Resolved 08, which I spoke at a couple weeks ago, had a sobering theme: Heaven and Hell. In my preparation, I dug up this contrast between Clark Pinnock and Dorothy Sayers.
Clark Pinnock, a Canadian theologian who has moved far from his evangelical roots, wrote:
I was led to question the traditional belief in everlasting conscious torment because of moral revulsion and broader theological considerations, not first of all on scriptural grounds. It just does not make any sense to say that a God of love will torture people forever for sins done in the context of a finite life.... It’s time for evangelicals to come out and say that the biblical and morally appropriate doctrine …
Not everything is complex when it comes to politics. Here’s something that is clear and simple and fearful. If political figures don’t humble themselves and give glory to God when they are praised for their speeches, they will be eaten by worms.
On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. (Acts 12:21-23)
It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one ey…
Here is a sampling of God’s complete providence in governing the world.
- “I have commanded the ravens to feed you there” (1Kings 17:4)
- “The Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah” (Jonah 4:6).
- “God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered” (Jonah 4:7).
- “I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants” (Exodus 8:21).
- “He summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread” (Psalms 105:16).
- “He gave them hail for rain” (Psalms 105:32).
- “He spoke, and the locusts came” (Psalms 105:34).
- “The Lord will whistle for . . . the bee that is in the land of Assyria” (Isa…
What do the supreme court ruling on guns and the martyrdom of missionaries have to do with each other?
Noël and I watched Beyond Gates of Splendor, the documentary version of End of the Spear, the story of the martyrdom of Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and Nate Saint in Ecuador in 1956. That same day we heard that the Supreme Court decided in favor of the right of Americans to keep firearms at home for self-defense.
Here’s the connection. The missionaries had guns when they were speared to death. One of them shot the gun into the air, it appears, as he was killed, rather than shooting the natives. They had agreed to do this. The reason was simple and stagg…
From time to time I meet the objection that efforts to understand complex and mysterious doctrines in the Bible are unhelpful because they reduce mystery and therefore diminish wonder and worship.
There are at least two answers to this objection. The first is mine and the other is from Jonathan Edwards.
1. God is more honored by worship that rises from what we know about him than by worship that rises from what we don’t know about him.
There is something fishy about saying our wonder and worship are greater, the less we understand about God. One gets the impression that such “wonder” and “worship” are vague aesthetic feelings on the brink of a void, rather than what we meet in…
One verse leapt to my memory as we listened to Psalm 69 in the service this weekend: “I have come into deep waters.” It reminded me of a memorable passage from Lilias Trotter, 19th century artist, author, and missionary to Algeria.
“I am come into deep waters” took on a new meaning this morning. It started with perplexing matters concerning the future. Then it dawned that shallow waters were a place where you can neither sink nor swim, but in deep waters it is one or the other: “waters to swim in”—not to float in. Swimming is the intense, most strenuous form of motion—all of you is involved in it—and every inch of you is in abandonment of rest upon the water that bears you up.…
This is overflow from a pastoral staff discussion on how to be free from covetousness. Fred Johnson had drawn our attention to Achan’s stealing and lying in Joshua 7:11. Jericho had fallen before Israel. The riches of the city were not to be taken. But Achan took garments and silver and gold. He hid them and tried to deceive the leaders.
Why did he do this? When he was caught, Achan gives the answer: “I coveted them and took them” (Joshua 7:21). Covetousness. He desired the silver, gold, and garments more than he desired fellowship with God...
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The following is a guest post by Ben Reaoch, pastor of Three Rivers Grace Church in downtown Pittsburgh, PA.
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It started in the Garden. Adam said to God,
The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate. (Genesis 3:12)
The first man, caught in the first sin, turns to blame his wife. And he extends the blame to God as well! He implies that he would have remained innocent if God hadn’t put Eve in the garden with him.
The blame-shifting in the Garden continues today. Our proud hearts send us desperately looking for someone else to point to every time we’re confronted with our own sin. There mus…
There’s a lot of gloom and doom in the news these days. If we listen too much, unbiblical fear may begin to govern our actions because we’re only putting our trust in what we see.
Imagine for a moment that you are the Apostle Philip. You and your fellow disciples are sitting around Jesus on a mountainside and you’re all watching a large crowd make their way up toward you. You’re tired from rigorous days of ministry. And you’re hungry. This crowd’s arrival probably means a meal is not in your near future. You’re trying not to resent them.
Then from behind you Jesus says, “Philip, where can we buy bread so that these people may eat?”
You think, He can’t be serious. Buy—for the …
I heard Collin Hansen say in an interview that John Piper is not an innovator.
I hope I can live up to that tribute. I would like it to be true. I am very happy with the simple role of blowing the boredom out of people’s brains with long-forgotten, old-fashioned, faithful blasts of biblical truth.
So let me try to prove how uncreative I am theologically. Here is C. S. Lewis saying fifty years ago in his Reflections on the Psalms what I have spent most of my adult life trying to say:
The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. But we shall know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us t…