Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Another Silly Meme

“Roger Mugs” started this particular meme that will make me post off-topic drivel on my blog.

I’ve been tagged by Bryon. He’s the one who for some reason insists on spelling his name wrong. Thou caluminous rough-hewn bugbear! Be sure to check out his blog.

There are three unimaginative questions I need to answer which follow.

Q1. If you were to be in ministry 10 years from now (whether you’re in ministry now or not) what would you like to be doing and where?

I’m a follower not a leader. If I were to do something cerebral I would like to do research, fact checking or the like for someone who is smarter than me, like some sort of scholar. I could learn from what I do and labor behind the scenes.

Although I hesitate to mention it, intercessory prayer is an ongoing ministry if it would fall into that category and will be more so in ten years, God willing.

Otherwise I’ve always had an affection for street people. When in college I used to spend quite a bit of time with them. I felt more comfortable with them than with “normal” people, most of whom aren’t as normal as they present themselves to be.

Q2. If you could wake up tomorrow with a degree and all the learning that would have gone with it from any seminary which one would you pick and why?

Westminster Theological Seminary or Southern Baptist Theological Seminary although I don’t know a whole lot about them book learnin’ places. I’m an autodidact.

Q3. What’s your poison: donuts, beer, wine, pizza, chocolate, Twinkies, key-lime pie?

I roast my own coffee and am able to buy some of the best beans in the world. It’s great to drink a beverage that has more flavor components than wine and it only costs a few cents a serving. I worship God when drinking coffee because of my amazement at the multitude of flavors He put in the various coffees that can be tasted if roasted well, is fresh and isn’t burnt like Starbucks. Ironically because of a low tolerance for caffeine I can’t drink very much.

I don’t consider that poison though.

1 Timothy 4:4
For everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

Although you could argue that God didn’t create Twinkies.

I tag Michael, Shaun Tabatt and of course John MacArthur (again) who is my model curmudgeon who can denigrate three groups of people within the first quarter of a sermon in one fell swoop.

Bibledude.net Excellence Award

This award has been passed on to me by the guy known as Roger Mugs. I’m honored that he chose me. The original award post can be found here on Dan King’s (Bible Dude) web site.

I have to confess that sometimes I think these awards are created in order to bring traffic to the originator’s site. But I’m am going to think positively and assume the motives are pure.

I would like to pass on this award to one lesser known blogger, at least in my circles and think the perfect person would be Iris of MannaWord. She is someone who loves the Creator and loves the creation by way of posting her wonderful flower pictures which is something I want to do more of here being an avid flower picture taker myself.

Award

Thank you Roger and thank you Iris for the inspiration.

African Violet
Pink African Violet in my kitchen “garden”.

Reflections on Psalm 19:7-10

I take this [Psalm 19] to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.

–C.S. Lewis

In memorizing the second half of Psalm 19 I wanted to get a good understanding of the terms used for God’s revelation of Himself through the many facets of his instruction to us. I don’t own a commentary on the Psalms in book form but the commentaries from Matthew Henry, John Gill, Adam Clarke, Charles Spurgeon, Keil & Delitzsch, John MacArthur (from a sermon) and Derek Kidner (from the library) more than suffice.

Even after reading through all of them I still feel like I’m still just beginning to mine the depths of what this text offers (not to mention Psalm 119!). So I would like to write down a synopsis of just these verses based on commentaries and my own thoughts and observations to further embed these ideas in my brain and cause me to ponder further.

Don’t take this as a scholarly paper. It’s just what I’m learning so far. Comments are welcome.

Psalm 19:7a (HCSB used for all)
The instruction of the Lord is perfect,

The HCSB uses the word instruction for tôrâh instead of the usual law here so as not to confuse it with only the law of Moses or the Decalogue (ten commandments). ” תֹּורָה [tôrâh] does not in itself mean the law, but a pointing out, instruction, doctrine or teaching”. (K&D) It’s a complete divine instruction of God’s will for man’s life and conduct.

On a side note, the Bible isn’t just an instruction manual for us. It’s so much more than that. It’s God revealing Himself, His purposes, how He has dealt with people and His redemption story. How much more wonderful this is than a mere instruction manual.

Since God does not reside in our constraint of time, His law is timeless and includes the gospel message and all of His revealed word to us, not just the law as it was revealed up to the time of David when he wrote this Psalm. It’s somewhat prophetic in that way.

