I was thinking about what to preach this Sunday and my son, Jared, suggested Psalm 3:1-4:
A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
1 O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2 many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah 3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. 4 I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
He thought it would be really helpful for the church to hear about God's salvation. I couldn't be more proud of his own reflections on Scripture!
I just heard that Proposition 8 has been upheld (praise God for that), but same sex marriages that happened prior to passage of Prop 8 will stand (talk about legal stupidity)...more information to follow.
President Obama has announced Sonia Sotomayor as his pick for the United States Supreme Court. Concerns have already begun being lodged about her judicial philosophy. Here is a video and a quote from two separate recent statements:
Her quote from a previous lecture found in the NY Times:
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life...”
Here is to hoping she turns out to be someone who often employs sarcasm!
On the day when I and a couple of Sovereign Grace guys were meeting with other men about starting a new missions training center, one of the great leaders in world missions died. Ralph Winter, the uncle of Mitch Connors a man in our church and one of the men who happened to be with me planning a new training center, died last night.
John Piper wrote a tribute to Ralph which I encourage you to read here.
I interviewed my friend Pastor Mark Driscoll yesterday for Sovereign Grace's radio show. I am posting it here for you to listen to. I asked him briefly about himself and then discussed primarily what is happening in the church that gives him confidence and what is the greatest challenge the church faces.
I have always been amazed at the infatuation of so many orthodox academics with their reputation in the secular universities and liberal departments. A few years back, I edited a book with Paul Helm on the doctrine of scripture. At the time I was on faculty at the University of Aberdeen. One colleague -- a friend but one of distinctly liberal leanings -- referred matter-of-factly in a public lecture to the upcoming book as representing the tradition of Warfield, of which he himself did not approve; but the comment was not a sneer; rather it was a simple statement of his impression of the book. Within a couple of days I received an email from one of the contributors, asking if this was the case and saying that, if so, he wanted to withdraw from participation. Now, it was not actually the case: the book addressed the issue of scripture from a different direction to the concerns of Warfield; but what puzzled me -- no, what disappointed me, for I understood exactly what was going on -- was that this person was so terrified of being associated with Warfield. I wonder to this day if he would have been so concerned if he had been invited to contribute to a collection of essays that someone said pointed in a Barthian or Bultmannian direction. Probably not -- because those options would not be so embarrassing to mention to friends at cocktail parties in the Senior Common Room or at the next meeting of the Society for Biblical Literature.
Now I worked in secular universities long enough to know that liberal colleagues are bright enough to spot a conservative at five hundred feet. Just because you avoid contributing to certain volumes or using certain words, or because you choose to laugh when certain people to the right of you are mocked, does not win you respect from the secular academy. It is a sad fact but, as far as biblical studies and theology go, only giving up all that is distinctive about the Christian faith will ultimately do that for you. The individual to whom I referred above no doubt liked to think he was taken seriously by mainstream colleagues, but I sat as a junior faculty in enough coffee room discussions to know the real thoughts of liberal colleagues about conservatives who try to fly under the radar. They despise them for their theology; and they despise them for the fact they try to hide or minimize it. A double whammy. Given the choice - and there is always a choice -- I'd rather just be despised for being a brazen conservative with looney theology, than a duplicitous conservative with looney theology. That way one can still be of use to the church and still look in the mirror with some degree of self-respect. Read the whole thing--which is not actually only about evangelicals and the academy, but centered around a disastrous church service and the implications this has for us all.
I just wanted to let any blog readers know that I am not neglecting the blog permanently, but I am in the process of moving over the next week or two. I plan to get the blog updated occasionally, but very infrequently until after May 25. Thanks for your patience and it is a pleasure to reflect on the Gospel with you all!
5 Gospel truths to meditate on in order to kill sin:
1. Believe the Gospel promise of the Spirit…he doesn’t promise just to forgive you and declare you righteous…he sends His Spirit to give you new life…he resurrects you from the dead…he is gracious enough to bring to completion what he has started. Believe it! Stop saying I don’t have the resources…and start employing the Resource he has given you already! 2 Pet. 1:3-5a,
In fact, if you don’t believe this and practice them…2 Pet. 1:9
2. Focus your eyes on the truth that your battle is confirming the reality of an eternal reward. 2 Pet. 1:10-11
3. Don’t take your sin too lightly, but Realize you are uniting Jesus to your sin and grieving the Holy Spirit who indwells you when you cease fighting! Your sin is more damaging than just how it wreaks havoc in your life! Eph 4:30, 1 Cor. 6:15-16
4. Do not dwell on your sin so long that you become introspective and lose sight of God’s promise of forgiveness. 1 John 1:9
Robert Murray McCheynne…For every one time you look at your own sin…look 10 times at Jesus!
5. Remember that you are a child of God and not an enemy. His discipline means he loves you and wants your good. Romans 8:14, Hebrews 12:5-6
7 Actions to participate in to kill sin:
1. Meditate on the Word. Renew your mind with the Word. The sword of the Spirit is your greatest weapon for killing sin when temptation comes. Romans 12:1-2, Eph 6:17.
2. Pray for God’s help. You have to plan for this. Matt. 26:36-41…esp 41.
3. Ask other believers to help you carry the burden. Matt. 26:38, Gal. 6:2
4. Cut off sin at the point of temptation. Refuse to entertain it. James 1:14-15
5. Take extreme measures to deal with sin in your life. Ex: If you are given to pornography…get rid of your computer if you have to! Matt. 5:29-30
6. Discipline yourself in pursuing righteousness and avoiding sin. Godliness does not come accidentally…we have to work at it by the power the Spirit is working in us. 1 Cor. 9:24-27
7. Cease immoral behaviors and attitudes and start practicing moral behaviors and attitudes. This may be the most obvious and seemingly impossible…but it is not if the Spirit is in you. Romans 8:13