Monday, January 19, 2009

You Can't Judge a Book by It's Cover

As Mr. Challies demonstrates here. My first thought? "Scathing review coming." My last thought? "Hmmm, just might have to check this out."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Da' Truth and Life Conference

Yeah, it's been pretty freakin' awesome. J-Mac, Dr. Lutzer, and Dr. Ferguson, how much better does it get?

Granted, it isn't exactly dealing with an issue that I'm currently struggling with or having uncertainties about, but really good stuff nonetheless. And it kind of makes you think. There's no way I have this issue nailed down and that I've completely got this whole suffering thing under control. I mean, life may not be tough right now, but sooner or later, trials and pain are going to come. All God's people are, in one way or another, predestined to go through tribulations.

When said difficulties do come, though, by God's grace I'll be able to look back to this conference, and see that, no matter what is going on, God is somehow working all this out for good. Yeah, life can be pretty painful at times, but how awesome is it (as I've been reminded at this conference) to be able to rest in the fact that God is sovereign? My hurts aren't an abuse of free will or a lack of foresight on God's part. Nope, He planned them out for me, and there will be no reason for me to give in to sin, and despair, and hate.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Philosophical Tidbit of the Break

Philip Johnson writes in his brilliant yet all-but-over-my-head book, Reason in the Balance:

"(A) theory that is the product of a mind can never adequately explain the mind the produced the theory. . . Once we try to explain the mind as a product of its own discoveries, we are in a hall of mirrors with no exit."

That simple thought gave me great encouragement and comfort when I read it. In order to explain our own minds, the "theory" that created it must be beyond our comprehension. In other words, there must be a certain element of the truth that we cannot possibly understand.

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 'For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?'" (Romans 11:33-34)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

the weight of our words

So I've been listening to a band called Ivoryline recently, and while I'm not advocating them at all in this note, they really laid it down in a song called "Days End":

We should scream "thank you"
with every waking breath.
And cry "mercy! mercy" at every day's end.
Yet we remain quiet and comfortable in our A to B lives.
We're so quiet and comfortable in our A to B lives.

Our complacency won't last much longer.
An urgency will sweep, sweep, sweep
our sleep, sleep, sleeping hearts.
Our complacency won't last much longer.
An urgency will sweep.

It is then when we will cry for forgiveness,
yet not understand the weight of our words
nor the depth of His love.
But he will deliver. Failure is beneath him.
Yes, he will deliver. Failure's not an option.

First, the usual disclaimer: if I'm wrong on anything that follows, please correct me.

Now that last verse in particular hit me: "we will cry for forgiveness, yet not understand the weight of our words nor the depth of His love." Think about it, do we really understand the full depth of what we are asking when we come before God begging for forgiveness? Do we know exactly what we are saying when we sing "amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me"?

I think it's easy to toss around attributes of God in our prayers and songs without considering the full implications of what they mean.

"God, You are sovereign."

Okay, so do you trust, 24/7, in His promise to work everything out for your good?

"Lord, I deserve to go to hell; thank You so much for Your grace."

Right, so do you attack and despise the sin in your life as if even the tiniest violation was strong enough to damn you forever?

I don't want to sound postmodern, but it seems to me that one of the beautiful things about God is that we cannot completely understand Him. We've heard the gospel countless times in our life, but it should never get old or boring.

Why? Well, for one, there's the simple fact that we can hardly begin to wrap our minds around it all. Think about it: how do you feel every time you come back to the idea that Jesus Christ, God Himself, took the Father's wrath to save someone who had done nothing but hate Him? I don't care whether you've heard that for the first time or the millionth, the gospel should absolutely FLOOR you.

Just a few weeks ago it was Christmas time, a time when we celebrate the birth of Christ. Perhaps we should take a few solid moments to mediate on Immanuel: God with us.

Try understanding the weight of that name; the idea that the almighty Creator of the universe would be mindful of man--mere specks on an already tiny globe--and that He would actually enter into His creation and take the form of a man. Not only that, but He would come in a feeding trough behind an inn, wash people's feet, and suffer the worst injustice mankind has ever committed. And He would do this because of His love for rebels, thieves, murderers, and perverts like us.

What?!?!?! That doesn't make any sense.

Nope, not really. But how awesome is this God we serve?