Tuesday, 31 January 2012

ears to hear

...by preaching in parables, Jesus is issuing a new sort of calling. He called Simon, Andrew, James and John by the sea [Mark 1:6-20] and then Levi [Mark 1:13-17] and then chose the twelve [Mark 3:13-19]. Now that those callings have been issued, He is teaching by the seashore, issuing a general call for those with ears to hear. (p86 The Victory According to Mark).

Friday, 20 January 2012

Social Media and the Christian

Some thoughts from Doug Wilson:

Or John Piper's perspective: “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.” 

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

It smacks of ...

Smacking is in the news again this side of the pond thanks to Corrie. 
On the other side of the pond it seems that smacking is also taking a good hiding in Christianity Today. This is in the wake of some high profile cases where children have been murdered by their parents.
This blog post, in response, is one of the best I have read in a while on the smacking debate. All 'Evangelical' Christians should read it!
It begins: 
Knives are necessary to cut meat and bread. Every once in a while, knives are used to kill people. Can we all agree knives aren't the problem? Please? Pretty please?
The abuse of a thing does not invalidate its proper use.
It all puts me in mind of Goldie Lookin Chain's immortal song: 'Guns don't kill people, rappers do; I saw it in a documentary on Radio 2'. 
Anyway ... they are right. The Bayly Brothers not Goldie Lookin Chain. We in the UK need to hear what they are saying and seek God's help to act faithfully. 

HT Steve Jeffrey via Facebook. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Are you using the Now Individual Version?

Instead of seeing Scripture as a most holy collection of the Church's covenant documents, we tend to see it as a grab-bag of inspirational quotes for personal victorious living.  
p 33 A Primer on Worship and Reformation: Recovering the High Church Puritan

Holiness in the Ozone Layer

Our holiness is our primary environmental contribution - for was it not when sin entered that environment corrupted. 
p37 Isaiah By The Day

Monday, 9 January 2012

too glad to be true!

Aim to be more Puritanical this week!
“Relief and buoyancy are the characteristic notes . . . It follows that nearly every association which now clings to the word puritan has to be eliminated when we are thinking of the early Protestants. Whatever they were, they were not sour, gloomy, or severe; nor did their enemies bring any such charge against them . . . Fore More, a Protestant was one ‘dronke of the new must of lewd lightnes of minde and vayne gladness of harte’ . . . Protestantism was not too grim, but too glad, to be true . . . Protestants are not ascetics but sensualists.”

English Literature In The Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama. First Edition : 1954 - Hardback In Jacket

Sunday, 8 January 2012

The first day

BUT SUNDAY IS THE DAY ON WHICH WE ALL HOLD our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.

Justin Martyr
(taken from Credenda Agenda Vol 12 No. 2)

Sabbath Keeping

What Jesus was doing on the Sabbath was certainly in conflict with the Jewish interpretation of the law, even as we find it in the so-called halacha. . . . But Jesus’ actions were not in conflict with the law itself. On the contrary, what He did on the Sabbath and what He said about the Sabbath corresponded completely to that joy and restoration characterizing the Sabbath day prescribed in the Old Testament.

J. Douma
[taken from Credenda Agenda Vol 12 No. 2]

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Give thanks ... His Love endures Forever!

Psalm 136 rocks.

The Falconer Report & Euthanasia

What colour is your Sunday?

At what event must we not laugh, not run, not talk, not play, not work, and “not do anything else”? At a funeral. For the longest time, traditional Protestant expressions of the Sabbath have been expressions of pure funeral behavior.

The Sabbath is supposed to be the best day of the week. It is supposed to give us a glimpse of peace and paradise, a glimpse back to Eden and forward to heaven. It is supposed to capture all the color and harmony of the Christian faith. And notice what we do. We turn to our children and show them a funeral. This is the faith, we say. This is how the gospel inspires you. No wonder they abandon the faith in apathy. Who has ever moved mountains by delighting in a funeral?
Worship itself is a renewal of our bond with God. He calls us to meet Him at worship; we confess our sins; He embraces us in forgiveness, changes us, and sends us forth again to conquer. So how does Scripture picture that bond with God? It’s certainly not a funeral. It’s a wedding. 
[Douglas Jones in Credenda Agenda Vol 12 No 2

Thursday, 5 January 2012

I live for & I really want ... what?

Jesus & Liberation

Jesus offered true liberation. Slaughtering animals for the forgiveness of sins must have been economic bondage for the Israelites. Doing so in Capernaum meant that a region far from a central sanctuary had suddenly been brought near to God. This should have prompted much rejoicing. For some it did (Mark 2:12). (The Victory According to Mark p50)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Your sins are forgiven

(commenting on Mark 2:5):

The scribes and the Pharisees knew that sins could be forgiven. Indeed, they even knew that men who had received such authority from God could bestow such forgiveness. Leviticus is quite clear: 'So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him' (Lev. 5:10). But Jesus is neither a priest, nor at the alter in the forecourt of the Temple, nor offering blood there on behalf of the one seeking forgiveness. Far away from Jerusalem and the Temple, without any ancestry in the tribe of Levi and lacking any sacrificial blood to display to God, Jesus forgave the paralytics's sins by merely a word. (The Victory According to Mark p50)

Sunday, 1 January 2012


I'm not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions. 
But this cartoon reminds me of one very positive aspect about them. Humility. 

And this is just plain funny.

Well, I think so.
Happy New Year!