What I Read Online – 12/13/2011 (a.m.)

13 Dec
    • Gregory Nazianzen:


      No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the Splendour of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Them than I am carried back to the One.


      When I think of any One of the Three I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking of escapes me.


      I cannot grasp the greatness of That One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the Rest.


      When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the Undivided Light.


      —Gregory of Nazianzen, Orationes, 40:41

    • As part of the Cambridge Digital Library project started in 2010, the world’s largest and most significant collection of the scientific works of Newton has been restored and digitised for public consumption. Thousands of pages will be adding in the coming months with the ultimate aim of putting “almost all” of the library’s Newton’s material online.
    • The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider,
       or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked;
       his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else,
       but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight;
       you are ten thousand times so abominable in his eyes as the most hateful venomous
       serpent is in ours.<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[1]
    • In both A Christmas Carol and Messiah, our warm tranquil Hallmark Christmas sentimentality gets blasted by cold reality. Death is coming for us all, and the grave is approaching quickly.
    • But Handel’s work comprehends the scope of the hope-giving and guilt-freeing meaning of Christmas. For that I find eternal comfort, and hope for my ongoing battle against my inner self-centered, thankless Scrooge.
    • We don’t live by instinct. Our lives are directed by the thoughts and motives of our hearts. We are always interpreting, and we are always desiring. We live in perpetual pursuit of something. We are always evaluating our progress toward that thing we think will give us life. We are always in the service of some kind of dream. Maybe this is the best way to say it: in every moment of life and ministry, you and I are living for something.
    • Only when I hook my life to the glory and grace of God and derive my identity from him can I truly live and minister with singleness of focus for the long run
    • A Pelagian Jesus is a Santa Christ
    • A Semi-Pelagian Jesus is a Santa Christ
    • A Mystical Jesus is a Santa Christ
    • There is, therefore, an element in the Gospel narratives that stresses that the coming of Jesus is a disturbing event of the deepest proportions. It had to be thus, for He did not come merely to add something extra to life, but to deal with our spiritual insolvency and the debt of our sin. He was not conceived in the womb of Mary for those who have done their best, but for those who know that their best is “like filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6)—far from good enough—and that in their flesh there dwells no good thing (Rom. 7:18). He was not sent to be the source of good experiences, but to suffer the pangs of hell in order to be our Savior.
    • Ground it in the gospel
    • Have a clear mission
    • Be a pastor
    • The church doesn’t need more facilitators; it needs more disciplers. And many churches are in trouble precisely because they have too few of the latter.
    • Learn some theology
    • Plan to multiply
    • Force authenticity
    • But also great confusion (and I really wish I didn’t have to say that).
    • And let me say that I also love Tullian’s enthusiasm for Christ. Although I will express some concerns about this book, I do believe that most people who read the book will catch Tullian’s infectious Gospel enthusiasm and be the better for it. I know I did and am.
      • The confusion between justification and sanctification
      • The confusion between personal experience and universal experience
      • The confusion between standing with God and enjoyment of God
    • The work of God’s free grace in us enables us to die to sin and live to righteousness. In contrast to justification, which is accomplished for us with no reference to what we’ve done or not done, sanctification involves our not doing certain things and doing certain things, all by God’s enabling grace.
    • The Gospel is also a message about internal transformation (a major part of sanctification). Christ saves us from our sins objectively and subjectively, from the penalty of sin and the presence of sin.
    • If all he is saying is that sanctification begins with our appropriating justification, and is fueled by it, then yes, I agree. But I think he’s going further than that, by suggesting that the totality of sanctification involves going back to our justification.
    • Contribution to salvation = nil! Yes. Contribution to sanctification = nil! No. We are enabled to die to sin and live to righteousness. We are enabled to do and not do. Our (enabled) doing and not doing is part of our sanctification. For example, when Peter protested his love to Jesus, Jesus told him to start feeding his lambs, which involved stopping doing one thing and starting to do another (John 21).
    • Again, there is a failure to distinguish what “by grace alone” means in each of these doctrinal categories. In justification, by grace alone means we do nothing. In sanctification, it means we are enabled to do/not do many things.
    • In summary, though, does Jesus + Nothing = Everything? Yes and no. In justification, yes. In sanctification, no. And if you want to say “yes” to both, you’re going to have to go to great lengths to successfully explain why the sanctification “yes” is not identical to the justification “yes.”
    • In conclusion, I’m delighted to commend Professor Oliphint’s book. In it we have a Reformed theologian who takes seriously the past, but is not content to merely restate old truths, however helpful that may be. Rather, in giving us a covenantal and Christocentric basis for how we understand God and the manner in which he has revealed himself, Oliphint has made, I would say, a valuable, contribution to Christian theology. 

    • The goal is part of the Swedish government’s larger push for a gender-free society
    • We never know what we shall hear next, and perhaps it is a mercy that these absurdities are revealed one at a time, in order that we may be able to endure their stupidity without dying of amazement.”
    • Pastors who faithfully preach and teach the Word to their congregations in the power of the Holy Spirit are the ones who will be the most instrumental in significant change. They are the ones who must keep their fingers on the pulse of the people in the pew and counter the various influences of error today. While professors can fulfill their role in training ministers, no one should live with the illusion that they are more important to the average Christian than they really are.
    • And yet we are to suppose him to say that imaginary persons who at the imaginary preaching of an imaginary prophet repented in imagination, shall rise up in that day and condemn the actual impenitence of those his actual hearers.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

1 Comment

Posted by on 13/12/2011 in Current Issues


One response to “What I Read Online – 12/13/2011 (a.m.)

  1. rey

    15/12/2011 at 1:07 pm

    So this ‘Santa Christ’ asks whether or not you are living morally rather than whether you believe in a human sacrifice just like the God of the Old Testament? See Micah 6. “Should I offer my firstborn for the sin of my soul, Micah?” “No! God has told you what he wants: do justice, love kindness/mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Oh my, that’s a Santa OT God! How dare him not require a human sacrifice! The ‘real’ God of Christmas does! (Sheesh!)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: