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Archive for the ‘Scripture’ Category

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News: Global Warming Beliefs Among Protestant Pastors.  Interesting article on the percentage pastors who are “believers” of global warming.

Listening:  This is gold…John Piper recently spoke at Park Community Church in Chicago on “The Pastor as Scholar.”  He gives a basics outline of his life leading up to becoming a pastor.

If I am scholarly, it is not in any sense because I try to stay on the cutting edge in the discipline of biblical and theological studies. I am way too slow for that. What scholarly would mean for me is that the greatest Object of knowledge is God and that he has revealed himself authoritatively in a Book. And that I should work with all my might and all my heart and all my soul and all my mind to know him through that Book and to make him known.

Photography: 9 years of change in Dubai from NASA.

Blogging: John MacArthur offers some practical teaching on “Knowing Christ.”

We err greatly if we think of intimacy with Christ as some lofty level of mysterious, feelings-based communion with the Divine—as if it involved some knowledge of God that goes beyond what Scripture has revealed.

Science and Religion: A new theistic evolutionist – like website from Francis S. Collins and Co., the director of the Human Genome Project and author of The Language of God, called The BioLogos Foundation.  What is the site for?

The BioLogos Foundation promotes the search for truth in both the natural and spiritual realms, and seeks to harmonize these different perspectives.

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Favorites in..

Watching: The Gospel Coalition 2009 is wrapping up today.  Live webcasts are available here.  Also, all 10 of the main sessions will be online soon.

Listening: 5 years of classroom instruction from Wayne Grudem as he teaches through his Systematic Theology.

Blogging: Kevin DeYoung posts a series called “Our High Places,” highlighting what he sees as possible blindspots in the church today.

Economics: Matt Perman argues how “Spending Does Not Drive the Economy,” part 1 and part 2.

Blogging 2: Albert Mohler pleads “We cannot settle for truth without love nor love without truth” and “The genuine body of Christ  will reveal itself by courageous compassion, and compassionate courage” when confronting the issue of homosexuality in our culture.

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-Abraham was justified by faith, not works, before he was circumcised. He was justified because, he believed by faith, God’s promise that he would be the father of many nations even when he didn’t have any offspring. Even before the law was passed onto the Jews, Abram’s (Abraham’s) belief was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).

-Abraham is the father of all that believe, because he was first to be observed in a special way as a recipient of the covenant of grace. His means of justification is the pattern for which we are justified. Paul said in Romans 4:17, “He (Abraham) is our father in the sight of God.”

-Paul is appealing to the Jew’s “father,” Abraham, to show that it was not his virtue, merit, observance of the law, or circumcision that justified him, but his belief/faith.

-If Abraham were justified by works, there would be room for boasting, which no one can do, because, “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

-If righteousness had not been a gift of God, Abraham had the right to demand what he earned like a laborer. As it is, it is impossible for a (guilty) man to make God a debtor to him. A person can labor in the hardest working fashion, most ethically and generous ways, yet God owes him nothing. For the person who does not work, but trusts, God credits faith as righteousness.

-We can not be justified unless we have been forgiven our sins. Paul cites David, who says, “Blessed are they whose sins are forgiven,” not, “blessed is the man who has no sin.” The ground for our blessedness is not our blamelessness (innocence). The blessedness is God not counting our sin against us. In other words, it is God not imputing sin. This is strictly a gracious and unwarranted act of God. No one is qualified for the remission of their sins. God declared Abraham’s righteousness is his unlawful, filthy state to demonstrate that the promise came solely through grace.

-“Pardoned people are the only blessed people.” Our pardon is the underpinning of all other benefits.

-It is not only right to say, “I have never done anything to earn justification,” it is also right to say, “I am not doing or ever can do anything to earn justification.”

-Sealing, as circumcision was to Abraham, “supposes a previous bargain, which is confirmed and ratified by that ceremony.” Romans 4:11 says, “He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.”

-If God’s promise of imputed righteousness could not take effect through faith, God’s promise to Abraham and us would be void.

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-Our first marriage was to the law. As a woman is freed from the obligation of marriage when her husband dies, we are free from the law because “we have died to it.”

