"Abba! Father!"

23 June 2008

Articles:
When to Leave Your Church (Pulpit)

John Piper is Not an Innovator (Desiring God)

Keeping Your Mind Fresh During the Summer (Going to Seminary)

Why It Matters That God Does Everything for His Own Glory (Desiring God)

Four Non-Negotiables (Boundless) Not what you think it probably is about (hint: not about the Gospel)

Tozer’s Contradiction and His Approach to Piety (Between Two Worlds)

Readings:
Always Respond to Every Impulse to Pray (Irish Calvinist) I might have put this quote up before but I forgot and it is good enough to be put up again

But Spiritual Discernment is Wholly Lost Until we are Regenerated (Monergism) excerpt from Calvin’s Institutes

The Apotheosis of the Study Bible (Reformation 21)

From what I have seen so far, I believe it will be the world’s best complete single-volume resource for reading, studying, and teaching the Bible.

-Phil Ryken

Crossway Book Report (Between Two Worlds)

Messages:
Resolved 2008 Conference Audio (Resolved)

Verses:
Mark 15:33-39
And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Galatians 4:1-7
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

If you want to hear these verses preached magnificently, listen to the two C.J. Mahaney sessions at this year’s Resolved.

In essence, Christ traded hands with us. He screamed “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” so that we could cry, “Abba! Father!” He was crushed, He had the wrath of God wrought down upon Him, so that we could be sons, so that we could be heirs. We didn’t have anything in our hands that anyone would want, we didn’t have any incentive that would encourage someone to take our hands, if we put our hands down and left them alone, no one would pick it up and take it, we didn’t even ask Christ to take our hands, if we would have it our way we would keep our sinful hands forever, but Christ said, “I am taking your hand, here is mine!”

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Thirsting

9 June 2008

Abouts:
This weekend I will be going to Resolved 2008 where I will be live-blogging next to Tim Challies… actually it will be a time for me to just rest in the good Word, hear amazing preaching, and fellowship with incredible friends. The conference runs from Friday the 13th to the 16th so I am sorry to say I will not have time to attend to this blog.

For the ‘Reviews’ section I will put a symbol for the length of the review (L = Long, M = Medium, S = Short)

Summer Readings:
As I promised here is my summer reading plan, I am purposefully making the list longer than what I am capable of reading because if by some chance I did finish the shorter list I would like to have back up, also I like options. The list won’t be too long though because I am going to China this summer for mission work.

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Between Two Worlds
John Stott

This is a book I have heard rave reviews over from those well-informed. There isn’t much I can say about this book but that it intrigues me. Although I might never need to preach ever in my life I think that learning about the process is good for me and any Christian, because preaching requires one to exposit the Word correctly, teaches one to stay focused on the Cross, and refines the way something is taught/preached. If that isn’t applicable to Christians I don’t know what I would do.

Resources: Summary (Monergism), Pride in Preachers (Desiring God), Preparing a Sermon (with John Stott) (Josh Harris)

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Christian Apologetics
Cornelius Van Til

I bought this book when I was in the infancy of my Christianity and didn’t know what I was getting into. I saw ‘Christian Apologetics’ as the cover and bought it off christianbook.com. When I picked it up years later, I went on to figure out who this Van Til was and later was introduced to presuppositional apologetics. I’ve picked up this book and started it multiple times but because this book is so dense I had to put it down every time, so this summer I would like not to continue the tradition and finish this book. Seeing how I already started with this book because I finished my school year books already, you can make this #1 in my order.

Reviews: The Reformed Baptist Thinker (S)

Resources: Van Til: the Theologian (CRTA)

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Communion with the Triune God
John Owen

Recently I wanted to start studying the trinity and get more into John Owen’s work, so what better way of doing that then spending time in this book. I bought the reprint edited by Justin Taylor of Between Two Worlds and Kelly M. Kapic, associate professor of biblical and theological studies at Covenant College. But to be honest I think I will make this one one of my back-up books, because if I read this this summer I would have no time for other books, why make it a back-up book then, you might ask, I don’t know, I know I most likely will not even touch this book this summer, only to put it in my luggage and then take it out of my luggage back on to my bookshelf.

Reviews: Irish Calvinist (M), Provocations & Pantings (L), The Shepherd’s Scrapbook (L), Tolle Lege (S)

Resources: Summary (Monergism)

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God of Promise
Michael Horton

I have been meaning to start my deeper study of covenant and dispensational theology for awhile, and now with a summer full of motivation I think I’ll start. Having a quick look at it, it looks like it could take a week to finish this book, but if I looked a little closer I noticed that it will take awhile to go through this book because of the density of the content. I think I will make this #3.

Reviews: The A-Team (S), Discerning Reader (S/M), Reformation Theology (S)

Resources: Summary (Monergism)

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Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This book comes from a couple of recommendations by friends. I have been meaning to dive deeper into Martyn Lloyd-Jones, so I think this book would be a good book to continue with. Finishing a in-depth study of Matthews during my weekly bible study, what better way to review and refreshed with a deeper study on the Sermon on the Mount. I have been encouraged to read this so I will make this #2.

