January 7, 2013 • 3:22 pm
In words that might be addressed to so much of 21st century Western Evangelicalism, Ortlund Jr.comments on Old Testament Israel’s spiritual adultery as found in the book of Hosea,
The people failed to make meaningful connections between
their theology, history and worship, on the one hand, and their
real-life problems, on the other hand. They put God, his
covenant, his power, his wisdom, into a limiting category of
thought – they could not bring themselves really to believe the
assurance of Deuteronomy 28:1-14 – while ‘the real world’ was
another category altogether with its own rules and its own
resources. They acted as though faith in Yahweh alone were an
impracticable policy for life. As a result, they dishonoured him
even as they thought they continued to honour him.
Moreover, unalloyed, classical Yahwism was losing its compelling power among the people. It was being redefined with fewer
sharp edges and more open doors as a broadly inclusive
religion, increasingly tolerant of elements of paganism.
(Ortlund Jr, Whoredom: God’s Unfaithful Wife in Biblical Theology, 48)
Filed under: Ramblings, Hosea
With another Christianity Explored course beginning next week, this morning I went to order some new NIV Bibles to hand out to those on the course, as is our usual practice.
Clearly I’ve not been paying enough attention when it comes to the world according to the NIV.
I’ve known about the recent release of the NIV 2011, and I’ve also known about the updates and issues involved with the new translation for some time. Many of these revolve around more dynamic equivalence of meaning and the increased gender-neutral language within the NIV 2011. What I wasn’t aware of until now is that the NIV 2011 is actually a replacement for the NIV 1984 (original ed.) which is no longer being produced.
When your old NIV breaths its last, you won’t be able to buy a direct replacement.
If only I’d read Trevin Wax’s comments 18 months ago.
Whatever the pro’s and con’s of the new translation we’re being forced to make a choice by the publisher, Zondervan. Either find another translation or use the new NIV 2011 with it’s changes. The one choice individual Christians and churches are not being given is to keep using the NIV 1984 text.
Personally I’d like to see our church using the ESV (English Standard Version) as it’s main pew Bible. Lots of our younger people already use it.
But I’m not persuaded that as a church we’re in a place where we are ready to consider changing to use a different Bible translation at present.
That’s a situation that Zondervan have now made a great deal more difficult and I’m sure we won’t be the only church faced with this issue.
Filed under: Ramblings, Bible translation
At church last night we began looking at the Westminster Shorter Catechism, a series of questions with answers focusing on the Christian faith which were completed in 1647.
If you want to look at / print off the 107 questions of the catechism for yourself you can find the original version here, and if you are really cool you’ll find an updated English version here.
The first question and answer of the catechism is also without doubt the most well know
Question: What is the chief end of man? (What is man’s primary purpose?)
Answer: Man’s primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
And as John Piper has helpfully stated,
Filed under: Ramblings, Sermon prep, john piper, westminster shorter catechism
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. – Matthew 25:41
Last Sunday evening I got into a conversation where the question arose as to whether God is in hell or if hell is the place of separation from God. It may seem from Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:41 and 7:23 that hell is the place where God is not. Many assume hell is the place of separation from God’s presence, but the Bible speaks of God being present in different ways in different locations.
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:19-20
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. – John 14:16-17
Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Ministry, Ramblings
1 March – St David’s Day.
Even google has a Welsh doodle
Those who know me will know I’m not the most patriotic Welshman you could bump into. I’m sure I’ll cheer the men in red shirts in the 6 Nations rugby for as long as I’ll live, but my sense of Welsh identity is weak and right now I’ve lived as much of my life in England as I have in Wales.
For every 10 things I could list that I admire about Wales, I could list at least another 20 that frustrate and infuriate me.
But I do know Wales is a nation that desperately needs the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wales needs men who will unflinchingly preach the good news of a crucified, risen and exalted Christ. Wales needs men and women who are ready to weep over and with their non believing friends, and who are ready to die for their Saviour King. Wales desperately needs God’s Spirit to own his word and work and awaken a hard, proud, comfortable, deluded nation.
Wales is no different to England, Ireland or Scotland in any of the ways above.
But on St. David’s Day, pray for the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Wales.
Filed under: General stuff, Ramblings
February 29, 2012 • 2:52 pm
You can read about Mark Thompson’s recent interview on the BBC and religious bias here, or if you want to see the whole interview yourself then head on over here.
If I’m hearing him right there’s a complete lack of logical consistency in Mr Thompson’s explanation as to why it can be permissible to offend Christians but not Muslims in the UK
During his defence of why he thought it acceptable to show Jerry Springer: The Opera on the BBC he effectively makes the two following statements:
- because Islam is a minority held view in the UK we need to take extra care we do not cause offence
- because Evangelical Christianity as expressed by the group ‘Christian Voice’ is a minority held view in the UK we need not pay too much attention if offence is caused
Go figure! Romans 1:21-22
Filed under: Apologetics, Ramblings
February 25, 2012 • 8:55 am
Christianity Today addresses the issue of effective ways to fight poverty in it’s latest issue. It highlights the problem that so often we give to feel good rather than to do good. In the article, “Cost Effective Compassion: The 10 Most Popular Strategies for Helping the Poor,” economists specialising in analysing development programs were asked to rate from 0-10 some of the most common poverty interventions in terms of their impact and cost-effectiveness.
It’s an interesting list and worth at least a few minutes reflection as you sip your Fairtrade coffee – or perhaps not.
1. Get clean water to rural villages (Rating: 8.3)
2. Fund de-worming treatments for children (Rating: 7.8)
3. Provide mosquito nets (Rating: 7.3)
4. Sponsor a child (Rating: 6.9)
5. Give wood-burning stoves (Rating: 6.0)
6. Give a micro-finance loan (Rating 4.2)
7. Fund reparative surgeries (Rating: 3.9)
8. Donate a farm animal (Rating 3.8)
9. Drink fair-trade coffee (Rating. 1.9)
10. Give a kid a laptop (1.8)
Filed under: General stuff, On the links, Ramblings