Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lent, Virtue, and Maturity

"Lent teaches us that Satan’s gifts are easy to master. They come with first grade instruction manuals. They are made to be mastered quickly and enjoyed rapidly (fornication, drugs, alcohol; various temptations). God’s gifts are a little harder to master. They require self-control and patience. They anticipate spiritual growth; they demand a kingly attitude to grasp kingly wisdom. God’s instructions mean you have to seek others in the community to understand them properly. You have to exercise and express a theology of patience built into a theology of blessings."

- Uri Brito, in Lent, Ligon Duncan, and Legalism

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Of and For this World ...

"While many have supposed Christ's coming to be something that changes people's hearts but makes no difference to the public order.  This was not the hope of the Jews.  Had they expected that kind of a kingdom, Herod may not have lifted an eyebrow when the news reached him that the Messiah had been born in Bethlehem.
As is was however, Herod knew what Zecharias knew and had prayed about, that when the Messiah came, the game would be up for the tyrants like himself and a new order of justice and peace would be introduced."
"Christ's kingdom is  a reality for this age which touches every area of life.  It is a public, tangible, visible reality that transforms the world ... People will quote John 18.36 where Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world...".  It's helpful to realize that a more accurate translation of the Greek is: "My kingdom is not from this world...".  Wright points this out in one of his excellent articles on Paul.  While Christ's kingdom does not arise from this world, but from Heaven, it comes to the earth.  So Christ's kingdom is very much of and for this world.
That's how our Lord taught us to pray!  They kingdom come they will be done on earth!"

- Robin Phillips, author of Saints & Scoundrels: from King Herod to Solzhenitsyn

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hard work, Character, and ... Fun?

After reading Jerry Apps' interesting and touching memoir of growing up on a Wisconsin dairy farm during the WW2 years, I propose that we make this the new cliche for kids' pee-wee soccer teams everywhere:

"Listen, what matters most is not whether we win, but whether we all have ... a chance to work very hard at a very difficult task for a very long time."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Such were some of You - Dr Rosaria Butterfield

Above are a few selected samples of a jaw-dropping presentation from former radical Lesbian feminist activist turned Reformed Pastor's wife homeschooling mom [yeah ... another one of those!].  I encourage you to listen to her full talk here and then the entirety of her Q&A here.  I have been studying this issue for several years and this is the best - the most faithful expression of the true Christian/Biblical answer to the questions of homosexuality I have found in both  what she says and how she says it [the latter often being where we fail miserably].

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why it's a "Baby", not a "fetus" ...

Here is a clip of Michael Coren, one of my favorite media personalities.  I have enjoyed his talk show since I discovered it a few years ago.
Caveat - he is Canadian, Roman Catholic, and not all of his views are as  rigorously Biblical as I think they should be.  Having said all that, he is an outspoken, articulate Christian striving to be faithful and consistent under the spotlight within a culture where that is quite difficult.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Form and Content in Film and Liturgy

"Film affects us by marrying form and content and then style influences their meanings ... the meanings we get from film really come through the cinematics of the picture.  Really good films use cinema, more than just words, to convey ideas to us."

- Raphael Shargel, Understanding Movies: the art and history of film

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book List [what I've been reading lately] ...

You are what your mind eats ...

Put "God" at the head of the list and you're practically quoting Qoheleth

"The 4 best words in the English language are love, wife, home, and work.  The fifth one is friend."

-Stephen Ambrose, Comrades

Monday, February 4, 2013

Our Indulgent Father in Heaven ... [!]

I trust I have now sufficiently shown how man’s only resource for escaping from the curse of the law, and recovering salvation, lies in faith; ... The whole may be thus summed up: 
Christ given to us by the kindness of God is apprehended and possessed by faith, by means of which we obtain in particular a twofold benefit; first, being reconciled by the righteousness of Christ, God becomes, instead of a judge, an indulgent Father; and, secondly, being sanctified by his Spirit, we aspire to integrity and purity of life.

- John Calvin