October 7, 2014

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_First, some free ebooks. Crossway is giving away Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson through October 12. Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us is free today for Nook and Kindle. It looks really good.

In Same-Sex Marriage and the Supreme Court: What Now for the Church?, Russell Moore helpfully comments on yesterday’s Supreme Court move. How should Christians respond now that we know that same sex marriage will be the law of the land?

I appreciated Bleep! Why Christians Shouldn’t Cuss. Here is the short answer: “This is why Christians don’t cuss: we cherish the purpose for which God gave words.” This is at least worth thinking about.

Dan Martinusen yesterday linked on Facebook to Is Your Church Worship More Pagan than Christian?. Again, this is worth thinking about.

Read The Shyness of C S Lewis in Speaking of His Longing for the Far Off Country several times today. You will be blessed.

Robin Williams on Heaven

August 16, 2014

Robin wants laughter in heaven. I don’t think he is too far off. I think there will be laughter in heaven; laughter and joy not from good jokes, but from an incredible, loving God whose plans for history and our lives are audaciously good.


March 19, 2014

I haven’t posted this week. I suspect that this one will rankle some folks. Dabble at your own risk.

I don’t typically read this fellow’s blog, but I think this post is right on. It is entitled “When Pastors Live In Multimillion Dollar Mansions, It’s Not A Sign Of God’s Blessing– But Our Sinfulness.” By the way, the post isn’t just about pastors. Good stuff.

Daniel Hyde tells his readers why it is important to preach predestination. I think it is impossible to really preach the Bible without dealing with predestination.

Mike Leake writes about “Why I don’t typically pray for a ‘hedge of protection.'” I don’t think that this is a big thing, however, it is worth thinking about.

MacArthur deals with the question of whether visits to heaven are real. You hopefully know the answer to this. It irks me that people get so excited about someone supposedly going to heaven and reporting that it is real. We have the Word of God, an infallible authority I might add, saying it is real. I digress …

Russell Moore asks where the prosperity gospel is found these days. It is alive and well, as you would expect. If you like TV preachers, read this at your own risk. I warned you.

You might have already seen this. It is been floating around for a few days …

Lewis on Heaven

October 6, 2012

In an August 1956 letter to a “Mrs. Johnson”–follow the logic here and ponder what awaits us:
No, I don’t wish I knew Heaven was like the picture in my Great Divorce, because, if we knew that, we should know it was no better. The good things even of this world are far too good ever to be reached by imagination. Even the common orange, you know: no one could have imagined it before he tasted it. How much less Heaven.

–Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, 3:778

(HT: Dane)


September 24, 2012

Yesterday in church we were reminded from Romans 12:2 that believers aren’t supposed to look like those in the world in regard to lifestyle. Certainly, one of the areas where believers face great pressure from the world to conform is in the area of premarital sex. Here is a piece that discusses the myths concerning premarital sex. The bottom line, and this hopefully won’t surprise you, is that there is no upside to premarital sex. We need to just believe God on this one. Here is one tragic quote:

Between 50 and 70 percent of couples cohabit today. But only about 1 in 5 such relationships result in marriage. And the results are consistently pessimistic for those cohabiters who do marry.

Premarital sex is a great way to hurt one’s relationship. It seems that people think they are smarter than God on this one.

Last night Bowman’s Elders met with our Village Missions District Representative, Walt Jacoby. One of the problems we have at Bowman is that people come in the front door only to walk out the back. This isn’t a problem that is unique to Bowman. Thom Rainer discusses keys in keeping people.

Every now and then I get asked about what is going on at the beginning of Genesis 6. You know, the Nephilim passage. R.C. Sproul Jr. weighs in. I have struggled with this passage a good deal myself. I think Spoul’s take on the passage is probably the most clearheaded.

I dislike “I went to heaven” books. You know, someone supposedly dies, goes to heaven, and comes back to tell us about his or her experience. We have the Bible after all. God tells us about heaven, isn’t this enough? Anyway, Mike Leake discusses the phenomenon. It won’t surprise you that I concur with what he writes.

Longing for Home

June 20, 2012

“I must have the Savior indeed, for he is my All.  All that others have in the world and in religion and in themselves I have in thee — pleasures, riches, safety, honor, life, righteousness, holiness, wisdom, bliss, joy, gaiety and happiness . . . . If a child longs for his father, a traveller for the end of his journey, a workman to finish his work, a prisoner for liberty, an heir for the full possession of his estate, so in all these respects I cannot help longing to go home.”

