Monday, November 12, 2018

Quotes of Note


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

Persis:

This is a prayer from Born to Wander by Michelle Van Loon (pg. 59) that's been on my heart.
Heavenly Father, I want to unpack my bags and be home. Because of that desire, there are times I've sought shortcuts so I can try to skip the scary, uncertain parts of the journey. At other points, I've grown impatient and sought to meet my needs in ways that seemed practical and clever, but weren't Your best for me. I've craved comfort and security, and I've labeled those cravings "contentment."
You placed the desire for home within me. You've wired me with needs for food and shelter and safety and I recognize that sometimes, I've focused on meeting those needs in ways that have compromised me. Those compromises have led me further into exile, away from You. Please forgive me and set me on the right path.
Your Word says, "Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies - make your way straight before me" (Ps. 5:8). My enemies may want to take my life or they may simply want to woo me from You with false promises of security and comfort. Awaken me to the ways in which I've baptized the world's view of contentment in spiritual language.
Please, Jesus, help me to accept Your gift of holy discontent as a way in which I will discover what it means to live as a pilgrim. How I want to follow you, Lord! Please guide  me.
I ask these things in the name of the One who is the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.
Kim:

I just picked up a book called The Soul in Paraphrase, which is a compilation of devotional poetry. It is edited by Leland Ryken. This excerpt comes from "The Dream of the Rood," which is possibly an eighth century composition, and the author unknown. In this poem, the tree which made the cross of Calvary speaks:
It was long ago -- I remember it --
that I was cut down from the edge of the forest,
ripped up by my roots. Strong enemies seized me there,
made me their spectacle, forced me to bear criminals . . .
I was raised as a cross; I lifted up a mighty King,
the Lord of heaven; I did not dare to bend.
They pierced me with dark nails; I bear the scars,
the open wounds of hatred . .
They mocked us both together. I was drenched with blood
that flowed from that man's side after he had sent forth his spirit . . . 
This volume promises to be good, including poets such as George Herbert, John Donne, John Milton, Anne Bradstreet, and Christina Rosetti. It would make a lovely Christmas gift. It is hard cover, fabric covered, and has a book mark.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Five Star Links



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

Kim:

A Bible study sabotaged? Peter Krol directs our attention to C.S. Lewis to answer this question, in "How to Sabotage a Bible Study."
Bring the Enemy’s word out to be dissected, examined, and (if at all possible) critiqued — but make sure to divide the three strands. They must never read devotionally, theologically, and ethically all together
My hermeneutics professor likes to say: "Every time you crack open the Book, you're face to face with God." He doesn't see it as a legitimate thing to say there is no devotional reading of Scripture.

Persis:

Two links to two podcasts:
White Horse Inn - Mystical Views of God & Salvation (Specifically Christian universalism)
Theology Gals - Mysticism, We Don't Need You
Rebecca:

One way to help your children engage with Scripture: Inductive Bible Study Is Not Just for Adults.

Deb:

The Encourage Podcast featuring Life-giving Leadership from Susan Hunt

Also, Michelle Lesley discusses why women preaching is a primary doctrine issue (unlike baptism, which is secondary)

Monday, November 5, 2018

Quotes of Note



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

Kim:

I just began reading Depression, Anxiety, and the Christian Life: Practical Wisdom From Richard Baxter. It promises to be good:
For the past century and more the notion has been abroad in evangelical circles that the effect of being born again through faith in Jesus Christ will always be a life marked by spiritual euphoria: constant cheerfulness, exuberance, confidence, and high spirits stemming from the knowledge that the God of grace, the sovereign triune Lord, is always actively on one's side. Indeed he is, and the picture drawn is an attractive and happy one -- but see what it leaves out! Certainly triumphant joy in the Lord is a characteristic feature of a healthy Christian life. But Christians, like other people, live in and through bodies -- bodies that from time to time malfunction, get sick, wear out, and finally die; and physical factors, without without spiritual slippages, can at any stage bring on, among other things, depression in its various forms. Some in the past have gone so far as to diagnose depression in Christians as always a sign of unbelief or something major sin, but this is not right.

Persis:

This quote is from Born to Wander by Michelle Van Loon. This book intrigued me, and I'm glad I started reading it as I've been reminded recently that Christians are "strangers and pilgrims" whose citizenship in heaven. (Heb. 11:3, Phil 3:20)
There is something familiar to every human being about the distress of damaged relationships, the disorientation of relocation, and the soul-altering grief of loss. The things in this world that mark us as wanderers point to our exile from Eden and scattering from Babel. They leave us with a sense of homesickness that not even the coziest home or the most joyous family reunion can every dispel. (pg. 27)
Early church fathers said the state of humankind was that of the homo viator (traveler, pilgrim). We have been born to wander. The questions of where we're from or where we're going are clarified by this truth. They become: "Are we moving towards God or wandering away from him?" It is an unsettling question. Those who crave nostalgia or long to live in bunkers of contentment may not be interested in answering it. But for the wanders, the question is a reminder that exile has a purpose that goes far beyond tell us what our next zip code is to be. (pg. 28)

Rebecca:

I have a two commentaries on Hebrews, but neither of them answered a question I had about Hebrews 1:2. (None of my study bibles answered it either.) How is it, I wanted to know, that the Son is appointed heir to all things? Doesn't he own everything automatically, since (as the verse goes on to say) he created everything?

Then I remembered I have a set of Calvin's Commentaries, too. And guess what? He answered the question for me.
But the word heir is ascribed to Christ as manifested in the flesh; for being made man, he put on our nature, and as such received this heirship, and that for this purpose, that he might restore to us what we had lost in Adam. For God had at the beginning constituted man, as his Son, the heir of all good things; but through sin the first man became alienated from God, and deprived himself and his posterity of all good things, as well as of the favor of God. We hence only then begin to enjoy by right the good things of God, when Christ, the universal heir, admits to a union with himself; for he is an heir that he may endow us with his riches. 
In other words, the incarnate Son became heir as the representative human, and in union with him, we receive the inheritance we lost in the fall of Adam. It's as our representative that he is appointed heir to all things.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Five Star Links

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

Kim:

"Is it possible you aren't contending for the faith but are just being a jerk?"

Jared Wilson asks this question in his article "Jerks for Jesus." This is something I'm sure we've all witnessed. It is this kind of phenomenon which prompted me to stop following some people online.


Rebecca:

Two posts that ask important (and related) questions:

Persis:

Now that we've celebrated the 501st anniversary of the Reformation, where do we go from here? Here is Carl Trueman on The Reformation We Need.

Deb:

In Virtue Gone Mad, Michael Foley writes: "There would be no cultural concern for the victim were it not for Christianity"

Also, Paul Maxwell discusses the controversy over Keller's supposed use of Speech Act Theory