Monthly Archives: December 2010
The nature of the blogosphere is that blog posts come and go rather quickly. It’s easy for great articles to get lost in the flood of information that we process every day. So, as a service to readers, I went back through some of my “Trevin’s Seven” and “Worth a Look” posts from 2010 and chose some content from other blogs – articles that deserve another look.
Here are ten blog posts from 2010 worth revisiting:
1. Justin Taylor interviews Tullian Tchividjian about the relationship of law and gospel (May 26, 2010)
2. Russell Moore: “God, The Gospel, and Glenn Beck” (August 29, 2010)
3. Ed Stetzer: Don’t Plan or Pastor a Church in Your Head (May 12, 2010)
4. Michael Bird: Justification By Faith and Racism (July 28, 2010)
5. Brad Ruggles: “A Different Kind of Pharisee” (January 26, 2010)
6. Tod Bolsinger: Becoming a Good Disappointing Leader (May 26, 2010)
7. Sam Rainer: The Problem of Personal Preferences (September 24, 2010)
8. Kevin DeYoung: The Hole in Our Holiness (November 23, 2010)
9. J.D. Greear: Small Applauders (August 26, 2010)
10. Tony Reinke: Does God Delight in Non-Christian Art? (May 7, 2010)
There are a variety of ways to read the whole Bible in a year. In 2011, I plan to follow a new chronology organized by George Guthrie. It’s called “Read the Bible for Life One-Year Chronological Reading Plan”. See info below and download a pdf of the plan.
In this plan, the material of the Bible has been organized to flow in chronological order. Since exact dating of some materials or events is not possible, the chronology simply represents an attempt to give you the reader the general flow and development of the Bible’s grand story. Some passages are placed according to topic (e.g., John 1:1-3 in Week 1, Day 2; and many of the psalms). There are six readings for each week to give you space for catching up when needed.
Here are a couple of typical weeks:
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is typically quiet in the blog-world. I’m enjoying time with family, and friends and so I’m blogging very “lightly” this week. For today, I’ve put together a list of the most-read posts this year at Kingdom People.
1. “Jennifer Knapp and Larry King: Why We Always Lose This Debate” (April 26, 2010)
After viewing Friday night’s Larry King Live with Jennifer Knapp, pastor Bob Botsford, and Ted Haggard, I was struck with the question: Why is it that whenever a proponent of Christianity’s historical view of sexuality goes head to head with an advocate for gay rights, the traditional Christian almost always loses the argument?
2. “GCR (Great Commission Resurgence) in a Nutshell” (June 2, 2010)
In this article, I wish to cut through the hype by briefly summarizing the final GCR proposal and the contending viewpoints, providing clarity regarding these recommendations.
3. “John Piper with Rick Warren: Compromise?” (April 9, 2010)
The Piper brouhaha is… a sign that there some who are pitching their tents in the far corner of the Reformed cul-de-sac, unwilling to entertain the notion that there are other people with legitimate building permits in the same neighborhood.
4. “Undercover at Thomas Road: An Interview with Gina Welch” (April 13, 2010)
Welch faked a conversion experience, got baptized, and spent two years at Thomas Road Baptist Church. She then wrote a book chronicling her journey into evangelical America. This is my Q&A with Gina.
“Praying without ceasing” means at least three things.
First, it means that there is a spirit of dependence that should permeate all we do. This is the very spirit and essence of prayer. So, even when we are not speaking consciously to God, there is a deep, abiding dependence on him that is woven into the heart of faith. In that sense, we “pray” or have the spirit of prayer continuously.
Second – and I think this is what Paul has in mind most immediately – praying without ceasing means praying repeatedly and often. I base this on the use of the word “without ceasing” in Romans 1:9, where Paul says, “For God is my witness, who I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you.” Now we can be sure that Paul did not mention the Romans every minute of his waking life, or even every minute of his prayers. He prayed about many other things. But he mentioned them over and over, and often. So “without ceasing” doesn’t mean that, verbally or mentally, we have to be speaking prayers every minute of the day in the fight for joy. It means we should pray over and over, and often. Our default mental state should be: “O God, help…”
Third, praying without ceasing means not giving up on prayer. Don’t ever come to a point in your life where you cease to pray at all. Don’t …
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
for their Savior is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
for their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
for their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
for their Liberator is born.
