Where Is All This Going?

September 26, 2014


January 13, 2014

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_Why won’t there be a sea in heaven (Re 21:1)? As you might have guessed, I love questions like this. R. C. Sproul helps us understand. In the book of Revelation, we can take the symbolism too literalistically. When reading Revelation, and indeed the entire Word of God, we need to pay attention to metaphor, symbolism, genre, literary style, and even inexact numbers.

Continuing with the interpretation theme, it is always important to keep the law and the gospel distinct when we read the Bible. Tullian explains. Here’s a quote:

Freed from the burden and bondage of attempting to use the law to establish our righteousness before God, Christians are free to look to “imperatives”, not as conditions, but as descriptions and directions as they seek to love God and others. The law, in other words, shows us how to love.

We often hear that you can’t legislate morality so it makes no sense to have, for lack of a better term, morality laws. You know, like laws against adultery. People are going to cheat on their spouses regardless of whether there are laws or not. Yet, law is about morality. This is inescapable. What we are seeing is the erosion of one type of morality for another. Al Mohler tackles the issue.


August 27, 2013

How did gay marriage get to be the issue that defines your political correctness? This is a very interesting piece about those who are driving this agenda. Here is a quote:

There are many reasons why the gay rights movement is so upscale. When I was active in the national politics of the Episcopal Church, I came to see that homosexuality in general plays an important symbolic role in upper middle class culture. It’s an image of transgression, and to affirm it relieves moral pressure, giving room for our own transgressive desires. If two men can have sex, then surely there are no traditional limits on what men and women can do.

If you are like me, you had no idea that the Video Music Awards were handed out this past Sunday evening. By now, you have probably heard about Miley Cyrus’ performance. Brant Hansen and Trevin Wax comment about what her performance says about our culture. Here is some of what Brant wrote:

The problem, this time, is that our society feels like it knows her, knows her backstory, knows she’s someone’s daughter, and isn’t able to forget it. Other women, like the ones on stage with Miley, the ones no one is complaining about? Well, we can sexualize them, reduce them to toys lacking a story, but this girl? We know her dad!

The law has no power. In fact, the power of sin is the law (1Co 15:56).

I shouldn’t. I really shouldn’t. I urge you not to watch this. Remember, I warned you.


July 26, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_Once again, there is so much good stuff on the internet that I feel compelled to pass some of it on.

Here is a helpful piece on what the word law typically means in the New Testament. Understanding what is being said is vital to accurately unpacking the New Covenant.

Every read “The Screwtape Letters“? Here are 31 single sentence summaries of each chapter. This is a great way to quickly digest/remember Lewis’ thought in the book.

In The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same department, here is a fascinating look at Alexander Hamilton’s adultery and apology. Be sure to read the last paragraph.

I don’t often recommend articles from Guideposts. That said, this one is too good to miss. Sometimes God’s surprises are breathtaking.

From the When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade Department:

My Problem Exactly

December 19, 2012

How to Read the Bible

November 28, 2012

Here is some wonderful wisdom from Ray Ortlund:

“Against those forms of Judaism that saw the law-covenant not only as lex [law] but as a hermeneutical device for interpreting the Old Testament, Paul insists that the Bible’s story line takes precedence and provides the proper hermeneutical key.”

D. A. Carson, “Reflections on Salvation and Justification in the New Testament,” JETS 40 (1997): 585.

There are two ways to read the Bible. We can read it as law or as promise.

If we read the Bible as law, we will find on every page what God is telling us we should do. Even the promises will be conditioned by law. But if we read the Bible as promise, we will find on every page what God is telling us he will do. Even the commands are conditioned by promise.

In Galatians 3 Paul explains which hermeneutic is the correct one. “This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise” (Galatians 3:17-18).

So, if we want to know whether we should read the Bible through the lens of law or grace, demand or provision, threat or promise — if we want to know how to read the Bible in an apostolic rather than a rabbinic way — we can follow the plot-line of the Bible itself and see which comes first. And in fact, promise comes first, in God’s word to Abram in Genesis 12. Then the law is “added” — significant word, in Galatians 3:19 — the law is added as a sidebar later, in Exodus 20. The hermeneutical category “promise” establishes the larger, wraparound framework for everything else added in along the way.

The deepest message of the Bible is the promises of God to undeserving law-breakers through his grace in Christ. This is not an arbitrary overlay forced onto the biblical text. The Bible presents itself to us this way. The laws and commands and examples and warnings are all there, fulfilled in Christ and revered by us. But they do not provide the hermeneutic with which we make sense of the whole. We can and should understand them as qualified by God’s gracious promise, for all who will bank their hopes on him.


November 2, 2012

We had a great Fall Frenzy the other night at Bowman. Conservatively, we had well over 150 people pass through our doors. Thanks to Bonnie and her crew for making it happen.

In the past several weeks or so I’ve posted several things about the Sabbath. One of the posts generated more comments than usual. The bottom line is that the Sabbath is not an easy issue to unpack. That said, here is a piece that is worth reflecting on. It isn’t exactly my view, but most of us need to move in the author’s direction.

Desiring God has some free books on Calvin available in all formats. You will be enriched by reading any, or all, of these books.

Bob Mundorff discusses the grace verses law tension. This is something we always need to be reminded of. He quotes one of my favorite poems:

Run, John, run, the law commands
But gives us neither feet nor hands,
Far better news the gospel brings:
It bids us fly and gives us wings

This next post by C Michael Patton is certainly provocative. It is titled “You Can’t Judge A Person’s Salvation” … and Other Stupid Statements.” Let me know what you think. Here’s a quote:

So, I don’t believe that once someone says he is a Christian, we are somehow obligated to take them at their word. In fact, my default position (at least here in America) is that this is nothing more than a verbal affirmation of their initiation into American culture. I normally start by not believing them.

Finally, below is a video you’ve probably already seen. Yes, the election will be over soon. We’re more than likely in for four more years. Ohio seems to be the president’s and thus the election itself (in spite of what deluded Karl Rove says).


August 22, 2012

Every now and then we’ll here about the three-fold use of the law. Here Nathan Bingham unpacks the idea.

It can be a challenge trying to grasp the ebb and flow of the church in the New Testament. When did John write Revelation? When was Stephen martyred? Here is a very helpful graphic that maps the sequence of the New Testament.

As most of you know, I appreciate a good catechism. They helpfully remind us of essential truth. At the same time, they are exquisite tools for discipling and rearing children. Here you can download John Piper’s iteration of the 1677 Baptist Catechism. Actually, it is the 1677 catechism with Piper’s commentary.

Like most of us, I hate being wrong. You’d think by now I be used to it. Anyway, Kevin DeYoung reminds us of ten things we often get wrong in the church. For example it is Psalm 23, not Psalms 23. BTW, #10 described me until Ora graciously corrected me one day.

Finally, Francis Schaeffer’s “Art and the Bible” is $1.99 in the Kindle format. Also, Sproul’s “Knowing Scripture” is $2.99 in the Kindle format. Sorry Nookers, no deal for you.