Saturday, 30 August 2008
Thursday, August 28th, 2008
Today in theological debate, mentioning Adam and Eve is likely to get you into discussion about the interpretation of Genesis 1, the age of the earth, or whether the Fall was a real historical event.
There was a time, however, when you’d have been pinned to the wall by your sparring partner and forced to declare your position on the thorny issue of whether or not Adam and Eve had navels. While Monks spent time literally 'navel gazing' over the puzzle in the quiet of their monasteries, fierce rival factions warred outside over what they took to be a key theological battleground. When Michelangelo painted Adam with a navel on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he was labelled a heretic by some theologians. In 1646, Sir Thomas Browne an English philosopher published his Pseudodoxia Epidemica in which a whole chapter was dedicated to the evils of ‘Pictures of Adam and Eve with Navels’, describing it a ‘vulgar error’.
Michelangelo dares to paint Adam's navel on the roof of the Sistine Chapel.
The opposite team argued hard for Adam and Eve’s belly buttons, laughing-off accusations that they must have pictured God with one since the our first parents were made in His image. Unfortunately, this group had to deal with some internal politics as three distinct camps emerged; the pre-umbilicists, mid-umbilicists, and post-umbilicists. The first group assumed that Adam and Eve were created with navels (usually in order to give the appearance of prior history, solving the infamous chicken and egg connundrum); the second posited that surely Adam’s navel was created when the Lord removed his rib to create Eve, and Eve went without; the third places the umbilicus on the pair after the Fall as a reminder that they’d been severed from the Lord, just as a child would be severed from his mother at birth.
The debate over whether Adam and Eve’s navels were intrusions (innies) or protrusions (outies) is still simmering in theology faculties around the country.
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
this is the book:
IF you are a minister/pastor/any form of leader requiring you to be heavily pastoral - I strongly recommend this as a fantastic starting point!
The experimental or experiential aspect of the Christian life has been seriously neglected during the present century. Certain factors and tendencies have led to this unfortunate condition. Chief among these has been a superficial evangelism which has neglected real conviction of sin and repentance and encouraged an easy believism. Secondly, there has been a theory of sanctification, more psychological than spiritual and scriptural, which has discouraged self-examination and taught that we have only to 'leave it to the Lord.' Thirdly, and more recently, has been an unbalanced emphasis on intellectual understanding of Truth, the social application of Truth, and the manifestation of particular spiritual gifts. All this has greatly impoverished the spiritual life of both the individual Christian and the churches, and led to coldness, barrenness, and loss of power. The greatest need of the hour is a return to the emphases of the Evangelical Awakening. It is in the belief that this classic of the spiritual life and warfare can greatly stimulate and hasten that return that I encouraged my wife to translate it, and am now happy to commend it, and to advise all Christians to read it.I would particularly urge ministers and pastors to read it, not only because it will prove to be an invaluable help in what is now called counselling of individuals, but also because I would press upon them the importance of introducing such meetings into the life of their churches.
Much untold blessing would follow. - Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones
10 questions based on that - which I recommend you get at least 1 other Christian to ask you every single week. (This is something like what they do at Farm Fellowship)
- How is our daily Bible reading going? How are we putting the Bible into practise?
- How is our prayer life going? How long are we spending in prayer? What are we praying for? How have our prayers been answered?
- How is our holiness coming along? What sins are we aware of and how are we dealing with them? Have we confessed and forsaken them?
- Have we built new relationships?
- How have we served and loved others this week? What practical help have we given to those in need?
- Have we shared our story with anyone this week?
- Have we shared the story of Jesus with anyone this week?
- Who have we invited to church this week?
- How are we praying for the people on our Impact List? What have we done to reach the key person on our Impact List?
- How are we developing our particular style of reaching out to others? Are we learning new ways to serve others, explain the Bible, tell our story?
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
The sovereignty of God has drawn out some of the deepest thinking from the Christian church. The classic question of divine sovereignty for the church has been the problem of injustice.
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Monday, 11 August 2008
Recently I've been talking a little with this fella called David Congdon on the term perichoresis: check out the comments I had with him. I'd like your view on the word - he seems to like the distinction of 'actualistic ontology' which I'm not familiar with. Any person want to clarify?
Friday, 8 August 2008
A holy life is inclined to be made easier when we know the usual sequence and method of our duties - with everything falling into its proper place. Therefore, I shall give some brief directions for spending the day in a holy manner.
Measure the time of your sleep appropriately so that you do not waste your precious morning hours sluggishly in your bed. Let the time of your sleep be matched to your health and labour, and not to slothful pleasure.
Let God have your first awaking thoughts; lift up your hearts to Him reverently and thankfully for the rest enjoyed the night before and cast yourself upon Him for the day which follows.
Familiarise yourself so consistently to this that your conscience may check you when common thoughts shall first intrude. Think of the mercy of a night's rest and of how many that have spent that night in Hell; how many in prison; how many in cold, hard lodgings; how many suffering from agonising pains and sickness, weary of their beds and of their lives.
