Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Blessings of the New Covenant

During bible study tonight we spoke about infant-baptism. This is of interest to me as we have not formerly decided to baptise Noah just yet. I'm of the reformed position that believes that because Sarah and I are members, my children will receive the blessings of the New Covenant. However, the discussion went beyond baptism and to what it actually means to receive the blessings of the covenant. Some were strongly maintaining that children do in fact receive the blessings of the covenant, but that that does not include salvation. The blessings are love, prayer, and a biblical upbringing (among other things), but definitely not salvation.

I have to admit it makes me a little confused. I don't understand how one can receive the blessings of the new covenant and not have salvation. This means they do not actually know Christ. This seems to me to be the biggest and most fundamental blessing we receive under the new covenant. However, how can children receive salvation in Christ yet fall away when they are older? That has implications that my theology does not seem to coincide with either.

Much thinking to do over this one.

Decluttering

Sarah and I are in the process of getting rid of stuff that takes up space for no reason. I've just finished putting all my CD's into a super large CD wallet I bought today, and now I'm going to get rid of those pesky plastic covers. Do we really need them?

We also got rid of an unnecessary coffee table and cabinet today. There will be more throwing out of things these holidays.

Decluttering excites me. I dream of a clutterless world.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You forgot about the grace part.

A disciple can be forgiven if he does not have great mental ability. He can be forgiven also if he does not display outstanding prowess. But no disciple can be excused if he does not have zeal. If his heart is not aflame with red-hot passion for the Savior, he stands condemned.
William McDonald, True Discipleship

I am thankful that this statement is wrong. Upon reflection I realise that words such as these, although at the time when I read them were extremely challenging, actually take away from Christ's atoning work on the cross. I am forgiven for my lack of zeal. I am forgiven for everything. It's a good read, but in missing the grace factor actually misses what 'true discipleship' is all about.

I read this book about 6 years ago, and thought it was a must-read for everyone in this pew-warming age we live in. Though we still need kicks (many kicks) up the butt in this area, it's interesting how views can change. Hopefully it's a sign that I've grown :-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Imitating the Incarnation

John 1:14

"The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us"


Jesus came to the world as flesh, full of grace and truth in order to save it. Through the incarnation we have seen his glory and can become children of God. It is an astonishing example of lengths God has gone to in order to redeem his people and shows the extent of his love for us.

I currently live in Redfern, where for the past few years I have been involved in the local church trying to bring the message of Jesus to those living in this vibrant community. What Sarah and I have noticed significantly is the difference it has made living in the community. We live amongst those we are trying to love, and it enables us to build trust and further our relationships. Hopefully by living amongst them we can somehow become one of them (though we will aways be different), and through this they may recognize Jesus as the light of the world.

I believe this is a good model for living the gospel, as it is the model God used to save us.

I have more thoughts on this topic which I will post about later hopefully.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Reading Carson has become frustrating

I bought 'Christ and Culture' by Don Carson today after enjoying what I understood of his lectures at Moore earlier this year. I've read a few of his books before, but now I'm finding I read him like he lectures, and I hear his voice as I do it (kind of like in the movies when someone reads a letter from someone else). If you've heard Carson lecture before you'll understand what I am talking about, and why this is not a good thing.

Don't get me wrong, I think Carson is great, I just wish he spoke a little slower. It would make reading him much easier.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

gossip

"...there is as much wickedness in believing a lie as in telling it, if we are always ready to believe it"

Charles Spurgeon, God Will Bless You



Not too long ago I was humbled and rebuked when I realised I was guilty of partaking in gossip. I was not the person who spoke words about someone behind their back, but years ago was on the receiving end of some seriously incriminating words about a friend of mine. I kept these things to myself, until recently when speaking to him about a seperate issue I brought it up. His reply was, "Who told you that, and why the HELL did you believe them?"

His words hit me so hard. I was ashamed. What made it even harder was I was trying to rebuke him! For several years I had believed the slander spoken against him, and although I had not told anyone else I allowed it to form my opinions of him and I'm certain our relationship would have suffered because of it.

Gossip sucks, and unfortunately I am continually guilty of it, and not just by being a passive listener. I don't know what it is that makes partaking in gossip so tempting for us all. For me, perhaps it is the desire to know others are just as bad, or even worse. This would probably spring from my own insecurities. I'm not sure, but thank God I am saved by grace.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Are we really pro-life?

My understanding of the pro-life view amongst conservative Christians is that the fetus is human life, and therefore is worthy of the right to life as any human being.

But do we really believe this? I’ve heard the estimations for abortions per year are at about 70,000. The response of Christians is generally through seeking new legislation, the odd protest (though I don’t see them that often) and through counselling services for pregnant women and so forth. But would we react the same if we knew that 70,000 unwanted children between the age of 0 and 2 were being murdered each year through clincis sponsored by the state?

My assumption is that Christians would not react the same way as they do to abortion. I imagine we would be MUCH more horrified and seek to take matters into our own hands in order to save these children, even to the extent of using voilence.

Why do we not do a similar thing for a fetus? It is either because we see a clear distinction between the value of an unborn child and a human being, or we are not morally outraged enough at the slaughter of innocent human beings to follow through on our convictions.

Or have i missed something?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Scum of the earth, the refuse of the world

I love this passage of scripture. I was able to share it with my first year group at Moore today. It is from Paul as he rebukes the Corinthian church for their arrogance, and I find it both encouraging and a staunch rebuke at the same time:

For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the
procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a
spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for
Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are
honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are
in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own
hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when
we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.


I wonder what this ought to look like in my own life. How am I to be this type of person to the world? I ought to be thankful that it is what Jesus did on the cross that makes me his disciple, not my attempts at being like Paul and Jesus. However, I am still rebuked by the life of faithfulness and humility that this passage represents, and desire it for my own life

Lazy or not my gift?

I struggle to work hard at the desk. I just can't sit down for long. I get fidgety after ten minutes and want to talk to someone or do something. I have the concentration span of a puppy. 1st Semester of a 4 year degree and I think I've had enough. I spend more time on the ping pong table than I do studying while I'm at colllege (I know it's a worry when I'm thinking more about the ping pong player I'll be at the end of four years than the theologian).

I'm wondering if it is because I am lazy or studying is just not my gift. I'm probably lazy, and just need to put my head down and hit the books. I don't desire to be an acedemic, nor do I think I'm capable, but I think it's time I quit procrastinating and just do my work.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My First Post

This blog could either be a huge waste of time, or somehow fruitful. I'm hoping the latter, but my gut is telling me the former.

It is my second attempt at a blog. The first one lasted twenty minutes until I realised I have nothing of value to say that isn't already being said elsewhere. What's changed? Nothing. Why then am I blogging? See above

I'm actually hoping it will help me to communicate my thought better, something I struggle at both verbally and in written form. We'll see how it goes.