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July 16, 2007

Edifying Links

Those of us of the English-speaking world who have access to the internet have such a wealth of resources at our fingertips for growing in God's Word and combating heresy. Here are a few good resources I've come across lately.*

  • Commentary on Isaiah by F. C. Jennings - chapter-by-chapter commentary on the entire book, free to read online
  • Blog by C. McCulley, Solo Feminity - A blog intended for single Christian ladies. Of note: a solid Biblically-stated testimony from a new wife on what she's learned in marriage and how to be prepared for marriage. Some of her comments apply to family life as well, and I was very blessed by her insight.
  • Here's the Difference by William MacDonald - an entire book clearly differentiating between such things as law and grace, judicial and parental forgiveness, and the three tenses of salvation. Worth studying through and then keeping on file as a resource.
  • Article on The Dangers of Extreme Calvinism
  • Critical Issues Commentary Archive - A new commentary every 2 months on various issues in evangelicalism. Downloadable PDF. Of note: "The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines" (#91) and Biblical Counseling (#8-10)
  • Lighthouse Trails Research Project website - "Exposing the Dangers of Contemplative Spirituality". This extensive site is willing to name names of which well-known leaders in North American evangelicalism are casting their lot with the movement being labeled as Spiritual Formation, Emergent Church, Contemplative Prayer, etc.
*Disclaimer: I can't speak for all of the contents of each site or writer, but have found some of the information offered to be very helpful.

July 12, 2007

feeling a little silly

Andree Seu, an essayist for World magazine, was part of a gathering of "Christian writers engaging culture". In her May 12, 2007 essay called Betrayal she declares that she denied her Lord in that gathering, by classifying her writing as "just devotional", as if that wasn't much. Somehow it didn't seem important in that group of aspiring poets, novelists and non-fiction writers who spoke little of the Lord and spoke much more of themselves. Her answer to the question "Is there such thing as a Christian writer?" was as simple as "Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" but as she said
"I soon knew that my small comments were not going to fit in. I felt a little silly, like you would if you had prepared an simple algebraic equation for show-and-tell only to find out all the other kids were doing calculus."
Have you ever felt this way? When you want to tell someone that the answer is in God's Word, yet you fear that even other Christians will mock you, for being too pedantic? Perhaps they want an answer that shows you've been studying the latest psychological theories, or an answer that shares a lot of feeling, but not an answer that simply shows that you know your Bible. Some Bible answers are fairly short and sturdy, unbendable, black or white. Back to Seu:
"These days I am nudging the fulcrum further to the right of where I thought that unbelief begins, It resides in the flat-out rejection of the miracles and Resurrection in the liberal churches, but is also inchoate in parlor gatherings of orthodox believers where exuberant exclamation of "I love Jesus!" would feel embarrassing."

If we say we believe the Bible is God's inerrant Word, then may we live like it. May the counsel we give to others be ultimately based on the Word. May our own actions show that we believe that Christ is "the wisdom of God" and that Scripture equips us for "every good work".

2 Cor. 11:3
"
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness,
your minds will be
led astray from
the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

1 Cor 1:22-24
"
For indeed...Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified...
to Gentiles foolishness,
but to those who are the called...Christ...the wisdom of God.

2 Tim 3:16-17
"All Scripture is inspired by God and
profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

July 06, 2007

Circumstances can be the Lord's tools to show us something that can be labeled many ways but can be summarized in one word: sin.

it's

it's the dying of a dream
the killing of a heart
the stealing of a hope and
i only understand in part.

it's the test of my sincerity
an exam on what i've learned
a measure of my sanctity
will my heart be truly turned?

it's up-showing my own wisdom
replacing my own strength
pushing out my human love for
one that knows no length

it's taking me much deeper
it's pulling me far in
it's ridding me of yesterdays
it's purging me of sin.

2007

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil...
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
Isaiah 5:20-21

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Jeremiah 17:9a

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

July 03, 2007

Dear friend,

I talked to you about anything except the obvious topic, and I'm sorry. It was selfish of me.
Your suffering seems worse than death. Your world went over the guardrail. Crashed. Lots of debris. But as you stand before me, you look put together. Like last time I saw you. The mess of scattered bits of your heart is invisible to me, and it is too easy for me to skirt the topic. Do you think it slipped my mind? Because it didn't.

Am I afraid to talk about real life? Or afraid whatever phrases I offer sound like platitudes, coming from someone whose life looks whole? How can flimsy human words seek to offer a resting place for a broken world? If I reminded you that the Lord holds the world--that He makes beauty out of brokenness--would you think that was trite too?


Truth is still worth telling.


J