Resources: Summary (Monergism), Watch the Past: Living Lessons from Dead Theologians (The Shepherds Scrapbook)

Orders:
From some thinking and deduction I got this order

1. Christian Apologetics by Van Til
2. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Lloyd-Jones
3. God of Promise by Horton
4. Between Two Worlds by Stott
5. Communion with the Triune God by Owen


Learn. Apply. Teach.

2 June 2008

Abouts:
Because next week is finals week here at UCI I will either not post, or have a extremely short post or if I feel like procrastinating I will have the longest post of my life…

Ooh, just came up with an idea, for next week I will reveal (make) my summer reading plans and I will include reviews, summaries, and whatever else I can find on the books I will be reading this summer

Articles:
Six Ways to Hinder Your Prayers (Challies) Selfish Motives, Turning Away From Scripture, Unforgiving Hearts, Family Discord, Unconfessed Sin, Doubt

How to Waste Your Theological Education (From the Study)

Advice to Missionaries (and All of Us) (Desiring God)

Audios:
How To Read 500 Books a Year (Denny Burk)

Readings:

If sin be but a common scar or wrinkle, to be erased from the soul’s surface by a few simple touches; if pardon be a mere figure of speech, meaning God’s wide benevolence or good-natured indifference to evil, why tell of wrath and fire and judgement, the never-dying worm and the ever-rising smoke?

Horatius Bonar, God’s Way of Holiness

Horatius Bonar is also known for his book, Words to Winners of Souls, and one section I found very rebuking/refreshing was a extensive quote of a public confession from  the Church of Scotland in 1965, I could not find the origin document, if there is one, so I found a pdf version of the whole book and the excerpt is in the 4th chapter extending from page 16-21, if you have time read the book,  better yet if you have money go buy the book; if anyone knows of the origin document can you please inform me about it or where I can find it

Randoms:
Top Ten Reasons Why the… Did not Cross the Road (Parchment and Pen) Dispensationalist, Emerger, and Reformed Theologian

Verses:
Ezra 7:10
For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

Study. Live. Preach. (Reformation 21)


I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious

19 May 2008

Abouts:
A really long week…

4 more really long weeks until the end of the school year…

Articles:
Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World (Sovereign Grace)

One More Way To God Than I Deserve (New Attitude)

Red-Letter Bibles (Between Two Worlds)

Readings:
ESV Study Bible: Luke Intro and Discount (Between Two Worlds) The discount is over but the Luke intro is still up for download

Randoms:
Colossal Castle or Humble Home? Same Price – Your Choice

Videos:
Interview with D.A. Carson (Between Two Worlds)

Switchfoot – This Is Home

Regina Spektor – The Call

Verses:
Exodus 33:18-20
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”

I must admit, I don’t fully understand this excerpt yet.

When these verses were brought to my attention this week, I was a little perplexed at a section, specifically the second part of 19 (which I will refer to as 19b), “‘And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.'” At first it doesn’t sound to weird, you’ve probably seen it used in the context of Romans 9:15, but as I looked at the whole excerpt again, I was confused.

We start out with the Lord staying away from the people of Israel because of their disobedience, so then Moses had to take the tent away from the camp so that he would be able to commune with God and intercede for the people. God then grants Moses request to guide him, and now it gets interesting. Moses then requests to see God’s glory. God answer’s, “‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name “The LORD.”‘” That is the understandable part, then He goes on to say “‘And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.'” Now if I was God (gratefully not!) I would have not said 19b, and leave it as: “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 19b just seems out of place and doesn’t fit with the flow of what He is saying, but as I meditated I find it fits perfectly.

If we take 19b by itself and examine it we could sum it up in two words, God’s sovereignty, but why assert His sovereignty in the middle of answering Moses request to see His glory? That is exactly why, He wanted to affirm and confirm His sovereignty over everything, to Moses and to us. God wanted to tell Moses before He showed His glory to Him was that He is the one who is doing this. Who’s presence will go with His people, God’s, why? Because Moses asked nicely, NO, because God will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom He will show mercy! Is Moses deserving of seeing God’s glory, NO, but God will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom He will show mercy! And as the LORD proclaimed his name in 34:6-7, I can only speculate that He proclaimed His name in a similar way here.

“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”


Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge Psalm 16:1

12 May 2008

Articles:
What Is the Most Crying Need of the Church in America Today? (Between Two Worlds) Answered by the Gospel Coalition

Don’t Miss How God Motivates (Desiring God)

The Purpose of a Seminary

Advice for Seminary Students with Families (& Full-Time Jobs), most of his points are applicable to anyone actually, I also like the article he links to, so check those out if you have time

Don’t Waste Your Summer (9 Resolutions)

Quality Down Time (Going to Seminary)

Readings:
The Moral Basis of Faith by Tom Wells (Monergism)

Random:
My love of Star Wars and Photography mashed together, originals and artist’s site

Videos:
Alistair Begg on Preaching (1)

Alistair Begg on Preaching (2)

Verses:
Psalm 96:7
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!