Regarding the word perfect John MacArthur says, “I remember the first time I studied Psalm 19, many, many years ago, I wanted to really know what perfect meant. So I went back and I got all the Hebrew lexicons off my shelf and I remember spending several hours chasing this word ‘perfect’ all over the place, trying to wring out of it everything that I could so I would have a grasp of it. And after many hours of study, I came to the conclusion that what it means is perfect. A bit disappointing after all the effort, but that’s exactly what it means…perfect.” He qualifies that as meaning–not as opposed to imperfect but as opposed to incomplete.

The law of the Lord is sufficient for “everything we need for life and godliness”. (2 Peter 1:3)

Psalm 19:7b
reviving the soul;

Restoring, reviving, refreshing, or converting; turning to God or back to God. In any case, transformation takes place.

Psalm 19:7c
the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,

I think that some of the obvious examples of His testimony are what He has said audibly about Himself and His Son. But more comprehensively it is God disclosing His character, His will and His nature–who He is. (cf. 1 John 5:9)

You can know that what He says about Himself is trustworthy. Believing He is who He says he is–this is vital for trusting Him and making it through hard times. (Psalm 119:92 MSG)

But what kept me going more than anything else was my confidence in the character of God.

–Ravi Zacharias quoting Charles Cooper in the book Cries of the Heart

Psalm 19:7d
making the inexperienced wise.

The underlying Hebrew word for simple (inexperienced) means wide open, as in an open door; people who are easily led one way or another. For those who are simple, or inexperienced in the ways of the Lord, His testimony is trustworthy in making them wise for living in a manner skilled in walking in His ways and for salvation. (2 Timothy 3:15)

Psalm 19:8a
The precepts of the Lord are right,

Precept
1. In a general sense, any commandment or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; but applied particularly to commands respecting moral conduct. The ten commandments are so many precepts for the regulation of our moral conduct.
Webster

Synonyms for precepts would be commandments, decrees or statutes, which many other translations use.

All of His precepts are always right and always leading people in righteousness and in the right path. (Proverbs 8:8) They are always well meaning and for our well-being.

Psalm 19:8b
making the heart glad;

Having His precepts written on our hearts leads us to a right mind which gives us joy. They satisfy our desire for morality.

Retire and read thy Bible to be gay.

–Charles Spurgeon

Psalm 19:8c
the commandment of the Lord is radiant,

HCSB and TNIV use the word radiant, some clear, most others pure. The commandment itself is pure, not adulterated by any person. It also purifies us.

I would guess that the word radiant is used because light is pure. It may also be looking forward to the next line. (Comments?)

Psalm 19:8d
making the eyes light up.

His commandment gives us discernment to see what’s earthly and what’s spiritual; what is of the world and what is of true value. It gives us understanding not only externally but internally–showing us our own sin. (Proverbs 6:23)

Psalm 19:9a
The fear of the Lord is pure,

His instruction taken to heart causes us to fear, venerate, reverence and be in awe of the Lord. Its purpose is to purify (John 15:2-3), as purified silver or gold.

Psalm 19:9b
enduring forever;

The fear of the Lord is perpetual. The coming of Jesus does not and should not alter our fear of the Lord, even though Jesus calls us friends. (John 15:14) The fear of the Lord is in opposition to all false ways of reverencing (or not reverencing) Him.

Psalm 19:9c
the ordinances of the Lord are reliable

The ordinances or judgments of the Lord are unquestionable and need no excuse to justify them. All that He has decided is right and proper.

Psalm 19:9d
and altogether righteous.

Any one of them or all of them together are righteous. They are all alike in their righteousness. Clarke would say that, “they are truth [reliable] and righteousness united.” Spurgeon, “no exception may be taken to a single clause separately, or to the book as a whole.”

Psalm 19:10
They are more desirable than gold-
than an abundance of pure gold;
and sweeter than honey-
than honey dripping from the comb.

Here obviously each idea is intensified. My mind thinks of them as being not only more valuable than money, but more money than we would know what to do with.

I haven’t done a lot of research on honey but obviously honey is sweet. Honey dripping from the comb is very different than the honey we would get at the store. Clarke says honey from the comb has, “a sweetness, richness and flavour, far beyond what it has after it becomes exposed to the air.”

