October2012Archive for

God in the Dark

The Kingdom Notes

Written 2008 When I travelled to Myanmar last month, I was asked what prompted my decision to go. I told my questioner, “I get to see God’s grace at work in some surprising places.” One of the most surprising is my own heart. That is, it takes God’s grace to teach fools like me that we should never be surprised where God’s grace is at work. I’m writing not just from prison, but from one of the most notorious prisons in America. Angola Prison in Louisiana was once considered the darkest prison in the country. Ninety percent of the men sent here will leave in a casket. Seventeen years ago, within a prison population of roughly 5000 men, there were 500 assaults among the prisoners in a year. A year ago there were 50. Three things happened in the interim.  Warden Cain came here thirteen years ago. He determined to…

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation

The Kingdom Notes

In January we will face a most grim anniversary. Within a matter of months we will have lived through a full generation of legalized abortion across our nation. Forty years and over fifty million tiny little babies intentionally murdered by paid assassins, at the request of their mothers. Few would challenge that Francis Schaeffer was the father of the evangelical pro-life movement. It was he who first commented on the intersection of the world of abortion, and the church when he said, “In front of every abortion clinic there needs to be a sign that reads, ‘Here by permission of the Church.’” Why is it that forty years later we have made no progress? Why are we no closer to ending this holocaust then we were forty years ago? The key to the answer is found in Schaeffer’s quote. We still have abortion because we permit it. We permit, I would suggest,…

Some Straight Skinny on Crooked Thinking

The Kingdom Notes

We serve an exponential God. He who made everything out of nothing does not increase through addition, but through multiplication. We move from faith to faith, from grace to grace, from blessing to blessing. The more we grow in grace the more blessed we are. The more blessed we are, the more we grow in grace. All of this reaches its crescendo when we reach eternity. We will be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. This exponential reality, however, applies to His woe as well as to His weal, to cursings as it does to blessings.  For those yet outside of Christ one of the gravest judgments over sin is being given over to sin. Those outside the kingdom find themselves circling ever lower toward that vortex that is the Lake of Fire. Consider Pharaoh. Here is a man deeply blessed of God, not only made…

Oops, We Did It Again

The Kingdom Notes

The RC Sproul Jr. Principle of Hermeneutics does not just work with the historical passages of Scripture. It should always be in play. The principle reads, in its most basic form, “Whenever you see someone doing something really stupid in the Bible, do not ask, ‘How can they be so stupid?’ Instead ask, ‘How am I this stupid?’” There are illustrations galore in both the Old and New Testaments of people doing really stupid stuff, even as our own lives are living illustrations. That’s because we’re stupid creatures, hence the principle. But it also works in the abstract. That is, those parts of the Bible that are teaching us, rather than recounting history, work the same way. In Romans 1, for instance, Paul describes the response of fallen man to the wretchedness of his condition. He knows there is a God. He knows he stands guilty before God. But to…

The Way of the World

The Kingdom Notes

It’s never hard to pick a fight on the internet. The real challenge is to avoid one, particularly during election season. All my friends agree President Obama needs to get on with his life’s work. Ninety percent of my friends think voting for Governor Romney is how to get that done. And some of them are hopping mad at the other ten percent. They insist that if we don’t learn to get along, if we don’t all get on the same political bandwagon, bad things will happen. They can’t understand why we can’t get along like the heathen. For which I now propose some good news. No, try as I have, I have been unable so far to unite the evangelical right around this rather simple creed- No man not eager to use every power of his office to protect every unborn child will receive my vote.  We evangelicals are still…

Salt, Light, Fire and Brimstone- A Thought Experiment

The Kingdom Notes

Imagine if you will that you are Lot, living in a wicked culture caught up in abominable perversity. You seek, at least a little, to serve the Lord while living there. You and your neighbors are about to choose your leader for the next four years. One candidate not only embraces perversion, but champions it. His desire is that the state should tax all the people to subsidize the practice of their perversion. He believes the state should indoctrinate the children to embrace this perversion, and to judge as hateful enemies of liberty all those who call perversion perversion. Liberty, to this candidate, is allowing adult perverts to practice their perversion on all little children. A second candidate is more circumspect.  He does not champion perversion. He is not at all eager to see the state subsidize perversion. Broadly speaking he thinks perversion is generally a bad thing. But, he does…

How can we pray for you in light of the passing of your daughter?

Ask R.C.

As always I give thanks for the prayers of God’s saints on my family’s behalf. One of the best lessons learned over months of mourning has been the experience of being held up by the prayers of the saints. We who are Reformed aren’t always the most adept pray-ers. Being on the receiving end, however, makes me long to do better. Thank you for your prayers and every other offer of helps. In the hopes of giving specific answers to this common and welcome question- how can we help- here are five peculiar challenges we are now facing. Fear in my little ones. The passing of both my wife and my little girl has brought forth fruitful conversations with all my children. The littler ones, however, are the most open and honest. They are at peace, but I am not surprised that they sometimes find themselves wondering, “Who is next?”…

The Exceeding Sinfulness of Sin

The Kingdom Notes

One of the many blessings of having eight children is all that you learn about sin. Though my children are sinners, my point isn’t a snickering allusion to that reality, suggesting that all those children mean an awful lot of sin. Instead all those children make for far too many opportunities for me to sin. Better still, all those children give me opportunity to see the ugliness of my sin. One of the dangers of hamartiology, the study of sin, is that it turns sin into an abstract quality. If we were to take roadkill and stick it under a microscope we would see all manner of interesting little creatures. Were our microscope strong enough we might see cell walls or mitochondria. What we would miss is the ugliness of roadkill. By looking at it too closely, we miss what it really is. The same is true with our sin….