How Do You “Give” God Strength? (Desiring God)

In our giving heed to God’s power there rises up in us a realization that God created the universe for this: So that we could have the supremely satisfying experience of not being God, but admiring the Godness of God—the strength of God. There settles over us a peaceful realization that admiration of the infinite is the final end of all things.


Hallowed Be Thy Name

5 May 2008

Articles:
Late Night in Dever’s Study–Mohler on reform (9 Marks) A nice quick quote from Al mohler

How To Listen To A Sermon (The Reformed Reader)

Dispensationalism – A critique of Classic Dispensationalism (Monergism)

Who or What Defines “Reformed?” (Heidelblog)

News:
Wheaton College professor’s divorce costs him his job (Chicago Tribune) I’m glad Wheaton is not conforming and molding to this world’s ideas of qualifications for teachers

Readings:
Good stuff from Horatius Bonar

Scripture is wonderfully balanced in all its parts; let our study of it be the same that we may be well-balanced men. The study of prophetic word must not supersede that of the Proverbs, nor must we search the latter merely to discover the traces of the ‘higher doctrines’ which may be found in that book. We must not overlook the homely, and the little, and the common; we must stoop to the petty moralities, and courtesies, and honesties of tamer life, not neglecting those parts of Scripture which treat of these as vapid or obsolete, but bringing them to bear upon each step of our daily walk, and delighting in them as the wisdom of the God only wise. There is a vitiated literary taste, arising not so much from reading what is bad, as from exclusive study of one class of books, and these perhaps the more exciting. There is also a vitiated spiritual taste, not necessarily growing out of error or the study of unsound books, but arising from favouritism in the reading of Scripture, which shows itself both in the preference of certain parts to others, and in the propensity to search these others only for their references to certain favourite truths. Let the whole soul be fed by the study of the whole Bible, that so there may be no irregularity not inequality in the growth of its parts and powers. Let us beware of ‘itching’ ears and eyes. True, we must not be ‘babes,’ unable to relish strong meat, and ‘unskilful in the word of righteousness’ (Heb. 5:13). But we need to beware of the soarings of an ill-balanced theology and an ill-kint creed. True Christianity is healthy and robust, not soft, nor sickly, not sentimental; yet, on the other hand, not hard, nor lean, nor ill-favoured, nor ungenial.

– Horatius Bonar, God’s Way of Holiness, 109-110

Random:
If I have it my way and I have at least $7,000 to spend on a photographer I want Cliff Mautner to photograph my wedding, and no I didn’t find him because I was searching for wedding photographers I found him through photo articles. Favorite picture in his portfolio. I think I have to add wedding photographer now to my dream jobs.

Videos:
The Bravery – Believe

I love macs!

Verses:
1 Peter 3:13-17
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

Christ Is Hallowed in Us When We Hope in Him (Desiring God)

The great central heartbeat of Christianity is that Jesus Christ, the Savior and Lord, is exalted and hallowed and sanctified by the happy hope that his people put in him. And he shines all the brighter when our hope is fearless and well-defended and meek and zealous for good deeds.


28 April 2008

Articles:
Are You Bored with Good Preaching? (kerux noemata)

Real-Life Sanctification: How Much Television Should a Christian Watch? (Consumed)

The Rebellion of Nudity and the Meaning of Clothing (Desiring God)

Complementarian Singles: How Can I Prepare Myself for Marriage? (CBMW) If anything this is a good reminder that those who want to get married (like me) should be prepared for it and not go into it, or even dating, hoping that you’ll learn everything on the way

How To Master A Book (The Blazing Center)

Before You Preach (Joe Thorn)

12 Ways to Improve Your Blog by Serving Your Readers (Between Two Worlds) For more serious bloggers, not me

Readings:
An amazingly insightful quote by A.W. Tozer:

      We commonly represent [God] as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world…
      Too many missionary appeals are based upon this fancied frustration of Almighty God. An effective speaker can easily excite pity in his hearers, not only for the heathen but for the God who has tried so hard and so long to save them and has failed for want of support. I fear that thousands of young persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation His love has gotten Him into and his limited abilities seem unable to get Him out of. Add to this a certain degree of commendable idealism and a fait amount of compassion for the underprivileged and you have the true drive behind much Christian activity today.

– A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

 

Randoms:
2 pictures, 1 Earth

Videos:
Vega 4 – Life is Beautiful (Pushing Daisies Music Video)

Verses/Messages:
Philippians 3:1-16

Treasuring Christ Together Because He Is More Valuable Than All Else (Desiring God)

Then in verse 12, Paul gives one of my favorite statements in all the Bible, because it helps me put the fight of faith in the context of absolute assurance. He says: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” I don’t coast. I don’t drift. Christ is too precious for that. I press on. I strive. I reach. I long. I ache. I yearn to obtain the fullness and perfection of the presence of Jesus. Why? Because I don’t know if I am his? No. Because he has already made me his own. I reach for him because I am held by him. I press into him because he has enclosed me with unbreakable bands of love. This is what it means to treasure Christ together. And we help each other press on in this way—with this assurance.