used to help me to dwell on what occurred on that Good Friday.  I suggest that they be watched in this order.

 

‘And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,  and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."  Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,  saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"  And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!"  And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.” ‘ (Rev 5:9-14)

Gaffin on Justification

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Justified in Christ“Late medieval Roman Catholicism left the future verdict at the final judgment the ever anxious and uncertain outcome of the Christian life.  In contrast, the Reformers grasped that the verdict, belonging at the end of history, has been brought forward and already pronounced on believers in history, and so, constituting the certain stable basis for the Christian life, provides unshakeable confidence in the face of the final judgment.”

- Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. from “Justification and Eschatology” in Justified in Christ:  God’s Plan for Us in Justification