Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Learning to Love Limits [together ... at the dinner table]

One of the worst things you can convey to kids is “You can do anything you put your mind to”. The idea that nothing should get in the way of their 'willing' something to be. I think that this is a really pernicious thing that denies their ‘createdness’... that denies the fact that their gifts are tied with limits that God has established. God has created them with a particularity that doesn’t include everything and shouldn’t include everything, otherwise they wouldn’t be the particular person they are. …Now, how does that [great childrearing] happen? You don’t lecture about that; you don’t put an outline on the blackboard. This happens largely through the ritualized aspect of life. I often say that it starts with having meals together regularly. That’s the place where most orientation in life begins. All of you who’ve raised children know that this is the beginning of civilization – teaching your children to eat and not be barbarians.
-Ken Myers

The 'T' stands for 'Thomas' ... and 'Total Depravity'

"In questions of power...let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

--T. Jefferson
Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Great Quote from a Great Man on His Birthday

[Adam and Eve] wanted, as we say, to ‘call their souls their own’. But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own. They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God, ‘This is our business, not yours.’ But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives.

-a wonderfully Kuyperian, C S Lewis, in The Problem of Pain

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Preaching: what it is and what it isn't

A minister who preaches on the authority and infallibility of Scripture is often accused of being arrogant, said one pastor. Such criticism, however, is withheld from someone who sits on a stool in a cardigan and chats with the congregation, telling personal stories.

Criticizing the latter form, Doug Wilson, pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, made the case for the preacher who declares "thus saith the Lord."

"A minister should ascend into the pulpit in order to declare what would have been true had he never been born. He is there to preach what was written in the Word before all ages and is utterly disconnected from his personal dreams, hopes and aspirations," Wilson said at the Desiring God Ministries' national conference in Minneapolis on Saturday. "A minister is not up there to develop a relationship with everybody individually."

Ministers are not supposed to be extemporaneous actors trying to figure out their lines from everything other than the Bible, he noted. They may maintain that their scripts are better, their plot lines are grittier or that their shows make more money, but a minister's script is Scripture, Wilson stressed.

"He is there to declare something that is outside of his control. What God has revealed to us in the Bible is the message. That's the script."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Washington's Thanksgiving Address

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Thanksgiving Sermon

In case any of you may be interested, you can hear most of the audio from a sermon I preached recently on Psalm 98 here.
[artwork: Lika Tov]

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Nice News

"The modern church is slave to the spirit of the times.  If we really had our druthers, we wouldn’t want worship to be too terribly demanding, would we? We wouldn’t want doctrines that actually challenge our pet notions. We really only want music that we’re comfortable with. We really only want preaching that reassures us and reinforces our peculiar preferences and affords us our sense of serenity and all in record time.

We want quick things, cheap grace, inspirational platitudes, bumper-sticker theology, easy faith; we want Christianity Light; we want the nice news, not the good news."

- George Grant
[photo: Vision Forum]

Friday, November 19, 2010


"The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making."

-Douglas Adams

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Repetitions, Vain or Otherwise

At an average Vacation Bible School, if you were to suggest, “Hey, let’s recite the Apostles’ Creed every morning,” everybody would flip out and they would lecture you sternly, about vain repetition and how it would rapidly become meaningless.  But if you were to say, “Oh, well let’s dispense with the Pledge of Allegiance then,” you would rapidly discover that it’s not meaningless at all.  We have a high view of America and a low view of the Kingdom.

-Doug Wilson

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snakes in the Garden

“Umberto Eco in his anthology on ugliness made the observation that Rococo and Baroque architecture and Thomas Kinkade paintings fail for the same reason in that they attempt to tell a story without the necessity of redemption.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Prayer of Praise and Adoration 11/7/2010

The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved!

The LORD is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name— He is holy...

Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the LORD our God is holy.

-Psalm 99

Heavenly Father and Almighty God,

You are God and there is no other. The idols of men are blind, deaf, and dumb and those who worship them are made to become just like them. But you are the one, true, and living God, omnipotent. You cause Your people to go from strength to strength. And You do this every time without a single sin. In You is all goodness, never-changing justice, and white-hot holiness. We read this in Your Word; we find it in Your Providence; and we see it wrapped in flesh through Your Son, our Lord Jesus, through Whom we pray, and to Whom with You and the Holy Spirit, we offer our worship this morning and always. Amen.