Archive for the The Race Category

The Expulsive Power of a New Affection

Posted in The Faithful, The Race, Theology for the Church on May 4, 2011 by dvalentine

“The best way of casting out an impure affection is to admit a pure one; and by the love of what is good, to expel the love of what is evil. . . .

Thus it is, that the freer the Gospel, the more sanctifying is the Gospel; and the more it is received as a doctrine of grace, the more will it be felt as a doctrine according to godliness.  This is one of the secrets of the Christian life . . . .

Salvation by grace – salvation by free grace – salvation not of works, but according to the mercy of God – salvation on such a footing is not more indispensable to the deliverance of our persons from the hand of justice, than it is to the deliverance of our hearts from the chill and the weight of ungodliness.  Retain a single shred or fragment of legality with the Gospel, and we raise a topic of distrust between man and God.  We take away from the power of the Gospel to melt and to conciliate.  For this purpose, the freer it is, the better it is.  That very peculiarity which so many dread as the germ of antinomianism is, in fact, the germ of a new spirit and a new inclination against it.  Along with the light of a free Gospel does there enter the love of the Gospel, which, in proportion as we impair the freeness, we are sure to chase away.  And never does the sinner find within himself so mighty a moral transformation as when under the belief that he is saved by grace, he feels constrained thereby to offer his heart a devoted thing, and to deny ungodliness.”

Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.”

Think Like A Christian

Posted in The Faithful, The Race on February 23, 2011 by dvalentine

As Andrew Hughes has prompted us to do through his Street Life posts, I have spent time thinking about the idea of a worldview. So much of how we interpret life and the events that take place all around us rests upon our worldview. Without even recognizing it, we evaluate the most dramatic and publicized world events to the most mundane and personal events based upon our worldview. It is so important that we are analyzing, interpreting, and drawing conclusions about all of life with a Christian worldview! We need to have the right “set of lenses” in place as we gaze at this world in order to have the right conclusions.

I happened across these quotations on a site for a grade school promoting Classical Christian Education. I found them to be extremely helpful as we consider our worldview, and we make sure that the “lenses” we use are properly focused.

“There is not one square inch of the entire creation about which Jesus Christ does not cry out, ‘This is mine! This belongs to me.'” – Dutch Reformer Abraham Kuyper

“The effort to think like a Christian is . . . an effort to take seriously
the sovereignty of God over the world he created,
the lordship of Christ over the world he died to redeem,
and the power of the Holy Spirit over the world he sustains each and every moment.
From this perspective the search for a mind that truly thinks like a Christian takes on ultimate significance,
because the search for a Christian mind is not, in the end, a search for the mind but a search for God.”

—Mark Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, p. 253 (my emphasis)

Youth Renewed

Posted in The Faithful, The Race on February 16, 2011 by dvalentine

“You are surprised that the world is losing its grip, that the world is grown old?  Think of a man: he is born, he grows up, he becomes old.  Old age has its many complaints: coughing, shaking, failing eyesight, anxious, terribly tired.  A man grows old; he is full of complaints.  The world is old; it is full of pressing tribulations. . . . Do not hold onto the old man, the world; do not refuse to regain your youth in Christ, who says to you, ‘The world is passing away, the world is losing its grip, the world is short of breath.  Do not fear.  Thy youth shall be renewed as an eagle.’”

Augustine, quoted in Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo (Berkeley, 1967), pages 297-298.

I highly recommend this biography on St Augustine. It is not an easy read, but it is very good. Also, I would commend to you the Confessions of St. Augustine. It is a very personal look at Augustine and his heart before God.

Bitter and Sweet

Posted in The Faithful, The Race on February 2, 2011 by dvalentine

Though John Newton is not considered the poet and lyricist that other men and women have been, there is a simple message yet depth of wisdom to his words. Most everyone recognizes his most famous lyrics, Amazing Grace, that serves in some way as an autobiography: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. Though not as well known, the following is an equally powerful poem from the pen of Newton.

1 Kindle, Saviour, in my heart,
A flame of love divine;
Hear, for mine I trust thou art,
And sure I would be thine;
If my soul has felt thy grace,
If to me thy name is known;
Why should trifles fill the place
Due to thyself alone?

2 ‘Tis a strange mysterious life
I live from day to day;
Light and darkness, peace and strife,
Bear an alternate sway:
When I think the battle won,
I have to fight it o’er again;
When I say I’m overthrown,
Relief I soon obtain.

