Tag Archive for 'Christian'

Quotes from The Person of Jesus by Gresham Machen

Here are some quotes from the book The Person of Jesus: Radio Addresses on the Deity of the Savior by Gresham Machen. This is a very short book of a series of radio addresses given in 1935. This post is under the new category of Book Quotes, which gives you a sample of a recently read book. See the last quote for some humor.

So it is when we try to think of God as eternal. If the word “infinity” is related, by way of contrast, to the notion of space, so the word “eternity” is related, by way of contrast, to the notion of time. When we say that God is eternal, we mean that he had no beginning and that he will have no end. But we really mean more than that. We mean that time has no meaning for him, save as it has meaning to the creatures whom he has made. He created time when he created finite creatures. He himself is beyond time. There is no past and no future to him. The Bible puts that in poetical language when it says: “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night” (Ps 90:4). We of course are obliged to think of the actions of God as taking place in time. We are obliged to think of him as doing one thing after another thing; we are obliged to think of him as doing this today and that tomorrow. We have a perfect right so to think, and the Bible amply confirms us in that right. To us there is indeed such a thing as past and present and future, and when God deals with us he acts in a truly temporal series. But to God himself all things are equally present. There is no such thing as “before” or “after” to him.

Jesus does not present himself merely as an example for faith but presents himself as the object of faith.

And therefore to apparel [put on] ourself with Christ is none other thing than to believe assuredly that Christ is ours.

“Why does this man speak like that?” they said. “He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7). They were right. None can forgive sins but God only. Jesus was a blasphemer if he was a mere man. At that point the enemies saw clearly. You may accept the lofty claims of Jesus. You may take him as very God. Or else you must reject him as a miserable, deluded enthusiast. There is really no middle ground. Jesus refuses to be pressed into the mold of a mere religious teacher.

If the Jesus of the Gospels were a purely natural and not a supernatural person, then we should have no difficulty in believing that such a person lived in the first century of our era. Even skeptics would have no difficulty in believing it. Defenders of the faith would have an easy victory indeed. Everybody would believe. But then there would be one drawback. It would be this: the thing that everybody would believe would not be worth believing.

The bottom of the next quote is the most humorous I’ve read in a Christian book in a long time.

Those first disciples of Jesus [supposedly] became convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead because they experienced certain hallucinations, certain pathological experiences in which they thought they saw Jesus before their eyes when in reality there was nothing there. In an hallucination, the optic nerve is really affected but it is affected not by light rays coming from an external object, but by some pathological condition of the bodily organism of the subject himself. This is the so-called “vision theory” regarding the origin of the Christian church. It has held the field among unbelievers inside of the church and outside of the church since the days of Strauss about one hundred years ago. I think we ought to understand just exactly what that vision theory means. It means that the Christian church is founded upon a pathological experience of certain persons in the first century of our era. It means that if there had been a good neurologist for Peter and the others to consult there never would have been a Christian church.

The Person of Jesus

Also find it at: Westminster Bookstore

Breaking News: Depression Doesn’t Always Have a Cause

Tangled Up in Blue: Depression and the Christian Life – Reformation21

Actually, this is very, very old news. If you’d rather not read the whole article, here is a quote from it on something that I’d like more people to realize, along with another comment below it:

Charles Spurgeon, who himself wrestled throughout his life with depression, described it well: “Causeless depression cannot be reasoned with, nor can David’s harp charm it away by sweet discoursings. As well fight with the mist as with this shapeless, undefinable, yet all-beclouding hopelessness … The iron bolt which so mysteriously fastens the door of hope and holds our spirits in gloomy prison, needs a heavenly hand to push it back.” He had a category for causeless depression, depression that shows up through no fault of one’s own.

So did Martyn Lloyd Jones. He preached a series that later became a book on the topic, known to us as Spiritual Depression (Eerdmans, 1965). He warned Christians of the temptation to over-spiritualize conditions like depression, writing, “Many Christian people, in fact, are in utter ignorance concerning this realm where the borderlines between the physical, psychological and spiritual meet. Frequently I have found that such [church] leaders had treated those whose trouble was obviously mainly physical or psychological, in a purely spiritual manner; and if you do so, you not only don’t help. You aggravate the problem.”

It seems Martin Luther had a similar category too. Speaking of his own struggle with depression (and the use of medicine in his own day) he said, “When I was ill…the physicians made me take as much medicine as though I had been a great bull…I do not deny that medicine is a gift of God, nor do I refuse to acknowledge science in the skill of many physicians. But take the best of them, how far are they from perfection?…When I feel indisposed, by observing a strict diet and going to bed early, I generally manage to get round again, that is, if I can keep my mind tolerably at rest. I have no objection to the doctors acting upon certain theories, but, at the same time, they must not expect us to be the slaves to their fancies.” Luther had a category for depression that is mostly physical in cause and cure.

[…]

In other words, Christians with much less understanding of mental health than we have seemed to have a better grasp of it than we do.

