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The Sinfulness of Sin

June 4, 2013 Leave a comment

In their Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones conclude their chapter, “The Puritans on the Deceitfulness of Sin,” with the following poem by John Bunyan on the sinfulness of sin (which they take from an 1871 edition of The Complete Works of John Bunyan).

Sin is the living worm, the lasting fire;
Hell seen would lose its heat, could sin expire.
Better sinless in hell, than to be where
Heaven is, and to be found a sinner there.
One sinless with infernals might do well,
But sin would make of heaven a very hell.

Look to thyself then, keep it out of door,
Lest it get in and never leave thee more.

Fools make a mock at sin, will not believe
It carries such a dagger in its sleeve;
How can it be, say they, that such a thing,
So full of sweetness, e’er should wear a sting?
They know not that it is the very spell
Of sin, to make them laugh themselves to hell.

Look to thyself, then, deal with sin no more,
Lest He who saves, against thee shuts the door.

On a preacher’s authority

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

From Enthroned on Our Praise:An Old Testament Theology of Worship by Timothy M. Pierce:

The call is important for authority, but there is a distinction between the prophet and the preacher that must be recognized–the source of his authority to say what he says. Whereas the prophet spoke the words of God through inspiration, preachers expound on the word of God through illumination. The distinction is important because when a prophet brought judgment on a challenger, he was doing so because the person was challenging not only him, but God. Too often preachers use such texts and arrogantly suppose that the preacher too is above being questioned. But a preacher’s authority to say what he says is only present to the degree to which he has faithfully exegetes the Scriptures. (209 n. 159)

Thoughts? The comment board is open to discussion!

On Rightly Handling Scripture

June 26, 2012 Leave a comment

In preparing John 5:31-47 for tomorrow night’s youth Bible study class, God has been impressing me with the importance of reading Scripture respectfully. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” because “all Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16). As D. A. carson warns us in his commentary The Gospel According to John:

No independence is more arrogant and more delusive than religious independence, which reaches its tragic apogee when the central meaning of Scripture is perverted. (264)

Or as John Calvin so helpfully reminds us in his commentary on John’s Gospel:

Again, we are taught by this passage, that if we wish to obtain the knowledge of Christ, we must seek it from the Scriptures; for they who imagine whatever they choose concerning Christ will ultimately have nothing instead of him but a shadowy phantom. First, then, we ought to believe that Christ cannot be properly known in any other way than from the Scriptures; and if it be so, it follows that we ought to read the Scriptures with the express design of finding Christ in them. (218)

Let us also learn from it, that we ought not to glory in the Scriptures without a good reason; for if we do not honour the Son of God by the true obedience of faith, all whom God hath raised up to be his witnesses will rise up against us as accusers at the last day. (224)

The Bible is God’s Word. May God help me glorify him by handling it rightly, that is, respectfully.

On Reading the Bible for Today

February 8, 2012 1 comment

There is common ground between us and the ancients [who penned Scripture]. The cultures are different, but the basic human concerns have always been the same. Moreover, the image of God in people (Gen 1:26-28) lends us the capacity to hear God’s concerns in the text and respond to them. In other words, we have common ground with both the God who inspired the writing of the Bible and the ancient authors and readers of the text. This makes it reasonable to assume that we can come to a meaningful understanding of the significance of the Scriptures for our lives.

-Richard E. Averbeck, “God, People, and the Bible: The Relationship between Illumination and Biblical Scholarship,” in Who’s Afraid of the Holy Spirit?, ed. Daniel B. Wallace and M. James Sawyer (Dallas: Biblical Studies Press, 2005), p. 141.

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