3 Often at the mercy-seat,
While calling on thy name,
Swarms of evil thoughts I meet,
Which fill my soul with shame.
Agitated in my mind,
Like a feather in the air,
Can I thus a blessing find?
My soul, can this be pray’r?

4 But when Christ, my Lord and Friend,
Is pleas’d to show his pow’r
All at once my troubles end,
And I’ve a golden hour;
Then I see his smiling face,
Feel the pledge of joys to come:
Often, Lord, repeat this grace
Till thou shalt call me home.

Hunger for God

Posted in The Faithful, The Race, Theology for the Church on January 12, 2011 by dvalentine

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16

“The idea of being on fire for Christ will strike some people as dangerous emotionalism. ‘Surely,’ they will say, ‘we are not meant to go to extremes? You are not asking us to become hot-gospel fanatics?’ Well, wait a minute. It depends what you mean. If by ‘fanaticism’ you really mean ‘wholeheartedness,’ then Christianity is a fanatical religion and every Christian should be a fanatic. But fanaticism is not wholeheartedness, nor is wholeheartedness fanaticism. Fanaticism is an unreasoning and unintelligent wholeheartedness. It is the running away of the heart with the head. At the end of a statement prepared for a conference on science, philosophy and religion at Princeton University in 1940 came these words: ‘Commitment without reflection is fanaticism in action; but reflection without commitment is the paralysis of all action.’ What Jesus Christ desires and deserves is the reflection which leads to commitment and the commitment which is born of reflection. This is the meaning of wholeheartedness, of being aflame for God.

One longs today to see robust and virile men and women bringing to Jesus Christ their thoughtful and their total commitment. Jesus Christ asks for this. He even says that if we will not be hot, he would prefer us cold to lukewarm. Better be frigid than tepid, he implies. His meaning is not far to seek. If he is true, if he is the Son of God who died for the sins of men, if Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Day are more than meaningless anniversaries, then nothing less than our wholehearted commitment to Christ will do. I must put him first in my private and public life, seeking his glory and obeying his will. Better be icy in my indifference or go into active opposition to him than insult him with an insipid compromise which nauseates him!”

John R. W. Stott, What Christ Thinks of the Church (Grand Rapids, 1958), pages 116-117.

Set Me Free

Posted in The Faithful, The Race on December 1, 2010 by dvalentine

The following was taken from the thoughts of Ray Ortlund at Christ is Deeper Still

The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation.  Sin wants to remain unknown.  It shuns the light. . . . In confession the light of the gospel breaks into the darkness and seclusion of the heart.  The sin must be brought into the light.  The unexpressed must be openly spoken and acknowledged.  All that is secret and hidden is made manifest.  It is a hard struggle until the sin is openly admitted.  But God breaks gates of brass and bars of iron.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (New York, 1954), pages 112-113.

Life Together is a terrific book on the importance of community for the life and faith of a believer.

 

Josh Hamilton Testimony

Posted in The Faithful, The Race on November 10, 2010 by dvalentine

Josh Hamilton plays for the Texas Rangers and was recently named MVP of the American League Championship Series. He was also honored as the MVP of the American League after leading his team to the World Series. The clip below is Hamilton answering questions live on TV after the Texas Rangers beat the Yankees.

Hamilton has a great testimony for Christ. He was suspended from baseball early in his promising career because of Drug and Alcohol addiction. He was separated from his wife and ruining his body and mind. However, he has a powerful testimony of God’s grace in his life as the truth of the gospel saved him from a life of destruction.

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Hamilton has a great testimony for Christ. He was suspended from baseball early in his promising career because of Drug and Alcohol addiction. He was separated from his wife and ruining his body and mind. However, he has a powerful testimony of God’s grace in his life as the truth of the gospel saved him from a life of destruction. Here is a short clip of his own testimony.

If you are familiar with professional baseball, you know that each player has his own “walk-up song.” That is the song that blasts throughout the stadium as the particular player comes to bat. As I was watching some of the playoff games, I thought I heard a Third Day song playing. I checked it out, and sure enough, Hamilton has 3 different “walk-up songs” — Sing a Song by Third Day, Until the Whole World Knows by Casting Crowns, and one of my favorites (a song we sang at RCC on Resurrection Sunday) Saved the Day by PCD.

It is always encouraging when famous athletes have a strong testimony of faith in Christ, and Josh Hamilton certainly seems to be one of those unique testimonies for the glory of God