God’s instruction is more satisfying than any earthly pleasure we can imagine. This is the truth. Is this my estimation of God’s Word? I pray that it will be, and more and more so.

Updated Posts

I hope this doesn’t confuse things but here are some older posts that have been updated either in the main message or with additional comments:
Bible Commentary Lists and Reviews (Updated)
Divorce – most recent rebuttal to a rebuttal in the comments
Recap on Divorce Articles – not updated recently but relevant to the previous one
HCSB Bible Translation Web Sites

A Meme I Don’t Quite Understand

I’ve been tagged for a meme that has nothing to do with the purpose of this blog. I’m honored anyway.

You choose five Biblical studies types and invent a post that they might have written over the last couple of months. Those parodied are entitled, yea, obligated to tag five other bibliobloggers in similar fashion. Don’t forget to link to this original post.

–some famous blogger guy named Lingamish

I was tagged by Rogers Mugs.

I’m not clever enough to come up with inventing a post that they might post so I will try to just parody five others but must qualify some of them because I’m so afraid of offending and some are inside jokes.

Roger Mugs – I post everyday but I don’t want you to read my posts until I figure out why I post.

Bryan – God chose me to parody you. (Calvinist joke based on his previous blog name.) I just call him Bryan because I can never figure out what we’re supposed to call his blog (ΚΑΤΑΓΡΑΦΑΙΣ for now). It’s “According to the Scriptures” in the Blogroll.

Gentle Wisdom – Wrong!

Nathan Stitt – The Bible’s Main Theme: Jesus. (This is called “Doing a Nathan”. Being succinct in a good way.)

New Leaven – !

I don’t have anyone else to tag who already hasn’t been tagged except John MacArthur.

Isn’t it amazing…?

This is an intensely personal post that for some reason I’m reticent to write about much less speak about because of how shy I am about what’s written later in the post. I also think the biblioblogosphere can be pretty academic and could use more passion so I better contribute some of my own. So here goes and I hope it blesses you in some way.

Isn’t it amazing that our creator and God is holy, righteous, good and perfect? Imagine what it would be like if the creator were Satan. Or one who created everything and then just let it go without caring.

Isn’t it amazing how creative God is and that He created everything first for His own enjoyment? He created things that we will never discover. And He enjoys the fact that we also enjoy His creation.

Isn’t it amazing that God prepared to send His Son to die to redeem us, even though we didn’t ask for that and even though we didn’t know we need that?

Isn’t it amazing that because Jesus rose from the dead He sent His Holy Spirit to live in us and that God lives in us? This isn’t only because we are just seen as righteous enough to be in His presence but we have “become the righteousness of God in Him”. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Isn’t it amazing that God has not only revealed Himself through nature, but also through the Scriptures? (Psalm 19) Any time we want, we can read His letter to us and listen to Him speak to us through the aid of the Holy Spirit.

Isn’t the depth of His Word amazing? We could read the Bible for 16 hours a day for the rest of our lives and only begin to mine the depths of who God is. And that’s only a partial revelation.

Every one of these thoughts came flooding into my head a few nights ago and I had to get on my knees with my head to the ground. I cried. This was a strange and overwhelming experience because although I’ve gotten tears in the past in contemplating things of God, I’ve never cried. I’ve been on my knees like this in the past but it was because I was in pain and was asking for God’s mercy. Crying has always equaled pain.

Although this was a unique experience there is no need to analyze. It was just praise. I’ve always stressed and valued truth over experience but when the experience from God does come it’s obvious and overwhelming.

As is usual protocol on this blog, I was going to look up Scripture to back up each of the items listed above but I don’t want to do that here because it’s obvious and I don’t want this post to be like work. I wanted to record this experience so I can look back on it and remember all the points that God brought to mind.

Weird Worship Meme

I’ve been tagged by TCR for a Weird Worship meme. See where this originated at Lingamish’s Weird Worship meme.

Here are my slim pickings.

“Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya” – after about three kumbayas I can’t wait until the song is over. And how many people know what kumbaya means?

“I surrender all” – I don’t think the vast majority of the people singing this realize what they’re saying, are willing to surrender all or are even able to surrender all. I’m waiting for a song about loving Jesus so much that we won’t ever sin.