-Our dying to the law is in the conformity of the death of Christ- the crucifying of His body. So to, our newness of life is in conformity to the resurrection of Christ- the risen, exalted, body of Christ.

-While we were alive to the law we were under the power of it.

-The law is still alive, however, we have been released from it and it’s obligation to punishment. This is because, Christ, on our behalf, answered the demands of the law and made satisfaction for our violation of it. Christ purchased for us a covenant of grace.

-We have no more to do with the law than a dead servant has to do with his master.

-The law says, “The soul that sins shall die.” However, God has taken away our sins. We have been delivered from the power of the law which condemns us for the sins we have committed.

-The law offers no grace, it stirs up corruption, and “like the sun shining upon a dunghill, excites and draws up the filthy steams.” Because the law is a covenant of works, it provides nothing to help heal our lameness or excuse our offenses against it.

-Grace promises strength to do what it commands, and pardons us when we do amiss.

-By its nature, the law is rigid and inflexible, because God has to punish sin, because He is just.

-The end of our old marriage to the law, produced fruit unto death. The end of our new marriage to Christ, produces fruit (love, good works, grace, kindness) unto God.

-Good works are the children of the new nature, the products of our union with Christ, as the fruitfulness of the vine is the product of its union with the root.

-There can not be fruit pleasing to God unless we are married to Christ. If our root is not Christ, God can not be pleased with any (good) work. This distinguishes the good works of a believer from the good works of self-justifiers. Any good work done by someone who has not died and been risen with Christ is dead. If a good work is brought forth in marriage with the law as a means of acceptance it will not be. This is because it is not done in union with Christ, whom is the root that produces fruitfulness in the vines.

-We must not rest in external services, as the carnal Jews did (do), who gloried their adherence to the letter of the law. We need to mind the spiritual part of worship: the part of worship that is empowered by the Spirit.

-The letter (law) causes fear. However we are delivered from that yoke that we may serve God in Spirit, truth, holiness, confidence and righteousness.

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Science News:  Apparently I’ve been duped, according to the NYTs “Sugar is Back on Food Labels, This Time as a Selling Point”

Though research is still under way, many nutrition and obesity experts say sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are equally bad in excess. But, as is often the case with competing food claims, the battle is as much about marketing as it is about science.

Weather pix: An excellent radar image of the early spring tornado that touched down just east of Lincoln.  The slight hook extending out of the souteast corner of the large cluster is a textbook example of a radar indicated tornado.

Streaming: The videos from the recent Ligonier Ministries 2009 Conference on the Holiness of God.  Lots of good stuff here.

Blogging: Kevin DeYoung attempts to separate the Truths that Transform, the Doctrines that Damn in his 4 part series.

There are four categories of passages in the Pastoral Epistles that give us a sense for what Paul considered the core of apostolic doctrine.

Movies: Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” is coming to theater this fall.  Here is the trailer.

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But God

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

BUT GOD

being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up to be with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show us the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  -Ephesians 2:1-10. ESV

“But God” – the best transitional phrase in all the Bible?

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A great way to listen to Scripture.  I’m really liking this…download your favorite verses, chapters, or books to your ipod (or other mp3 device) to aid in your study/meditation/memorization of scripture.  B.C. has a really nice site, by the way. (HT: JT)

Why I’m Not Emergent.  An excellent essay on the Emergent Church by Allen Yeh from The Scriptorium Daily.

Are taking Vitamins worth it? “The public’s belief in the benefits of vitamins and nutrients is not supported by the available scientific data.” An article from NYT.

Who are the NeoReformed? Part 1, Part 2.  2 articles from Scot McKnight that I’m not sure how to make use of – especially his comment: “the NeoReformed are those who are obsessed with God’s holiness and grace and have not learned that grace makes people gracious.”  I thought obsessing over God’s holiness and grace was a good thing…maybe I’ve missed the point.

Regulating CO2 as a pollutant. Roger Pielke lists some articles if you want to get more in depth with the issue.  If not, just read his brief comments and you’ll realize the implications of such a move from our government.

Finally Alive. Tim Challies gives a great review of Piper’s new book.

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