Think of how many souls were that night called from their bodies terrifyingly to appear before God and think how quickly days and nights are rolling on! How speedily your last night and day will come! Observe that which is lacking in the preparedness of your soul for such a time and seek it without delay.
Let prayer by yourself alone (or with your partner) take place before the collective prayer of the family. If possible let it be first, before any work of the day.
Let family worship be performed consistently and at a time when it is most likely for the family to be free of interruptions.
Remember your ultimate purpose, and when you set yourself to your day's work or approach any activity in the world, let HOLINESS TO THE LORD be written upon your hearts in all that you do. Do no activity which you cannot entitle God to, and truly say that he set you about it, and do nothing in the world for any other ultimate purpose than to please, glorify and enjoy Him. "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31.
Diligence in Your Calling.
Follow the tasks of your calling carefully and diligently. Thus:
(a) You will show that you are not sluggish and servants to your flesh (as those that cannot deny it ease), and you will further the putting to death of all the fleshly lusts and desires that are fed by ease and idleness.
(b) You will keep out idle thoughts from your mind, that swarm in the minds of idle persons.
(c) You will not lose precious time, something that idle persons are daily guilty of.
(d) You will be in a way of obedience to God when the slothful are in constant sins of omission.
(e) You may have more time to spend in holy duties if you follow your occupation diligently. Idle persons have no time for praying and reading because they lose time by loitering at their work.
(f) You may expect God's blessing and comfortable provision for both yourself and your families.
(g) it may also encourage the health of your body which will increase its competence for the service of your soul.
Temptations and Things That Corrupt
Be thoroughly acquainted with your temptations and the things that may corrupt you - and watch against them all day long. You should watch especially the most dangerous of the things that corrupt, and those temptations that either your company or business will unavoidably lay before you.
Watch against the master sins of unbelief: hypocrisy, selfishness, pride, flesh pleasing and the excessive love of earthly things. Take care against being drawn into earthly mindedness and excessive cares, or covetous designs for rising in the world, under the pretence of diligence in your calling.
If you are to trade or deal with others, be vigilant against selfishness and all that smacks of injustice or uncharitableness. In all your dealings with others, watch against the temptation of empty and idle talking. Watch also against those persons who would tempt you to anger. Maintain that modesty and cleanness of speech that the laws of purity require. If you converse with flatterers, be on your guard against swelling pride.
If you converse with those that despise and injure you, strengthen yourself against impatient, revengeful pride.
At first these things will be very difficult, while sin has any strength in you, but once you have grasped a continual awareness of the poisonous danger of any one of these sins, your heart will readily and easily avoid them.
When alone in your occupations, improve the time in practical and beneficial meditations. Meditate upon the infinite goodness and perfections of God; Christ and redemption; Heaven and how unworthy you are of going there and how you deserve eternal misery in Hell.
The Only Motive
Whatever you are doing, in company or alone, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Otherwise, it is unacceptable to God.
Redeeming The Time
Place a high value upon your time, be more careful of not losing it than you would of losing your money. Do not let worthless recreations, idle talk, unprofitable company, or sleep rob you of your precious time.
Be more careful to escape that person, action or course of life that would rob you of your time than you would be to escape thieves and robbers.
Make sure that you are not merely never idle, but rather that you are using your time in the most profitable way that you can and do not prefer a less profitable way before one of greater profit.
Eating and Drinking
Eat and drink with moderation and thankfulness for health, not for unprofitable pleasure. Never please your appetite in food or drink when it is prone to be detrimental to your health.
Remember the sin of Sodom: "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food and abundance of idleness" - Ezekiel 16:49.
The Apostle Paul wept when he mentioned those "whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame -- who set their minds on earthly things, being enemies to the cross of Christ" - Philippians 3:18-19. O then do not live according to the flesh lest you die (Romans 8:13).
If any temptation prevails against you and you fall into any sins in addition to habitual failures, immediately lament it and confess it to God; repent quickly whatever the cost. It will certainly cost you more if you continue in sin and remain unrepentant.
Do not make light of your habitual failures, but confess them and daily strive against them, taking care not to aggravate them by unrepentance and contempt.
Remember every day the special duties of various relationships: whether as husbands, wives, children, masters, servants, pastors, people, magistrates, subjects.
Remember every relationship has its special duty and its advantage for the doing of some good. God requires your faithfulness in this matter as well as in any other duty.
Closing the Day
Before returning to sleep, it is wise and necessary to review the actions and mercies of the day past, so that you may be thankful for all the special mercies and humbled for all your sins.
This is necessary in order that you might renew your repentance as well as your resolve for obedience, and in order that you may examine yourself to see whether your soul grew better or worse, whether sin goes down and grace goes up and whether you are better prepared for suffering, death and eternity.
May these directions be engraven upon your mind and be made the daily practice of your life
If sincerely adhered to, these will be conducive to the holiness, fruitfulness and quietness of your life and add to you a comfortable and peaceful death.
Sunday, 3 August 2008
Paul Blackham preaching every week, as long as he needs, & uncut:
Go visit them if you can! You will never ever regret it!