Howell Harris, quoted in D. M. Lloyd-Jones, The Puritans (Edinburgh, 1987), page 300.

 (HT: Ray Ortlund)


May 29, 2012

The always helpful Washington Post had an interesting piece on marriage several days ago. To me you always have to sort through an essay like this one. One interesting bit of info is that two thirds of divorces are initiated by women. This isn’t a new trend. I think it speaks to both husbands and wives seeking their own agenda: husbands before the divorce; wives in initiating the divorce.

I struggle to be creative. Put differently, I’m about as creative as the line down the middle of the road. Stephen Altrogge has just written a book about being creative. It’s $2.99 and called Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff (Kindle).I might just have to splurge.

I’ve said before that sometimes we have a conception of heaven that seems so pedestrian (dull). Here’s a fun article entitle Dung Beetles In HeavenHeaven won’t be dull. Here’s the best quote:

By the way, in case you’re wondering, the logic of this argument cannot be applied to cats since they were the result of an evil scientist’s failed experiment and were not actually created by God. It’s true, Google it.

Page CXVI has great worship music. Right now I’m listening to some of their new stuff that Hannah just purchased. Here’s Come thou Fount:

I’m Hungry

May 14, 2012

This year Debbie and I celebrate 35 years of marriage. Hopefully, we will take a trip somewhere that is fitting for such a milestone. Put differently, we’d like to travel somewhere that radiates the splendor of God. I’m thinking of a tropical island with lots of warm, clear water.

You are probably tracking with me. Most of us love to visit places that offer exquisite beauty. The coast, most of our national parks, or even a stroll up the River Trail all touch something deep within us. Beauty and grandeur just work. Our greatest moments of satisfaction occur when we are so overwhelmed by beauty, food, love, or talent that we forget about our troubles and ourselves.

While I’m looking to visit some warm tropical shore by the end of the year, I realize that the relief offered by those beautiful waters will only be temporary. Alas, all too soon, I will find myself back where I am at this very moment, seated in my chair in the office. And, even if I were able to come up with a plan that would enable us to live out our days in a place like Fiji, I realize that even the attraction of a place like that would fade.

All this to say what we’re all really looking for is heaven. Only God’s infinite glory will satisfy our thirsty hearts forever. The longer we walk this planet we live with the realization that we thirst for something more than what this world offers. I track with Paul’s words in Philippians 1:23, “I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” Until we’re called home, or Jesus returns, we always understand that even while life is often good, or even very good, all we get to do is akin to smelling the appetizers cooking. If the appetizers smell this good, just imagine how wonderful the feast will be. I’m hungry.

What Is Eternal Life Like?

September 20, 2011

We as a family are working our way through Kevin DeYoung’s The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism. Here’s DeYoung’s view of heaven from that book. It’s pretty inviting.

The blessedness of eternal life is like savoring your favorite food, drinking your favorite drink, laughing with your favorite friends; it’s like seeing your wife on your wedding day sparkling in her overpriced dress and grinning from ear to ear; it’s like holding a newborn baby or watching your grandkids play; it’s like standing on a dune overlooking Lake Michigan on one side and seeing a sea of green treetops on the other; it’s like the peaceful majesty of corn blowing in the breeze in July, or watching an afternoon storm roll over the front range; it’s like being awed by a visit to the Great Wall of China or the skyline in New York City or the York Minster Cathedral in northern England. And it’s like that rare moment when you know in your bones that God is with you and you know you really love Him and you want to sing and shout and tell everyone how you feel. It’s like all these moments—except the moments never stop and never wane.

Life everlasting is like all of this power, beauty, delight, truth, and sweetness rolled into one experience, then multiplied by ten, then by a hundred, then by ten million. Eternal life in God’s presence will be such a weight of glory that we will feel as if we never knew happiness before and all our troubles will be in a moment forgotten as so puny and so trivial and to be utterly inconsequential compared to all this joy.

And this experience of delight and glory will go on forever. On earth, all our joy is fleeting. Food tastes good and is gone. Sex is enjoyable, then it’s over. Kids are precious, but they drive you nuts. On earth there is anticipation of pleasure, a moment or season of delight, and then it passes. Joy is always mingled with pain. Delight is always interrupted by suffering. But not in heaven. There, the glory and delight and love are always growing, always swelling, and always increasing as we learn more and see more of God. Every Tuesday is better than Monday. Every Wednesday is better than Tuesday. Every Thursday is better than Wednesday. Nonstop, continuous, everlasting glory. Your best life later (to steal Francis Chan’s phrase).