–Sammy Rhodes, Tangled Up in Blue: Depression and the Christian Life

Even today many church leaders don’t trust what Lloyd-Jones and others had to say. He had such great insight and as far as I know, he didn’t even deal with chronic depression himself. I suppose along with God’s grace, being a formal medical doctor and an astute pastor was enough for him to develop a keen sense of these things.

After the news of Robin Williams, plenty of people who’ve never really been depressed have waxed… something, trying to explain exactly what happened and use the opportunity to promote their point of view and get hits on their blog, or retweets on their Tweeter, or be liked on their Facebook.

Also see:

Free and Discounted Christian eBooks

Someone asked me about this so I thought I’d make a post with a list of the best ones I know about. If you have more, let me know. For books in PDF format, or any other format that you want to convert, you can use Calibre, along with managing your eBook library. Be sure to start off with good habits like using tags and adding them to Goodreads or Librarything (requires a plugin) right away. Watch the video to learn about all the things you’d never guess it can do.

Free and Discounted Christian Kindle Books

I want to help promote Gospel eBooks. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s “a website that alerts you to Christian e-book deals for the Amazon Kindle. We regularly post free Christian e-books as well as cheap and discounted titles. Our mission is to help you build your e-book library at a fraction of the cost.”

They don’t seem to miss anything. Jeremy Gardiner is the man behind it. You can find him as @mrjgardiner on Twitter even if you just want to know more about him. Looks like an interesting guy.

There are so many fiction books that are free, you can find two or three each week. And there are occasional low cost or free gems like Trusting God by Bridges, How to Read the Bible Book by Book by Fee and Stuart, An Introduction to the New Testament by Carson and Moo and many more. You never know what will come up.

Find out how to help them out.

Gospel eBooks

I have an ancient Nokia tablet with a 4″ screen (they were a few years ahead of their time and then gave up on them) bought on eBay that I use along with Calibre to convert and organize them, which I hope is ethical, since there are Kindle apps for all sorts of other devices. With Kindle and eReaders coming down to $50 and discounted books like this, it’s difficult not to go that route, even if you’re like me and still much prefer paper books.

Around the Web

This one has been going around fast but in case you haven’t seen it, this person does at least one design for each book of the Bible after he reads it and he’s not afraid to include some unpopular verses in them.
Word Designs

Ever wonder exactly what a tunic, cloak etc. is?
ANCIENT CLOTHING

Thinking About September 11th
and
When Worlds Collide

Is it progression if a cannibal uses a fork? Well, evolutionists, is it?

Coming Reviews

I don’t usually write about what reviews I’ll be doing until I actually do them. What’s the point in wasting the time writing about what I’ll be reviewing and then post again when I review it? But I so much want to be like everyone else and be a cool and famous biblioblogger so I’ll try it this one time. If anyone can tell me why this is a good thing let me know.

Soon I hope to review Ryken’s Bible Handbook. This has been very helpful.

I’ve been eyeing a book called Helpful Truth in Past Places: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Counselling (their spelling). I thought I’d write to the publisher, Christian Focus, and they wrote right back telling me they’d be happy to send a review copy. I’d like to see if what’s written in the book can be applied individually to the reader in addition to a counselor.

book Helpful Truth in Past Places

Meme: Christian Haiku

Haiku is a minimalist form of poetry. There aren’t many rules or definite styles. Read more here if you’d like:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku_in_English

The rules of the meme are to make up some three line Christian Haiku poems. Then nominate as many people as you’d like.

My favorite is where there is some sort of paradox, or opposites, or a surprise on the third line. Some bad grammar may help it sound more authentic.

Here are my Haikus. They aren’t very good but at least they’re relatively easy.

Evil farmers kill owner’s son
Pharisees say, farmers bad
Pharisees realize, farmers are us!

We can do everything through God, yay!
What is everything?
Contentment when poor

This world is upside down
Kingdom of heaven is rightside up
Let renewed mind think up more

Suffering suffering more and more
Oh my God
I can’t get enough of you

Complementarianism the new apartheid?
The Kingdom of God is a democracy
They reasoned

The Bible is my creed
Just me and my Bible
May be right, may be wrong

Humiliated on a cross
Victorious
Makes spectacle of evil ones

Bible book paper ink
living active sharp sword
unlimited edition

Study Bible
all your life
tip of iceberg

I write Haiku
you don’t like
I hear violins
woe is me violin

Theologer has a Haiku here. I would like to nominate him, Peter Lopez and Bitsy. I don’t want to saddle too many people with this but please nominate as many as you want and for anyone who isn’t nominated, please feel free to participate. I would love to read all of yours.

I may come up with more in the future.

The Benefits of Twitter

I don’t like Twitter and I’m tired of hearing about Twitter this and Twitter that.

