Archive for April, 2007

It was a fight to read this chapter because I was fighting a migraine at the time.  But it served as a good reminder that progressive sanctification is not automatic, nor easy.  There is no passivism to be found in the Bible.  Hebrews 11 is full of people who acted because they believed.

Anyway, Ryle addresses why this is a good fight (1 Timothy 6:12).  He notes the horrible consequences of war in our world.  Consequences that have not changed.  People may choose to be pacifists when it comes to earthly conflicts.  But in our internal battle against sin, no Christian may be a pacifist or appeaser.  We are all to be soldiers of Christ.

Keep in mind, the battle is not between nations, or religions or theological squabbles.  The battle in view is the battle with the flesh, the world and the devil.  “But with a corrupt heart, a busy devil, and an ensnaring world, he must either ‘fight’ or be lost.”

Interestingly, he quotes “the wisest General that ever lived in England”.  I wish I knew to whom to attribute this great quote to, but: “In time of war it is the worst mistake to underrate your enemy, and try to make a little war.”  I can think of some politicians that need to read it.  But the point Ryle is making, and we need to hear, is that we must not underestimate the flesh, the world and the devil.  It is not a minor skirmish, or ‘police action’ or ‘act of terrorism’.  The battle against sin is a full-time, full-blown war.  It is not a hobby, or an option activity for the ‘serious’ Christian.

“Where there is grace there will be conflict.  …. There is no holiness without a warfare.  Saved souls will always be found to have fought a fight.”  This should cause us to recognize our own weakness before our foes.  How we need the work of Christ progressively applied to us by the Spirit through faith!  How we need to recognize it is all of grace, even as we dig in or press on.  We will feel the heat, and pressure, if we are to be purified and transformed.  As John Owen has said, “Be killing sin or it will kill you.”

The key, as Ryle notes, is faith.  Not generic faith- but a faith in Jesus.  We trust in his “person, work and office” as revealed by Scripture and portrayed in the Gospel.  We need our Prophet to reveal our sin, our Priest to cover our sin, and our King to kill our sin.  Faith is also rooted, as Piper often notes, in God’s promises.  We are to believe, and act upon, God’s promises for grace.

We are not alone in this fight, or at least should not be.  Sadly we tend to isolate ourselves from the very helps God has provided.  We have allies in the Word and Spirit.  God has joined them together (Calvin & Owen among others) though sinful men drive them apart.  We have allies in one another (Ephesians 6 speaks of tight ranks to oppose the foe).  Do not go it alone, but stand by your brothers and sisters.  And in the words of a great coach, “Fight, fight, fight!”

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PCA Report is In

I know… you’ve been staying up nights waiting for the PCA Report on the New Perspectives on Paul, and the Federal Vision.  Lay awake no longer- read on.

If you are like me, you don’t have the time to study every controversial subject.  I’ve done some homework on the NPP, and find the new perspectives wanting.  I have not done any work on the Federal Vision aside from the short (possibly misrepresenting) answer of “overly objective view of the covenant”.  But as I curl up with this report I will learn more.  This is not exciting reading, thus far, but important as these views make inroads in the Reformed community.  Have fun!

HT: Justin Taylor

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Moss A Patriot

It is still sinking in.  I hope this is Corey Dillon part 2.  I think the locker room leaders can keep Randy focused.  But I’m not sure I like it.

The good part of it?

It only cost us a 4th round pick.  I can’t believe the Raiders were willing to settle for that.

He took a huge pay cut!  He will “only” earn $3 million, which is a far cry from the $9+ million he was due to make.

“I think over the course of my career, I’ve made a lot of money,” said Moss. “I still have money in the bank. By me coming to an organization such as the New England Patriots, why would money be a factor?”  (from the Boston.com article)

He does give the Patriots a deep threat, and this does allow Chad Jackson time to heal, and then learn the system.  Last year’s suspect receiving corps is suspect no more.  But I’m still not sure I like it.  Ask me in Nov/Dec.

Update: It is all too clear what the CHB thinks (2 scathing columns already), great way to build relationships with new players Dan-o.  What does Tom Brady think?  His actions speak for themselves.  He restructured his deal to be able to bring Moss in.

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This video was supposed to be distributed at a church planting conference.  Well, it was not politically correct enough.  Mark tells the story here.

It contains typical Driscoll verbiage.  So, if that offends you- don’t watch it.  I’ve listened to it and don’t understand why some people are upset.  Folks make it sound like he drops f-bombs in the pulpit or something.  The Bible is coarse folks, ’cause we’re idolatrous whores.  So let’s get over it…

HT: Irish Calvinist

Update: And a small portion of Hades broke out on Reformissionary.  Congrats to Steve for shutting down the comments.  And the funny photoshop.

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Another U2 DVD

@U2 reports that Pop Mart: Live in Mexico City, previously available on VHS, will be released on DVD.  There will be the single disc, concert only version, and the 2-disc special edition.  It should be released in late June.  Since they don’t play many of these songs live anymore, I’m interested.

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Many people like me have wondered when the controversy regarding Penal Substitutionary Atonement would begin to divide groups and shatter alliances.  It has begun.  Adrian Warnock has been documenting how this has been taking shape in England.

The UCCF (University and Colleges Christian Fellowship) has been partnering with Spring Harvest to sponser Word Alive.  That partnership is over, at least in part because of Steve Chalke’s denial of the penal substitutionary atonement (his views have been echoed by, Jeffery John, McLaren and other emergent leaders).  UCCF did not want to include Chalke as a speaker, and Spring Harvest withdrew in defense of Chalke.

The book Pierced for Our Transgressions was written to defend the historic view that Jesus died, in part, to bear the wrath of God for our sin as a substitute in our place.  N.T. Wright has now criticized both Jeffery John and Pierced for Our Transgressions.  And the controversy rages on.

Adrian’s friend and mine, The Jollyblogger, interacts with the confusion around Wright’s statements.  I fear it is a matter of time before such actions find themselves to this side of the ocean.  I fear this because thus far no authoritative body has stepped up to affirm the penal substitutionary atonement and rebuke those who reject it.  Individuals like Piper, Dr. Nicole and other leaders have done this.  But unless groups do this, the false teaching regarding the atonement, and the odd perspectives that justify, will spread unhindered like gangrene (see 1 & 2 Timothy).


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“In France… Christianity was attacked with almost frenzied violence, there was no question of replacing it with another religion.  Passionate and persistent efforts were made to wean men away from the faith of their fathers, but once they had lost it, nothing was supplied to fill the void within…”  Alexis de Tocqueville

“But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue?  It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.”  Edmund Burke

Both quoted in Turning Points by Mark Noll

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