Though it isn’t the most delicate metaphor in the world, I have been grumbling of late about our propensity, especially in the Reformed world I am happily a part of, to suffer from spiritual constipation. This condition is what happens when we take in with our minds all manner of healthy theological food. We read the best books, attend the best conferences, and download the best podcasts. We take in and take in and take in. But all that information, that glorious, God-honoring, biblically sound information gets stuck in our heads. It doesn’t pass through our systems, entering our hearts and coming out our hands. We are a people of sound mind and cold heart.
Are husbands/fathers called to be priests in their homes? Yes and no. If we mean by “priest” one who intercedes for others, beseeching the blessing of God, of course fathers should be priests in their homes. We’re called to pray for our families, to storm the very throne room of heaven on behalf of those whom He has placed under our care. I can’t begin to imagine how anyone could have an objection to this. I will be first in line to object, however, to any notion that a husband or father stands as a mediator between God and man. That is strictly the work of our elder brother, Jesus. While I certainly hope to be used in my children’s lives as an agent of grace, a means in our Lord’s hands to help my children mature in their faith, I never want to stand between them and the Lord….
It is, in one sense, a simple enough question to answer. When you remember that we are wicked enough to murder our own children it makes sense that we are also wicked enough to not be terribly concerned about the murder of children. Thus the answer to the question – why are Christians so profoundly unmoved by the murder of babies? – is this – sin. We are outside of wombs and therefore safe, and struggle to have compassion on those who are in danger.
To too many the creeds are a dusty vestige of a happily distant past. They were written centuries ago, born out of abstract battles whose players we can’t even name. Isn’t it just better to love each other and not get caught up in all those silly questions?
It’s a strange phenomenon. I’ve written here on the sacred cows of evangelical social media, those themes that simply cannot be talked about without a sharp uptick in heat and a deep drop in light. Of late I’ve virtually set up camp on one of those third rails, considering on both my blog and my podcast issues related to various military engagements around the globe. I’m concerned that because some on the left instinctively hate America and in turn grumble every time a soldier takes up arms that we have lost the ability to think through important moral issues, none more important than the principles of just war. We have become reactionary, jingoistic, and profoundly emotional right where we ought to be most careful and dispassionate.
I’ve been blessed, over the years, to teach a number of the Great Works courses here at Reformation Bible College. It is my contention that we ought to cover the great books of western civilization not so we can prepare our students to join in what some call the “great conversation” that back and forth over the centuries that seeks to answer the most foundational questions of our nature, purpose and end. Instead I want to prepare them for the “great confrontation.” I teach in light of the antithesis, the battle between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent that began in Eden and ends with the end of history. I want our students to understand the culture they are living in, the ideological water they are swimming in, so that they might both guard their hearts and press the crown rights of King Jesus.
We are all tempted to be practical deists. The deists were the poster children for god-of-the-gaps theology. That is, because they wanted the universe to make sense, but didn’t want to have to answer to the living God, they posited a creator god (for how else could we have gotten here?) who, after creating the universe, took a walk, never to return. God explains the universe, but is not active in it. If He’s watching at all, it is from a distance, and with a deep indifference.
One of the many blessings of having eight children is how frequently I get to remember how very little I understand the trinity. Indeed I regularly tell my students at Reformation Bible College, “If you think you understand the trinity, that is one sure sign that you do not.” The doctrine of the trinity is not an affirmation of a contradiction, that three equals one. It is, however, the greatest mystery, and I argue, the very Rosetta Stone of reality, the key to understanding all that He has made.
How important it is to not allow our grasp of man’s total depravity to cause us to miss the remnants of the image of God in us. We are plenty bad. Sin touches every part of our being, and makes us utterly unable to do anything in ourselves, by ourselves pleasing to God, including coming to faith on our own. We do not, however, run in precisely the opposite direction of where we should be running. Romans 1, wherein Paul’s chief goal is to explain the universal guilt of man, for instance, tells us not that man, made to worship God, in his sin merely refuses to worship God, but rather says we worship the creature rather than the Creator. Because we’re fallen we won’t worship God. Because we bear His image, however, we will worship. Even at Babel they didn’t merely turn their back on the dominion mandate but…
Does the biblical truth that “death came through Adam” preclude the possibility of an old earth? Before I address the question please allow me to lay down my bona fides. I believe in a young earth and in six literal days of creation. I believe Adam was fashioned out of the dust of the ground, and Eve from Adam’s rib. I have believed all of this for at least 25 years. And I’m not in danger of changing my mind on the issue any time soon.