It is an amazing thing that God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, who created and sustained all things in wisdom; who is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth … is for us!
My Soul Among Lions is a Christian music group from Bloomington, IN that has embarked on an ambitious and glorious project … to set all 150 psalms to music. Psalm singing, singing from God’s hymnal, has a long history in the Christian church but it’s been almost entirely lost today, to the church’s detriment. Below is a link to their website. Their first CD with Psalms 1-10 is available for purchase and I would commend it to you. They’re in the middle of a Kickstarter effort to fund the second CD, Psalms 11-20.
Good post by Doug Wilson. We all need to hear things like this as encouragements to put on the whole armor of God and to fight.
There is a lot being said in this short quote concerning the loss of authority in the modern church …
“In a communal grouping like that of early Christians, the overall leadership of the community governed the people. The heads of the Christian communities functioned in a way similar to the fathers in a family; they did not treat the community members like children, but they did lead and direct them personally. They governed (cared for) the people. They taught them and watched over their lives. When members of the community were in need, the elders saw that the need was met. When the lives of the community members did not conform to the Lord’s way of life, the heads would personally discuss the issue with those members. If a major transgression occurred, the elders would discipline the person. They governed and led the people, not the institution.
By contrast, the leaders of most modern churches concern themselves more directly with the institution than with the people, and their leadership consists primarily of administration, decision-making, and opinion-forming. The people’s lives are a private matter. The leader will counsel someone upon request. The leader will run a program for those who want something enough to sign up and participate. The leader thus provides services for some individuals when they express a personal interest. The authority of church leaders extends over the institution — the common activities — but not the lives of the church members.”
Man and Woman in Christ, Stephen B. Clark
Interesting article … both considering Harvard’s original mission statement and the entrance exam from 1869. The mission statement reinforces how institutions drift over time without intentionality and vigilance. The entrance exam demonstrates how far educational expectations and standards have fallen.
“As a father you must teach your children that only God is God. You, their beloved father, most certainly are not God. Nor are you ever to displace God in their love, allegiance, and obedience.
How to teach this precious truth?
Well, there’s no better way than to confess your own sins to your family and ask their forgiveness. Pop the balloon of your great dignity as their Christian father. Or maybe more to the point, pop the myth your dear wife has inculcated in your children, that Daddy is the best daddy in the world and they should adore him. Bunk, and double bunk!
Jesus put it bluntly: only God is good (Lk 18:19) …
Our families — our own brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers mothers, wives — must never come between us and our heavenly Father. He alone is to have first place in our affections. He alone is to sit on the throne of our heart. He will not tolerate any competition because Jealous is His name.”
Daddy Tried, Tim Bayly
The attached piece by John Piper is much needed in our day of passing entertainment and ephemeral fun:
Speaking of John Piper, here’s a 1.5 year-old talk that is pure Piper. I’ve listened to many of these kind of talks over the years by Piper and I never get tired of hearing them because he’s right. We’re all way too comfortable in America and we need to hear this kind of message almost daily to shake us out of our stupor.
This is a little long but I promise it’s worth it. After you listen to it, I’m confident you’ll understand why I believe this message is so vital in America today that we need to hear it over and over and over again.
There are many reasons to appreciate John Piper and several of those are evident in this short video. Often today, discipline is pitted against joy. Too much discipline and you kill joy. Too much joy and your life’s a disordered mess. This little video provides a glimpse into Piper’s writing but also Piper as a man … very disciplined AND overflowing with joy in God.
The doctrine of God’s sovereignty … His ordination of all things that come to pass … is a doctrine that can cause necks to stiffen faster than about any other. Here is Jonathan Edwards describing how his sense of that doctrine, specifically applied to individuals and salvation, changed over time:
“From my childhood up, my mind had been full of objections to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, in choosing whom He would to eternal life; and rejecting whom He pleased. . . . But I have often, since that first conviction, had quite another kind of sense of God’s sovereignty than I had then. I have often since had not only a conviction, but a delightful conviction. The doctrine has very often appeared exceedingly bright and sweet. Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God”