Monthly Archives: September 2012
In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.
I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.
Sure, never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.
My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair,
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail Him there.
Alas, I knew not what I did,
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain.
A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou mayst live.”
Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.
With pleasing grief and mournful joy,
My spirit is now filled;
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by him I killed.
- John Newton
“He, the Life of all, our Lord and Saviour,
did not arrange the manner of his own death
lest He should seem to be afraid of some other kind.
No. He accepted and bore upon the cross
a death inflicted by others,
and those other His special enemies,
a death which to them was supremely terrible
and by no means to be faced;
and He did this in order that,
by destroying even this death,
He might Himself be believed to be the Life,
and the power of death be recognised as finally annulled.
A marvelous and mighty paradox has thus occurred,
for the death which they thought to inflict on Him as dishonour and disgrace
has become the glorious monument to death’s defeat.”
– Athanasius, On the Incarnation
Gerald McDermott joins me for a conversation on eleven important theologians from Christian history. Why are these theologians relevant to the Christian today?
Kindle Deal of the Day: NIV Once-A-Day 31 Days of Wisdom. FREE.
This 31-day reading from the book of Proverbs from the New International Version of the Bible will speak to your deepest needs as you engage with God’s Word. Practical and insightful, these devotions—written by the staff at trusted ministry Walk Thru the Bible—will fill each day with wisdom and understanding about who God is and what he has intended for the lives of his people.
The church must be vigilant in guarding against the dissatisfaction touted by the world. We should want more, but not the more of stuff, things, and reputation. If a church family primarily wants more moving lights, programs, publications, and land, then an evaluation is in order. But the same can be said of those who want more of the “less” regarding church life. Simplicity can become a task master as well. Desiring a culture of less programs, less structure, and less physical property can be a way of more other things can become a short path to more centralized power. Ego is a danger whenever the amount of humanity is involved. So what should we want more of?
The work of reaching and changing the world is, indeed, a work done on our knees. And, it is a work that takes on the nature of fierce and intense warfare. After all, one of Satan’s chief weapons is to cut off communication with God, communication …
Revisiting four important books: Total Church, God Is Not One, The King Jesus Gospel, and After You Believe.
Kindle Deal of the Day: C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography. $2.99.
Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, a commentary, books on prayer, a devotional, a magazine, poetry, hymnist, and more. Many sermons were transcribed as he spoke and were translated into many languages during his lifetime. Arguably, no other author, Christian or otherwise, has more material in print than C.H. Spurgeon.
My question is, “How does a pastor handle the pressure of preaching every week?” If I’m being honest, I feel that I have to hit a home run* or I have wasted everyone’s time that week. Does the pastor prepare his sermon so that it’s a base hit* or do you swing for the fences* every week?
My students are often Christians who are old enough to mock mercilessly the people that gave of their time sacrificially to disciple them when they were young but who are not yet mature enough to be able to disciple others. I often find them quick-off-the-draw-ready with a forceful and sophisticated critique of most any traditional religious belief or practice.
They can be sadly flummoxed, however, by a simple request to explain what is true.
A good example why businesses should think long-term and not only about the newest and most immediate thing:I Love Lucy Still a Cash Cow for CBS
The show brings in around $20 million to the studio annually, according to CBS Chief …
I wonder how many people in our society respond to the consequences of their bad decisions in the same way some talent show contestants do. “At least I had fun.”
Kindle Deal of the Day: G.O.S.P.E.L. by Damon Horton. $2.99.
The fusion of Christian community and the hip-hop culture is very real, very significant, and-sadly-very incomplete. While Christian themes and concepts are prevalent among the listeners to Christian hip hop, it often comes with little theological depth beyond a 3-minute rhyme. They lyrics are meaningful, but that meaning escapes the majority of its audience. To fill this critical gap of understanding Pastor D. A. Horton (aka hip hop artist Azriel) has written G.O.S.P.E.L. in the language of hip hop with the crystal-clear power of Scripture. It’s a sound, compelling presentation of the life-changing truth many professing believers fail to grasp: the gospel. Undiluted. Unmistakable.
Church Relevance has released an updated list of the Top 200 Church Blogs:
Some focus exclusively on ministry, while others are more like theology or news blogs. Regardless of how you label them, these are the world’s most popular church blogs written by many of today’s most influential church leaders, journalists, theologians, and Christ followers.
The Jetsons turn 50. Did their predictions hold up?
Even if we can imagine Rosie the Robot helping out around the house in the future, the prospects for a three-hour workday don’t seem as rosy.
I hate email. It’s dying, but not fast enough for me. And since we still need to use it to communicate, I would like to offer some email etiquette guidelines that would make the use of such an antiquated communication tool more, well, bearable.
I need the church to affirm my faith in Christ, to assure me when I doubt, and to lovingly rebuke me when I err. Judgment day is coming!
Kindle Deal of the Day: In God’s Underground by Richard Wurmbrand. $1.00.
Imprisoned by the Romanian Communists for his work in the Christian Underground, and subjected to medieval torture, Wurmbrand kept his faith—and strengthened it. For fourteen years, he shared that faith with suffering cellmates and gave them solace. In solitary confinement, he tapped out his message of hope and Christian love. In Room Four, the “death room”, he helped dying patients even though his lungs were riddled with tuberculosis and his body lacerated and bloody from whips and kicks. Anguished over the fate of his wife and son, he could still tell jokes and stories to make despairing prisoners laugh. Sorely tempted by the promise of release and reprieve, he refused to become a Communist collaborator. And the miracle is that he survived. With humble gratitude to God and Christ, he tells his personal story. It’s an inspiring drama of triumphant faith.
What Lucado does is give one of the greatest pictures of what God’s grace is, how far it reaches, the goal that it has and that it always accomplishes what it sets out to do.
When Tim Tebow says he wants a wife with “a servant’s heart,” he is, like any Christian man, hoping also for a woman who is seeking a husband with “a servant’s heart.” It doesn’t mean he wants a doormat. It just …