Let all Christians rejoice,
for Jesus Christ is born.
– Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-440)
Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.
Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.
The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.
This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.
O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!
Seven Christmas-themed links for your weekend reading:
At the time of Christ’s birth, Caesar had issued a call to the Roman world that everyone be counted and properly taxed. As he enjoyed luxurious accommodations in his Roman palace, he hoped to demonstrate his own greatness before a watching world by publicizing the great number of people under his domain. And yet in an unnoticed corner of Caesar’s kingdom, in a simple stable, sleeping in a feeding trough, the Son of God had come to show the glory of his Father.
The nature of infancy teaches us something about weakness, and it teaches us something about our God. Every Christmas we celebrate not Caesar’s triumphant census, but our Emmanuel: God with us.
The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus made himself a servant. The infinite God enclosed himself in a woman’s womb for nine months. God the Son was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger for a bed. God made himself vulnerable.
Picture Jesus, the firstborn above all creation, the one through whom God spoke the creation of the universe, sitting on his mother Mary’s lap, learning to read and write! Such mysteries can never be fully explained. But it is the story of God coming to earth – God’s being with us – that lies at the heart of the Christian worldview.
Imagine Caesar in his palace and Jesus in the manger. Which one looks more like a king?
What would you do if you were in Bethlehem at the time and …
CNN has an interesting story on Francis Chan’s decision to leave his church and travel through Asia:
Chan has been traveling across Asia, according to his website, where his wife Lisa has posted periodic updates. She wrote that the family has been to India and Thailand, visiting small churches and missionaries. In an October update, she mentioned Chan was preaching again: “Francis spoke a great message of encouragement to this little body of Christ hidden away in a slum in India . 100 years from now we will be worshiping together. We will look each other in the eye and KNOW that it was worth it.”
Earlier this year, I introduced you to Aaron Coe, a pioneering church-planter in New York City. One of the church plants he has been associated with needs help with VBS next year. Here’s how you can be a part.
Good will toward whom? All? Or Only Those with whom God is Pleased? Mark D. Roberts answers here:
What’s going on here? Are today’s Christians stingy with God’s good will? Are we becoming like the early Ebenezer Scrooge, wanting to hoard all the grace for ourselves? No, Bible translators are not becoming more hardhearted and less gracious. They are becoming more exact in their effort to faithfully translate the Greek of the New Testament into today’s English, even if this appears less gracious at first.
Good gifts can become gods. Music …
John MacArthur’s new book, Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ (Thomas Nelson, 2010), has much to offer in regards to biblical exposition and theological reflection.
Unfortunately, readers may be distracted by the sensationalist marketing that surrounds the book. On the back cover, we read that English translators have “perpetrated a fraud”, a “cover-up of biblical proportions” by translating the Greek word doulos as “servant” instead of “slave.” Aside from a few translations (like the HCSB), most English Bibles fail to capture the radical nature of our relationship to Christ as Master and Lord.
Once you get past the hyperbolic nature of the marketing, you discover that MacArthur quickly tones down such rhetoric. He admits that even though he believes it is a mistake to translate doulos as “servant”, this mistake is unintentional, an admission that quickly throws water on the suggestion that there is a massive “cover up.” Cover-ups are always intentional, aren’t they?
(An interesting side note for my bilingual readers: MacArthur claims that believers in Russia, Romania, Indonesia, and the Philippines translate the word correctly. I don’t know about the other countries, but as a fluent Romanian speaker married to a Romanian national, I can speak to the Romanian translation. There are actually three possible ways to translate doulos in Romanian: “slujitor” (servant), “rob” (bond-servant), and “sclav” (slave). Romanian translations generally go with “rob” – the mediating version of the three, which isn’t quite as stark as “sclav”, but carries more of a punch than “slujitor”. When I asked my …