Monday, August 12, 2019

Quotes of Note


Each Monday, we share quotes we found encouraging, convicting, thought-provoking, or all of the above.

Kim:

From Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 2, talking about the Trinity, and specifically, God's fatherhood:
The scriptural name "Father" is a much better description of the personal property of the first person. Implied in the word "fatherhood" is a positive relation to the second person. The name "Father" is even more appropriate than the word "God," for the latter is a general name signifying transcendent dignity, but the name "Father," like that of YHWH in the Old Testament, is a proper name, an attribute describing a personal property of God. Those who deny to God the name "Father" dishonor him even more than those who deny his creation. This name of "Father," accordingly, is not a metaphor derived from the earth and attributed to God. Exactly the opposite is true: fatherhood on earth is but a distant and vague reflection of the fatherhood of God (Eph. 3:14-15).

Persis:

Some thoughts on conflict from Forbearance: A Theological Ethic for a Disagreeable Church by James Calvin Davis:
Forbearance is not built on a fear of conflict, but on a desire to work through conflict in a healthy way. Surely it is impossible to completely avoid conflict in any human community, even a church. Conflict is a natural by-produce of an association of persons who are not carbon copies of each other...
In a society whose citizens care deeply about truth and justice, conflict is the inevitable consequence of incompatible but equally passionate perspectives. Similarly, a church that does not care enough about anything to be conflicted is one that does not take seriously its commitment to belief, character, mission, or duty... The cultivation of forbearance assumes a community of Christians who care deeply about matters of belief and practice, and it does not require ambivalence to principle in order to extend forbearance to others. If anything, to talk of "bearing with" another implies that we often remain unconvinced by their opposition to us. But the physical connotation embedded in "bearing with" another lends us the image of carrying one another through difficult times, and this mutual accord speaks to the distinctive Christian character of the approach to conflict I am commending. Forbearance is more than modus vivendi, an ideological cease-fire. It is instead a positive commitment to living with the productive discomfort of difference as a reflection of the grace of God.

Rebecca:

Here's a poem by Richard Baxter (1615 – 1691):
Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care 
Lord, it belongs not to my care
Whether I die or live;
To love and serve Thee is my share,
And this Thy grace must give. 
If life be long, I will be glad,
That I may long obey;
If short, yet why should I be sad
To welcome endless day? 
Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than He went through before;
He that unto God’s kingdom comes
Must enter by this door. 
Come, Lord, when grace hath made me meet
Thy bless├Ęd face to see;
For if Thy work on earth be sweet
What will Thy glory be! 
Then I shall end my sad complaints
And weary sinful days,
And join with the triumphant saints
That sing my Savior’s praise. 
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim;
But ’tis enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with Him.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Five Star Links



Each Friday, we share links we found especially interesting or inspiring during the previous week. 


Persis:

Can We Identify Our Lack? by Joshua Torrey
How am I participating in the fellowship of the body by letting people serve me? Not just in a superficial way (beer and mangos are delicious and good for my soul) but in a deeply dependent way. For that is precisely what it means to reject a theology of perfectionism—announcing a lack that can only, for now, be fulfilled by the church community. We can hear the echoing warning from Paul, “If anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
Kim:

Yes, another good video from Bill Mounce! In all honesty, in the past couple of weeks, I have read almost no blogs. I've started working on my research project for one of my classes, and I just haven't been online a lot.

I have listened to this video, and I think Mounce is absolutely right: our bodies were made to move. Because we live in a very technological world, our bodies have no need to do what our ancestors before us had to do. That means our bodies are not being used as they could be. In the past four months, I have exercised more than I have since I was 15 years old. It has made a huge difference to my energy level, my attitude and my concentration.



Rebecca:

When Jesus was facing his death, in his farewell discourse to his disciples, he began to reveal "the inner nature of God to them. " He began to show them that God is Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
Many Christians tend to think of the Trinity as an impractical, speculative doctrine. But not so the Lord Jesus. For Him, it is neither speculative nor impractical—but the very reverse. It is the foundation of the gospel. Without the love of the Father, the coming of the Son, and the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, there simply could be no salvation.
Read the rest of Deep Theology by Sinclair Ferguson.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Five Star Links



Each Friday, we share links we found especially interesting or inspiring during the previous week. 


Kim:

I'm really enjoying Bill Mounce's reflections on writing. In this episode, he talks about the importance of clarity.

"Every Word Counts."

Rebecca

August’s issue of Tabletalk magazine is all about commonly misunderstood passages of the Bible, like 1 Corinthians 13:13 (“… faith, hope, and love abide, … but the greatest of these is love.”) and 1 John 4:8 (“God is love …”). Check it out: What Does That Verse Really Mean?

Friday, July 26, 2019

Five Star Links



Each Friday, we share links we found especially interesting or inspiring during the previous week. 

Rebecca:

Do you imagine God looking into the future to discover what will be? Is this how he knows what will happen


Persis:

A very helpful podcast about a difficult topic. Ecclesiastical Dogmatism: Abuse in the Church.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Quotes of Note


Each Monday, we share quotes we found encouraging, convicting, thought-provoking, or all of the above.

Persis:

This is a quote from Forbearance: A Theological Ethic for a Disagreeable Church by James Calvin Davis. I wanted to read this book because of the question that opens the preface:
What happens when we approach theological disagreement not as a problem to solve or a crisis to endure, but as an opportunity to practice Christian virtue? ... Of course, some Christians may be concerned that a call for forbearance sounds like I am asking us to soften or abandon our commitment to what we think is right and true... To the contrary, forbearance invites us to believe, to defend our convictions, and to pursue what we think is right and true in God's eyes. But it invites us to do all of that good work with a certain character and attitude, so that our pursuit of justice and truth itself is reshaped by the practice of forbearance.
This practice of forbearance intrigues me because disagreement between Christians has become more divisive of late. Thus I am curious about what the author has to say.


Rebecca:

God's omnipotence and his care for us go together, writes Matthew Barrett in None Greater. The lives of Sarah and Hannah are examples of this:
Though women like Sarah and Hannah were embarrassing to society—barren and cursed—they were God's instruments of salvation, through which the seed of Genesis 3:15 would come to crush the serpent's head. The point is, the wisdom of God's power is displayed in our weakness. His wise omnipotence shines bright in our darkest hour.
One of my favorite truths is that God is accomplishing his wise purposes in our suffering. But I don't think I'd put it together quite like this before: As God works his plan through our weakness, his wisdom and power are revealed. His glory shines bright in a way it would not otherwise.

This is one universal good purpose for every bit of suffering we endure.