However, if you’re interested in it or are wondering about what some of the benefits might be here are some resources:

8 Ways Twitter Can Benefit The Christian at Cal.vini.st

Why I am Now Using Twitter at Irish Calvinist

Why and How I Am Tweeting by John Piper

Addition:
Weighing the Pro’s and Cons of Twitter by Trevin Wax (my favorite of the four)

“I asked God for a preacher and he gave me a quarterback.”

You Gotta Love Tim Tebow by Austin Murphy, Sports Illustrated

He’s a Heisman Trophy winner and a two-time national champion, but the Florida quarterback will tell you he does his most important and rewarding work off the football field

tim-tebow

HT: WORLD Magazine

Challenge: Wordle Your Blog

If you have a Christian/biblio blog, what are you really writing about? I’d like to issue a challenge. Wordle your blog.*

See what it looks like. Are the biggest (most commonly used) words a person you’re obsessed with, politician, ideology or something other than what you intended your blog to be about?

Please excuse this diversion from the regular programming here. This is something I’d like to put out there. I’ll leave it at that.

I hope this doesn’t appear to be prideful but I’ve included a couple of images of this blog. You can click on each one to see a larger one and then use your Back button.

All the text on the front page as of 7/15/08 (25 posts plus all the other stuff on the page):

Wordle

The text from the RSS feed (10 days):

Blog Feed

I think I will do this from time to time to make sure I’m on the right track. I was a little disturbed at all the translation references (this blog should be more about Scripture than its translations) until I realized that almost all Scripture references on this site have the translation cited.

*Go to the front page of your blog. If on Windows (I’m not sure how it works on other platforms but if you’re using a Mac or Linux you should be pretty smart) press Ctrl-A which will highlight all the text on your blog. Then press Ctrl-C to copy the text of your blog. Go to http://wordle.net/create, click on a blank part of the text box and press Ctrl-V to paste the text and click Go. Alternatively you can copy the link of your blog’s feed and use the next section down although the feed may only be for a certain amount of days. Obviously the number of posts on your first page will also affect the representation.

(You can do this with other people’s blogs too.)

What Is Revival?

A revival is a time of quickening or impartation of life. As God alone can give life, a revival is a time when when God visits His people and by the power of His Spirit imparts new life to them, and through them imparts life to sinners dead in trespasses and sins. We have religious excitements gotten up by the cunning methods and hypnotic influence of the mere professional evangelist; but these are not revivals and are not needed. They are the devil’s imitations of a revival. New life from God–that is a revival. A general revival is a time when this new life from God is not confined to scattered localities, but is general throughout Christendom and the earth.

…revivals also have a decided influence on the unsaved world.

First of all, they bring deep conviction of sin. Jesus said that when the Spirit was come He would convince the world of sin (John 16:7-8). Now we have seen that a revival is a coming of the Holy Spirit, and therefore there must be new conviction of sin, and there always is. If you see something men call a revival, and there is no conviction of sin, you may know at once that it is bogus. It is a sure mark.

–R.A. Torrey, How To Pray

Marks of Revival – J. I. Packer
Revival-and Renewal – A.W. Tozer
Revival Conditions – A.W. Tozer
What Is a Revival? by C. H. Spurgeon

The Spirit of Revival (pt. 1) – R.C. Sproul
The Spirit of Revival (pt. 2)
The Spirit of Revival (pt. 3)
The Spirit of Revival (pt. 4)
The Spirit of Revival (pt. 5)

Test Revival with Doctrine – John Piper

MARJOE GORTNER-HOW FALSE PROPHET WORKS – YouTube

Psalm 19:7a HCSB
The instruction of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;

Reasons to Read Christian Books

Reasons to Get Reading, Reloaded

This is a great list and I have experienced nearly every one of them.

This goes along with:
Reading Better with Richard Baxter

(I’m having computer problems and am doing some short posts.)

How do you know you are saved?

This GodTube video of Paul Washer speaking expresses some of the ideas written about on 23Oct07 and 6Oct07 in the last third of the video/audio:
How do you know you are saved?

Related Scripture:
My soul followeth hard after thee:
thy right hand upholdeth me.
Psalm 63:8 KJV

A Podcast About Stuff

Over at Letters From Kamp Krusty there is a link to a podcast which is relevant to this blog because within it they talk about some misconceptions of Scripture. I like it a lot even though they say the words “hey” and “share” like way too much. 🙂

Why Read and Study the Bible?

Why Study The Bible?

Also:

Understand the priority the Bible gives to the Bible – especially reading it. The Kings of Israel were required to read the Law closely enough to make their own hand-written copy (Deut 17:18-20). This makes sense, after all how can one lead a people by something he has never read? Paul also writes to Timothy and tells him to think over what he writes (2 Tim 2:7). This implies he has read Paul’s words and should do so over and over again. If the Bible is God’s Word, then we should we make our life’s goal to know it inside and out. We should knows its every nook and cranny, the famous passages and the obscure ones. For to know well God’s Word is to know well the Author of the Word.

From: Are Christians Still a People of the Book?

1 Timothy 4:13
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.