Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted

April 1, 2010

I heard and sang this hymn of Thomas Kelly for the first time last Sunday. It is fitting for Passion Week as we consider the death of our Savior.

Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See Him dying on the tree!
‘Tis the Christ by man rejected;
Yes, my soul, ‘tis He, ‘tis He!
‘Tis the long-expected prophet,
David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
By His Son, God now has spoken
Tis the true and faithful Word.

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Holy God, We Praise Thy Name

March 28, 2010

This hymn, translated from the German Grosser Gott, comes from the venerable Te Deum. I regret that I learned it only recently. It should be better known.

Holy God, we praise thy Name;
   Lord of all, we bow before thee!
All on earth thy scepter claim,
   all in heaven above adore thee;
Infinite thy vast domain,
   everlasting is thy reign.
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Personal God

August 15, 2009

As part of my requirements for this seminary term, I am reading Douglas Moo’s commentary on Romans. Today, in his discussion of Romans 5:10, I ran across the following with regard to our reconciliation with God:

The language of reconciliation is seldom used in other religions because the relationship between human beings and the deity is not conceived there in the personal categories for which the language is appropriate. (p.311)

This caught my attention, and as I began to ponder it, I immediately thought of God walking with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

This points to a couple of the important things that distinguishes our God from other gods: He is a personal God, and He is interested in fellowship with the persons that He has created. His interest in us is so great that when the fellowship was broken because of our sin, then even though we were ungodly and helpless, He sent Jesus Christ to die in our place that we might be justified and reconciled to God.

Who is like unto our God?

I hope that you have a blessed Lord’s Day.

The Significance of Preunderstanding

March 7, 2009

I have often observed that, especially in ambiguous situations, we tend to see what we expect to see. For example, in personal relationships, we tend to interpret a person’s ambiguous comment in light of how we expect the person to behave towards and speak to us.

I do not recall considering a similar predilection with regard to Biblical interpretation and theology … until now. As part of my seminary class assignments, I am currently reading Bock’s Three Views on the Millenium and Beyond (Zondervan 1999). In Craig Blaising’s main piece on premillenialism, I ran across a term, “preunderstanding,” that was new to me. Here is an excerpt of what Blaising wrote: Read the rest of this entry »

Perspective: Elections, Choices & the Gospel

November 4, 2008

[T]he things which are seen are temporal,
but the things which are not seen are eternal.
— 2 Corinthians 4:18

As I write this, today is Election Day. Truth be told, I have been rather discouraged at the prospect, for I am unhappy with the nominees of both major political parties. I do not find reason to believe that either one has an adequate grasp of or commitment to the God-given rights of life, liberty, and property or the fundamental principles of limited, Constitutional government on which our federal republic was founded. Yet some perspective is important.

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Try Jesus

June 18, 2008

Riding the bus to work some time back, I noticed a car with several religious bumper stickers, as well as the Ichthus, displayed on the back. The bumper sticker that caught my attention read simply, “Try Jesus.” As I began to consider that short clause, it began to bother me–greatly. As I have continued to think about these issues, my concerns have come to focus on two main areas: (1) the accuracy of the impression that it conveys about Jesus Christ and (2) what such usage says about those who use it.

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