Good News of Great Joy

With December just days away, here are two helpful ways you could prepare for the most significant birth in history.

John Piper has released a new revised version of his daily readings for advent, Good News of Great Joy which can be downloaded in a multitude of ebook formats for free.  You can even can purchase a paperback version from amazon.co.uk for a small price, should you require.

Alternatively you can download Doug Wilson’s God Rest Ye Merry: Why Christmas is the Foundation of Everything from amazon for slightly less than it would cost you to watch Netflix for the month.  And you know which one is more likely to help fill your heart with joy at the Word made flesh.

Atheism has no car of it’s own

I’ve previously linked to Collision, the encounter between Christopher Hitchens and Pastor Doug Wilson in which they debate the question, ‘Is Christianity Good for the World?’

I recently came across a video of an event that was part of the Collision tour although not featured within the production itself.  It’s a 2 hour panel debate between William Lane Craig, Christopher Hitchens, Douglas Wilson, Lee Strobel, and Jim Dennison, and if you don’t have the time to watch it all the first and final 20 minutes frame things fairly well.

What’s particularly impressive is William Lane Craig’s summation in the last 5 minutes, where he lists 10 arguments for Christian Theism that he and the others have raised and which Hitchens’ atheism has failed to address.  Craig then suggests that rather than having a rational argument against Theism, it’s a dislike for the God Christian Theism presents that is Hitchens’ real issue.

Or as Wilson has said elsewhere of Hitchens and the New Atheism in general, it’s an attempt to crash and burn the Christian car, whilst having no car of it’s own.

Water will start flowing uphill

Man can name what God has done, but man cannot get God to name what man has done, or is trying to do, in his own name.  Legislatures or courts can decree that men can now start marrying men, and those institutions can also, while they are at it, decree that water will start to flow up hill.

(D. Wilson, For a Glory and a Covering, p.32)

The sort of thing carnal kings worry about

https://i0.wp.com/www.canonpress.org/store/pc/catalog/1591281276.jpg

And so your celebrations are all to be conducted in the name of Jesus, of course. He is the reason for the season. But more than this. He Is the Lord of the season. He is the Lord of the season because He is the Lord of the earth. He did not come down here, He was not born on this earth, in order to work out a power sharing arrangement with Caesar. So let your Christmas celebrations be joyful all the way down to the ground. But in order for it to be the right kind of joy, those celebrations should be one of the most political things that you do.  It should be the sort of thing that carnal kings worry about. (Wilson, God Rest Ye Merry, 66-7)

Why you’re probably not a bigot

So Nick Clegg was almost brave enough to say what he thinks about those of us who hold opposing views to him and thus demonstrate just how tolerant he really is.

The fact is many people think Christians who oppose gay marriage are bigoted, and my guess is that with all the cries for equality and fairness hurled against us, not a few Christians may by now be beginning to doubt their stance and wonder if the Bible really is bigoted.

Isn’t the fair position for marriage to be open to all?

Not if the word marriage refers to a specific relationship.  Just after I’d heard about Clegg’s dishonest two-step shuffle, I read this on Doug Wilson’s blog.

I cannot think of a single genuine right that I have that homosexuals do not have together with me, and for the same reasons.

At this point in the proceedings, someone clears his throat and says, “Umm, marriage? You have a right to marry, and they do not.” But “marry” is not an unspecific verb with no direct object. I have the right to marry a woman, and so do they. A man and a woman together is what marriage is. The fact that they don’t want to marry a woman is their look out. I have a right to own a gun and so does your spinster Quaker aunt. The fact that she doesn’t want to own a gun is perfectly acceptable. But what she is not free to do is redefine everything, and say that gun ownership is very important to her, but that for her, gun ownership means owning a quilting rack.

I’d highly recommend reading the whole blog post here.

An evening of eschatology

Tonight at church, we are having a question and answers session on the first half of the book of Revelation, which we’ve been studying on Sunday mornings and at home groups during previous months.

There are some good questions and I’m hoping this will be a helpful evening.  Studying Revelation can leave us somewhat confused and yet we’re told

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near – Revelation 1:3

The video above shows how Evangelical Christians with differing views on how to interpret much of the Book of Revelation, can maturely discuss their differences.  It’s two hours long but honestly it’s better than an Agatha Christie Miss Marple – and you don’t have to sit through adverts!

Visible Submission

With thanks to Doug Wilson

“If a husband were to ask his wife to put on her best red dress so that they could go out to a fancy restaurant, she would not say, ‘Honey . . . I submit.’ The place where submission is tested is always at the point of significant disagreement. When we think we have only two options — complete agreement or open defiance — we have left out the greenhouse where true humility grows. That greenhouse is a place of cheerful compliance with a legitimate authority that is believed to be mistaken” (A Primer on Worship and Reformation, p. 18).