This is a song that I hope nobody else knows because once it gets into your head it’s maddening:
“My Bible (my Bible and I)
My Bible (my Bible and I)
Oh oh oh, oh oh
What a wonderful treasure
God gave without measure
We are travlin’ together
My Bible and I”
That’s the whole song so it’s repeated about nineteen times. Or so it seemed. I haven’t heard this song in over 20 years and now it’s back in my head. Thanks a lot.

I would like to tag Stefan but he’s been quiet so I’m not sure if he’s around or up for it.

I would like to post something good while I’m at it:

How firm a foundation

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
to you that for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed!
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell shall endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.”

–Anonymous or at­trib­ut­ed var­i­ous­ly to John Keene, John Kirk­ham or John Keith

Postpretevangelconmergicalorthomillspencovenism

In case that word in the subject line messed up your browser or RSS reader it’s:
Postpretevangelconmergicalorthomillspencovenism

I still don’t know exactly what postmodern means. To me, modern means now. As in contemporary. Postmodern would be the future. I tend to think of everything literally and don’t get most colloquialisms or sayings. I always cringe when people say, “I cut my teeth on…” when they learn something. Or, “I ran into someone at the grocery store.” I hope you said you’re sorry.

It’s tough to keep up with all these labels. I’m pretty sure I’m not postmodern (of the future) based on what people have said. But most of the people who describe postmoderns are angry people and call them pomos. That word sounds similar to “homo” which is a derogatory term that isn’t used much anymore unless you’re Jeremy Shockey.

I know I’m Reformed or reformed. I hate to call myself a Calvinist because I follow Jesus, not Calvin. (1 Cor 1:11-13) But maybe that’s what reformed is. And I’m not sure I’m 100% with the program.

The Internet has been a great learning tool but is also fraught with judgmental opinions and so many terms and labels that everyone has a different definition of that not only is it difficult to keep them straight, it’s difficult not to be judgmental of those who are truly in Christ but different enough that you disagree with them.

I need to develop a mental filter for many of these labels.

At the same time, partly because of listening to John MacArthur (oh no, he’s a dispensationalist [dispie]) I’ve come to realize how important it is to develop sound doctrine.

Make up your mind!

–John MacArthur

But I need to know what’s important and what I can overlook and not let myself be overly influenced by the people who overly discerning. I will call them discernmentalists. I thank God I am not like them. (That was tongue-in-cheek, so to speak. I didn’t actually put my tongue in my cheek. OK I just did so I wouldn’t be lying.)

Titus 2:1-10 NRSV (emphasis added)
But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine. Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance. Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us. Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior.

How far does “sound doctrine” go?

Here is a message I would like to listen to when I have the time:

T4G – Ligon Duncan on Sound Doctrine – preview
Link to MP3 file of the full message
(See all messages from T4G at Sovereign Grace Ministries)

I would just like to share something…

…that being two of my pet peeves in the evangelical world.

When did the word share become synonymous with tell, explain, proclaim or talk about?

We share our lunch. I have some and you have some. If two people are Christians they share the same salvation, same Lord, same Spirit, same God and Father and are related to each other in Christ. (Eph 4:4-6)

But if we share the gospel with someone and they reject it and don’t receive it, is that sharing? Aren’t we really explaining the gospel or in Biblical terms proclaiming (1 Cor 9:16) the gospel? Is this to make it sound more gentle? If we tell somebody something is that sharing? Am I the only one who thinks this sounds weird?

My other one is when people use the word just at least once a sentence when praying and even when speaking in conversation (or is that when sharing with each other). Are we trying to exhibit some sort of (false) humility or unconsciously minimizing our prayers? We are able to “approach the throne of grace with boldness”. (Heb 4:16)

How do these things start and then get so widespread? And why does everybody talk like each other?

That’s my rant for the month. Just thought I’d share.

Facetious Christian Book Titles

Originally posted on March 8, 2008:

Here are some facetious but Biblically accurate book titles I was thinking of. Do you think they would sell?

  • The Sermon on the Mount: How To Lose Your Self Esteem
  • Your Best Life Then – How God Uses Weakness and Suffering To Achieve Your Spiritual Potential
  • Be Prepared: Things Can Always Get Worse
  • How God Ordains Evil

Just plain facetious:

  • How To Start a Coffeeshop In Your Church

Do you have any to add?