procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Nietzschean T-Shirt

what about this for a t-shirt design?

  "God is Dead" - Friedrich Nietzsche 1844-1900

  "Friedrich Nietzsche is dead" - God
'For man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment' - Hebrews 9:27

t-shirt design at foghorn (i tried to embed from there but it doesn't seem to work really at all)

idea from Sproul, R.C. The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World. Wheaton: Crossway, 2000; required reading to get into Philosophy 2

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

a brief Christmas sermon

my thoughts about the importance of Christmas in light of tonight's sermon at St Matt's Wanniassa
(i should add, the sermon made me think about the importance Christmas should, and does have, and i also got to thinking about what would i say were i up the front doing the talk &c.).

Christmas recognises the God who crossed THE great divide: on one side the wholly other Holy Other, on the other fallen humanity. yet in reaching out to a world lost in sin, God reached out, crossed over, became one with us.

  The Word became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
  (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed,
"This was the One of whom I said,
'The One coming after me has surpassed me,
because He existed before me.' ")
  Indeed, we have all received grace after grace
from His fullness,
  for although the law was given through Moses;
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
  No one has ever seen God.
The One and Only Son —
the One who is at the Father's side —
He has revealed Him.
John 1:14-18

yet even though this eternal logos became flesh, it became flesh in the most paradoxical of ways - a bub in a food-trough.

God has chosen the world's insignificant and despised things — the things viewed as nothing — so He might bring to nothing the things that are viewed as something,
1 Corinthians 1:28

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

angry prayers

do you ever get angry praying?

i reckon Job got a bit fiery. Jeremiah wasn't always heaps relaxed. David didn't take it lying down.

i get the voice of the martyrs feed and, honestly, it makes me angry. why does God not intervene?

you get headlines like
  • CHINA: Officials Reach Out to House Churches; Raids, Arrests Continue;
  • BANGLADESH: Christian Family Beaten, Cut - and Face Charges;
  • COMOROS: Christians Oppressed on Pemba Islands;
  • and that's just the last week.

    this happens all the time, all over the world. and i know that despite the abhorrent evil of these deeds God can and will work good. and i pray that the people who commit these horrors would repent and would know the forgiveness available in Christ.

    but most of all i just wish they would stop.

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    Sunday, December 07, 2008

    Big Berkhof

    i attended a preaching conference at SMBC a couple of years ago now - one of the best things (apart from the teaching of course) was that their library was doing a bit of a clean out.
    so anyway, the Don recommended, out of his talk on Systematic Theology, both Big Berkhof and Little Louis. and i went down to the library sale and picked up Louis Berkhof's Manual of Christian Doctrine (Eerdmans: 1931, reprinted 1981) - ie Little Louis.
    and i can honestly say that it's been one of my most helpful para-biblical books - it goes through the issues, through all facets of Christian Doctrine, but straightforwardly (whoever would have thought the difference between supra- and infra-lapsarianism would be made straightforward?!), as well as showing the varying views of different denominational traditions, where they stand and where the important and trivial differences are.

    he is fair to both sides, happy to say when there is good justification for either, but also not backward in pointing out, in all humility, the flaws in flawed standpoints.

    with my doctrine exam looming nearer, a few weeks ago i decided i needed to step up - and get my hands on Big Berkhof - or Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology (Eerdmans: 1938, reprinted 1996), and found it here for only 17 bucks, WITH his 1932 Introduction to the Study of Systematic Theology in the one volume!


    it's pretty thrilling - great quotes, such as this on the Holy Spirit:
    The Bible never deals with the doctrine of the Trinity as an abstract truth, but reveals the Trinitarian life in its various relations as a living reality, to a certain extent in connection with the works of creation and providence, but particularly in relation to the work of redemption. Its most fundamental revelation is given in facts rather than in words. (ST p85)

    Big Berkhof is not a book you'll read cover to cover, but it's by far my most used reference book. well, it will be - after Little Louis!
    there was a stack of them at West Ryde Koorong - you just need to step over the realised eschatology section, block out the 'jesus is my boyfriend' music, and wear sunscreen to shield yourself from the glare of the gold-plated 'the message' 'bibles'. jokes, of course!

    *i just checked Amazon - they're flogging it for double, plus that's US dollars, so super expensive

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    Monday, December 01, 2008

    Fruity Gifts

    what is a gift? what is fruit?
    the new testament tells us both of these are from the holy spirit.
    they're both great things to have.
    but what's the difference?

    [T]he fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

    so the fruit is these things. these are not some of the fruits, nor optional extras - these are both things we see in all who are new creations in Christ. a lack then of these things must require earnest repentance - for these are the very lifeblood of our spirit-enlivened lives.

    what of gifts? - 1 Corinthians 12:
    Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit.

    to one is given a message of wisdom through the Spirit,
    to another, a message of knowledge by the same Spirit,
    to another, faith by the same Spirit,
    to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
    to another, the performing of miracles,
    to another, prophecy,
    to another, distinguishing between spirits,
    to another, different kinds of languages,
    to another, interpretation of languages.
    But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each one as He wills.
    these are then all to each individually, each being gifted for a purpose.

    as a Christian then, with regards to:
    Fruit --> pursue as you would a great pearl (Matthew 13:44)
    Gifts --> if you've been given them, use them for the building up of God's people.

    there's more to be said on this (duh) but the distinction i thought (from my pastor at St Albans) was a really helpful one.

    apologies (and thanks) to those who still bother looking at this blog - been soooo busy - exams were hectic. not sure how much i'll be on here in the next whilst...

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