“Whatever else we attain, if our hearts are more satisfied in some other person or some other thing, rather than God, we will not attain our aim to glorify him most …
Therefore, God’s purpose for us in reading the Scripture is not only that we see his glory, and that we savor his glory, but also that we be transformed by this seeing and savoring, so that our visible, audible, touchable lives display the worth and beauty of God, This, of course, is vastly different from merely trying to do morally better things. Jesus knew and taught that the tree is known by its fruit. That is, the inner life is known by its outer life …
Continue reading “Reading to Be Transformed”
I’ve linked to articles by Alastair Roberts before. I’ve always found him very insightful. This post is no different. Pastors need to speak with authority … with a prophetic voice. It’s what the sheep need and it’s what the world needs. The lack of it has left us where we are today.
What Pastors Could Learn from Jordan Peterson
If you’ve never read the Heidelberg Catechism, you should. The first question sets the tone for the whole catechism which is known as much for its theological accuracy as its pastoral warmth:
Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,
but belong— body and soul,
in life and in death— to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
Kevin DeYoung has written a book about the Heidelberg Catechism and here is his recent article on the 455th birthday of the Catechism:
Happy Birthday Heidelberg
“The key passage is 1 Peter 1:23 – 2:2:
You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news that was preached to you … Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation — if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
… A key phrase is ‘long for.’ ‘Long for the pure spiritual milk.’ He is not simply telling us to develop the discipline of reading the Bible. He is telling us to develop a yearning for the word. Hunger for it. Crave it. Desire it. This is the language of savoring. And the object of our savoring is the worth and beauty of God’s goodness offered to us in the Word of God. Therefore, Peter is telling us — commanding us — to read the Scriptures not just for doctrine and guidance, but in order to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ (Ps. 34:8).”
Reading the Bible Supernaturally, John Piper
Last week, I posted the following from John Piper’s book, Reading the Bible Supernaturally:
“The measure of our longing for true life with Christ is the amount of worldly comfort we are willing to give up to get it …”
It’s a good quote but as I thought more about it, I wondered if we really understand the relationship between giving up comfort and gaining Christ. In the apostolic age, Christians lived on the fringes of acceptable society and their faith made crossing that border nearly impossible. They were seen as strange and so far out of the mainstream that people just looked down on them, almost like we would view members of a strange cult today. In other words, they gave up much in this world to gain Christ … acceptance by the wider society, opportunities in the commercial world, etc.
As I think about Christians, broadly speaking, in America today, we look very much like the mainstream. Sure, we go to church on Sunday and don’t watch some of the movies that others watch, but what have we really given up? We live in the same houses, drive the same cars, eat at the same restaurants, play with the same toys (kids and adults), take the same vacations, etc.
Continue reading “What does giving up comfort have to do with true longing for Christ?”
Things like this continue to be surprising to moderns. They shouldn’t be. The failure is a lack of understanding of human nature. It’s the one thing that hasn’t changed while so much around us has. While technology, and knowledge about technology, is an increasingly important thing in today’s world, that alone is not nearly enough.
This article is one more in a long stream of articles I’ve posted that make the case for Classical Christian education. Many will read this and get why I say it makes the case for classical education but wonder how it makes the case for Christian education. I’ll leave that to you to figure out but I will give you one hint:
John Piper says that the definition of superficiality is to say everything there is to say about a subject except the main thing and the main thing in everything is God.
The Surprising Thing Google Learned About Its Employees