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.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Five Star Links



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



Kim:

I really enjoyed this brief video, by Bill Mounce, who talked about having a special place to write.

I completely understand his comment about not having the internet nearby as a distraction. I love my office, but sometimes, it's work to avoid the distraction of my computer. Next time I need a new computer, I'm getting a laptop, and I can keep it out of the room.


Persis:

The importance of communication, compassion, and understanding have been on my mind a lot. Here are links to two articles. One is from a secular perspective and the other is written by a Christian, but I think they are both worth considering.

The Mistake I Made With My Grieving Friend
Love Through the Awkward


Rebecca:

Simonetta Carr on Kata Bethlen

I love biographical sketches of historical Christian women. Many of them suffered much, but it didn't turn them into shrinking violets. No, their suffering, in God's hands, worked to make them into strong, persevering women.  

Monday, July 15, 2019

Quotes of Note


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

Rebecca:

On the relationship between the kingdom of God and the cross from The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross by Patrick Schreiner:
At times an emphasis on the kingdom [of God] displaces or at least shifts attention away from a theology of the cross. It seems that we are prone to speak either of the kingdom or of the cross, unintentionally driving a wedge between the two. However, it is precisely in Jesus’s announcement, “The kingdom of God is at hand,” that he presupposes the kingdom will be accomplished by his death. The kingdom is not a higher or more important theme than the cross. These two realities are forever joined; separating them is an act of violence.

If the kingdom is the goal, then the cross is the means. But this does not mean that the cross simply falls between the ages. Rather, it is the wheel that shifts one age into another; it is the great transition piece, the turn of the ages for the people of God seeking their place. Martin Luther said that the cross must be the test of everything, and that includes a biblical theology of the kingdom. Jesus becomes King through the cross.

Persis:

Here's another quote from None Greater by Matthew Barrett which is fitting since my pastor preached yesterday from Romans 3.
[T]he just God has not compromised his holy character by passing over sins but has put forward his own Son as a propitiation. He has not given grace at the expense of his righteousness, but his righteousness itself has produced grace. Christ is the perfect sacrifice, the holy substitute, whose spilled blood satisfies divine justice itself. The cross is the way - the only way - God can remain righteous and just yet legitimately justify guilty sinners, like you and me. At the cross, justice and mercy kiss. For God is both “just and the justified of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

Kim:

Grant Osborne, in his commentary on Matthew, talks about chapter 5 verse 20:
The problem is inherent in all legalistic movements: certain patterns are identified with holiness, but they are too easily external (acted out) rather than internal (truly believed and lived). The result is hypocrisy (see Matt 23). Therefore, a mere righteousness by fiat is insufficient. The lifestyle God demands of the heart, lived out in daily actions.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Five Star Links



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


Kim:

Ligon Duncan and D.A. Carson team teach a session called "From Exegesis to Exposition." It is almost an hour long, but it is worth the time investment. Looking at an Old Testament passage and a New Testament passage, Carson does the exegesis and Duncan does the exposition. It is useful for teaching as well as preaching.


Persis:

Here is a playlist from The Charles Simeon Trust containing five talks on Women's Bible Study Tools.  

While pain is a persistent reality in this fallen world, our life on earth is not meant as a prelude to Purgatory. For Christians, it’s a pilgrimage to the place Christ has gone on to prepare for us, where the realities we see vaguely will be manifested in full. And thankfully, he gives us glimpses of those joys even in the here and now.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Quotes of Note


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

Persis:

From None Greater by Matthew Barrett:
Sin against an infinite God cannot be atoned for by a Savior who has emptied himself of his divine attributes. No, it is his divine attributes that qualify him to make atonement in the first place. Sin against an infinite God can be met only by a Savior who is himself deity - and all the perfections identical with that deity - in infinite measure.

Rebecca:

Well! My chosen quote is from None Greater by Matthew Barrett, too. This not surprising, really, because this book is full of quotable bits.
While we may long for that day [the day we see our Savior face-to-face] with great expectation, we do not look for it as those who have not tasted of it here and now. While the banquet may be yet to come, already we have tasted its firstfuits. We may await the new heavens and earth, but on this earth, this side of glory, the Spirit is with us and within us. Every guarantee of that future day is assured in the ongoing, persistent, and unrelenting presence of the Spirit in our daily Christian lives. Every little victory over indwelling sin and every little desire to love others as Christ has loved us is a sign that the Spirit is at work in us, preparing us for that final day. The Spirit truly is a gift through whom we, as his little temples, enjoy fellowship with our Triune God . . . .
Kim:

And while I've purchased None Greater, my quotation is not from that book :)

From Paul Tripp's Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands:
If we want to know what people really want, we have to learn about their emotional life. Happiness is the result of getting what my heart craves. Discouragement is the emotional response of my heart when a thing I live for moves farther away from me. My heart is filled with fear when I suddenly lose what I am convinced I need. In short, our emotions reflect what we worship.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Five Star Links



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


Kim:


That is an excellent question.


Persis:

God’s aseity, then, had clear implications for the audience of the Old Testament, and those implications remain significant for Christians today. Since God is necessary and we are contingent, we utterly rely on him for everything. Everything. Let that sink in.

Rebecca:

Christ Our Ransom 

What does it mean that Christ is our ransom? And to whom is the ransom paid?