Saturday, 31 August 2013

Perspective, Dear Boy, Perspective

On this day in 1688 the famed Puritan and great author John Bunyan died. It is reputed that his most renowned work, Pilgrim's Progress has been translated into more languages than any other book save the Bible and that great Victorian preacher Charles Spurgeon apparently read it more than 100 times. C.S. Lewis commended it as "a literary and spiritual masterpiece". Today in the centre of Bedford, there stands a statue with Bunyan, tinker on the back and bible in one hand. This statue marks the place where Bunyan spent many years in prison for preaching without the permission. Near the foot of the statue is a little bronze plaque and on it are engraved the words of the prosecutor-the Lord Judge Magistrate of Bedford-spoken at Bunyan's sentencing in January 1673. The judge said:
At last we are done with this tinker and his cause. Never more will he plague us: for his name, locked away as surely as he, shall be forgotten, as surely as he. Done we are, and all eternity with him.
Ha! With all due respect Lord Judge Magistrate it is not Bunyan who is forgotten but you who is unnamed and unremembered in the annals of history. To paraphrase a British Prime Minister "perspective, dear boy, perspective."

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Anglicans are atheists

Is apparently what Dostoevsky said of Mother Church! Geeez - isn't that's a bit too strong?? Even I who is not a dyed-in-the wool Anglican was a bit mortified to hear that. Anyway I haven't been able to find the original quote in context so let me give you Dostoevsky's supposed reasoning:

1) That Anglicans are suckers for the middle ground
2) But trying to take middle ground whenever it's not anchored in principle ultimately leads to compromise
3) In the case of Theology Proper this results in denying God's revealed Truth

In sum, employing the via media as your theological method stealthily leads you to paganistan! To hear all this (and more) put much more eloquently, click on the video below:

Monday, 19 August 2013

Glad to be a Calvinist. What about you?

Australian theologian Michael Bird has recently published a book on evangelical theology (excerpts of the book can be found here). This is how Bird describes Calvinism:

"When I explain Calvinism to people, I usually say this: “People suck, they suck in sin, they are suckness unto death. And the God who is rich in mercy takes the initiative to save people from the penalty, the power, and even the presence of this sin. This is Calvinism, the rest is commentary.” "

On that basis I am glad to be a Calvinist too. What about you?

Monday, 12 August 2013

C S Lewis on how to cope with homosexual struggles

This is such wise and winsome counsel...

First, to map out the boundaries within which all discussion must go on, I take it for certain that the physical satisfaction of homosexual desires is sin. This leaves the homosexual no worse off than any normal person who is, for whatever reason, prevented from marrying.
Second, our speculations on the cause of the abnormality are not what matters and we must be content with ignorance. The disciples were not told why (in terms of efficient cause) the man was born blind (John 9:1-3): only the final cause, that the works of God should be made manifest in him. This suggests that in homosexuality, as in every other tribulation, those works can be made manifest: i.e. that every disability conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, which will ‘turn the necessity to glorious gain.’ Of course, the first step must be to accept any privations which, if so disabled, we can’t lawfully get. The homosexual has to accept sexual abstinence just as the poor man has to forego otherwise lawful pleasures because he would be unjust to his wife and children if he took them. That is merely a negative condition.
What should the positive life of the homosexual be? I wish I had a letter which a pious male homo., now dead, once wrote to me—but of course it was the sort of letter one takes care to destroy. He believed that his necessity could be turned to spiritual gain: that there were certain kinds of sympathy and understanding, a certain social role which mere men and mere women could not give. But it is all horribly vague and long ago. Perhaps any homo. who humbly accepts his cross and puts himself under Divine guidance will, however, be shown the way. I am sure that any attempt to evade it (e.g. by mock or quasi-marriage with a member of one’s own sex even if this does not lead to any carnal act) is the wrong way. Jealousy (this another homosexual admitted to me) is far more rampant and deadly among them than among us. And I don’t think little concessions like wearing the clothes of the other sex in private is the right line, either. It is the duties, burdens, the characteristic virtues of the other sex, I suspect, which the patient must try to cultivate. I have mentioned humility because male homosexuals (I don’t know about women) are rather apt, the moment they find you don’t treat them with horror and contempt, to rush to the opposite pole and start implying that they are somehow superior to the normal type.
I wish I could be more definite. All I have really said is that, like all other tribulations, it must be offered to God and His guidance how to use it must be sought. 

HT: Justin Taylor 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The beauty/simplicity of free market economics

A very very worthwhile 3/4 hour... Hard to believe that economics could be that easy to understand (and the various illustrations especially the pencil one are fab) - watch it!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Luther on works

Where there are no good works, there is no faith. If works and love do not blossom forth, it is not genuine faith, the Gospel has not gained a foothold, and Christ in not yet rightly known.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Even Driscoll has communion every week!

Below is a link to a Mars Hill video with Mark Driscoll preaching on Acts 2. There's lots in it that'll raise your eyebrows (positively and negatively). Something in the very good category was that Mars Hill celebrates the Lord's Supper every week even though the clincher given for this practice was tradition! Listen for yourself and see if you're convinced... (relevant bit starts from about 37'50'')