Where is Jesus Christ?

A great story from D. A. Carson. Sometimes it takes a Muslim to show us who Jesus Christ really is….

Building Jerusalem

Don Carson shares the following story in his book, The God who is there.

My first degree was in chemistry and mathematics at McGill University in Montreal. Somewhere along the line I befriended a wonderful Pakistani gentleman. He was twice as old as I was. He had come to McGill to do a PhD in Islamic Studies. (McGill had, and still has, a very fine Islamic institute.) He had left his wife and two children behind in Pakistan, so he was lonely. Over time I befriended him. After a while it dawned on me that he was trying to convert me to Islam. I thought that I should return the favor, but I soon found myself out of my depth in debate, for he was a trained Muslim theologian while I was studying chemistry.

I remember walking with him one night down Mount Royal along University Avenue to Pine Avenue…

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Ambrose on The Incarnation: The Ancient Christian Quotes Series

People rarely read the great theologians before the Reformation, but I humbly invite you to read this reposted from Musings of a Blue Collar Christian

Reflections Of A Blue Collar Christian

IMG_0671 I took this picture at an ancient Church in Trier, Germany. Ambrosius Alexandrinus, a Latinization of the name of Ambrose of Alexandria (before 212–c. 250)

This quote is the first of  a series of quotes I will be posting from the Church Fathers and other ancient Christians.     

“He was a baby and a child, so that you may be a perfect human. He was wrapped swaddling clothes, so that you may be freed from the snares of death. He was in a manger, so that you may be in the alter. He was on earth that you may be in the stars. He had no other place in the inn, so that you may have many mansions in the heavens. He, being rich, became poor for your sakes, that through his poverty you might be rich. Therefore his poverty is our inheritance, and the Lord’s weakness is our…

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BOOK REVIEW – – –  FAVOR: Finding Life at the Center of God’s Affection   By Greg Gilbert (Baker Books; 2017)

Favor by Southern Baptist pastor Greg Gilbert is written to try to show the true purpose and meaning of the term “favor of (with) God.”  Gilbert makes a strong case in this book that the biblical term has sadly been co-opted by the “health and wealth” preachers and authors to mean some kind of special rewards or blessings that God bestows on those Christians who demonstrate exemplary “faith” and “works” to earn God’s special attention and delight.  But Gilbert strongly argues in the first section of the book called “Favor With God and How to Get It,” that the description provided by the “health and wealth” preachers is directly counter to what the Bible says God’s favor truly is.  In short, God’s favor is already demonstrated for every believer, because God’s favor with Christians in based on His favor toward His Son, Jesus.  So, the really good news of the Gospel is that we have nothing to earn or do to get special attention or affection from God, because Jesus has already earned all of that for us through His earthly ministry of living a perfect human life, and His sacrifice on the Cross and subsequent Resurrection.  This truth was strongly taught by the Reformers and all conservative biblical scholars since.  Gilbert makes this point understandable to laymen by using Jesus’ own description of the “vine and branches.”  As taught by Jesus in the Gospel of John, and as expanded on by the Apostles Paul and John especially; a branch has no life on its own apart from the parent vine.  But when the lifeless branch is grafted in to the healthy vine, those branches take on the same life and fruit-bearing abilities of the Vine — Jesus.

Then in Part Two, Gilbert describes the main benefits that Christians will find by really recognizing and living out the truths of the Bible in regards to being united to Christ.  Chapters in this section cover benefits like contentment, peace with God, new Life, and the power to fight for our own souls and those of others as favored sons and daughters of the One True King.

Favor is a short book of less than 100 pages, but packs heaps of truths and encouragement on every page.  While written specifically for both young and mature believers, pastors and ministry leaders will also find much here to use to strengthen their own faith and better feed the people God has assigned to them.  Highly recommended.

Come To Me: Part One

Good article reposted from Musings of a Blue Collar Christian. It truly is easier ( not always easy) to follow Christ than to go in your own strength!…..

Reflections Of A Blue Collar Christian

IMG_0764

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

Jesus came into the world to save his people from their sins and to give them rest for their souls. He offers a yoke to wear on our shoulders, and not just any yoke but His yoke. A yoke was placed on the shoulders of an animal to help them to pull a heavy load. All yokes were designed to make the burden of pulling or plowing less painful. The Jewish Rabbis spoke of the Law as a yoke. And obedience to the law was a requirement to be in right standing with God. But, unlike the Pharisees who added their traditions…

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When God Lingers

A wonderful article about our need to trust God and wait for Him to work His will. Very convicting for me, as I too often see God’s delays as Him not caring for me. Worth a read!

David W. Swanson

Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. [Habakkuk 2:2-3]

Habakkuk, a prophet in Judah, begins his book by complaining to God about the violence and injustice that was rampant among his fellow-Israelites. God replies that he will raise up the nation of Babylon to punish Judah’s unfaithfulness. This is not quite the response that Habakkuk was looking for; it seems far too harsh, one form of injustice in place of another: “Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? “(2:13)

I think we can relate to Habakkuk’s complaint. We too grieve over the violence and injustice…

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God’s Redemptive Purpose

A lengthy but worthwhile review/analysis of Hugh Ross and his view of creation as opposed to people like Ken Ham

Musings on Science and Theology

Hugh Ross provides a clear description of his view of old-earth progressive creation in Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design. He has a high regard for the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, but this takes him in a direction quite different from that described by Ken Ham in the opening chapter. Ken Ham’s understanding of Scripture is shaped by his view of creation (perfect creation), fall, redemption and new creation. The manner in which he views this narrative and his emphasis on a young earth interpretation are internally coherent for the most part. There are some inconsistencies in Scripture (internal “problems” to be resolved), but the biggest challenge comes from modern science – physics, geology, archaeology, chemistry, biology, cosmology and linguistics for starters.

Hugh Ross’s view of the biblical narrative is slightly different … he sees the overarching narrative as one of preparation. God is preparing his…

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Sunday Meditation – The Gardener’s Rose

It seems this time of year we lose many close to our hearts. So, some wise and comforting words from Charles Spurgeon

James Attebury

I remember at a funeral of a friend hearing a pretty parable which I have told before, and will tell again. There was much weeping on account of the loss of a loved one, and the minister put it thus. He said, “Suppose you are a gardener employed by another; it is not your garden, but you are called upon to tend it, and you have your wages paid to you. You have taken great care with a certain number of roses; you have trained them up, and there they are, blooming in their beauty. You pride yourself in them. You come one morning into the garden, and you find that the best rose has been taken away. You are angry: you go to your fellow servants and accuse them with having taken the rose. They will declare that they had nothing at all to do with it; and one…

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Book Review: Edward M. Curtis, Interpreting the Wisdom Books

A helpful book review ( for those interested in that sort of thing)…..

Reading Acts

Curtis, Edward M. Interpreting the Wisdom Books: An Exegetical Handbook. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Academic, 2017. 204 pp. Pb; $21.99.  Link to Kregel

This new contribution to Kregel’s Handbooks of Old Testament Exegesis covers four difficult books in the Hebrew Bible: Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. Curtis contributed a commentary on Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs in the Teach the Text Commentary Series (Baker 2013) and Discovering the Way of Wisdom (with John J. Brugaletta, Kregel, 2004). This handbook joins Gary Smith’s recent Interpreting the Prophetic Books and Richard A. Taylor, Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature to complete the Handbooks on the Old Testament series.

The first section of the book provides definition of wisdom and the nature of poetry. Curtis understands wisdom literature as a kind of general revelation. By carefully observing life this literature draws accurate conclusions about God’s orderly universe. But this literature does not always…

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