Archive for the Theology for the Church 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.”

No Cheap Grace

Posted in The Faithful, Theology for the Church on April 6, 2011 by dvalentine

 

. . not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the priceless blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.  1 Peter 1:18-19

“How do you mean to live?  With these precious things about you, do you intend to live like a beggar?  I mean, will you be sinful, low, groveling, worldly?  Oh, rise to your rank, and as you are so ennobled, walk as becomes saints!  Is Jesus Christ precious to you?  Then serve Him with your best, give Him your precious things, give Him your lives, give Him your substance, give Him all that you have.  Do not give the Redeemer your odds and ends, such as you can afford to give without knowing it.  Say, ‘He died to give me Himself.  I will give Him myself in return.’ . . . Go and live like those who are rich to all the intents of bliss, and let your cheerful, your godly, your self-denying example be a protest to the unbelieving sons of men that you know the preciousness of Christ.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, 1950), IV:393.

**Taken from Ray Ortlund blog

How Does God interact with His Children

Posted in The Faithful, Theology for the Church on January 26, 2011 by dvalentine

David Powlison is a gifted writer and insightful counselor. I would encourage each of you to become familiar with his resources. He leads a Christian Counseling oganzation, CCEF. I found the following clip very interesting. I would enjoy hearing the evaluation of others as they listen to the insights of Powlison.

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.

The History of Redemption

Posted in The Faithful, Theology for the Church on January 5, 2011 by dvalentine

Recently, a sermon was preached on the History of Redemption. The pastor had taken three years to memorize all of the Texts that you will hear below. Here is a website where you can learn more about the project, watch the sermon, and purchase an illustrated book with these passages to help you learn and remember the history of redemption.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


The History of Redemption – Book and Prints, posted with vodpod

 

My Only Reason

Posted in The Faithful, Theology for the Church on December 29, 2010 by dvalentine

C.H. Spurgeon. From his message, “The Glorious Gospel,” from 1 Timothy 1:15

This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, That Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.”

“And my only reason at this hour for believing Jesus Christ is my Redeemer is just this:—I know that I am a sinner: this I feel, and over this I mourn; and though I mourn it much, when Satan tells me that I cannot be the Lord’s, I draw from my very mourning the comfortable inference, that inasmuch as he has made me feel I am lost, he would not have done this if he had not intended to save me; and inasmuch as he has given me to see that I belong to that great class of characters whom he came to save, I infer from that, beyond a doubt, that he will save me. Oh, can you do the same, ye sin stricken, weary, sad, and disappointed souls, to whom the world has become an empty thing? Ye weary spirits who have gone your round of pleasure, now exhausted with satiety, or even with disease, are longing to be rid of it—oh, ye spirits that are looking for something better than this mad world can ever give you here, I preach to you the blessed Gospel of the blessed God:—Jesus Christ the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; dead and buried, and raised again the third day to save you—even you, for he came into the world to save sinners.”

Reformed Hip Hop

Posted in The Faithful, Theology for the Church on November 17, 2010 by dvalentine

Reformed Theology has found a new medium – Hip Hop. The following is taken from Gospel Coalition Blog and is a growing and encouraging movement in urban areas throughout the U.S.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Lecrae, a Texas native, now lives in Atlanta, which he told me has become the capital city of hip hop. That’s the home base for Reach Records, the label he co-founded. He has been performing for more than five years and gleaned much of his musical and theological convictions from Philadelphia-based CrossMovement, a pioneering group in Christian hip hop. They set the standard for a rising generation of talented rappers who hold strong convictions about the centrality of the gospel in all of life and enjoy learning from contemporary and classic Reformed teachers. This new group, led by Lecrae, explicitly include messages from John Piper, Charles Spurgeon, John MacArthur, R. C. Sproul, and others in their songs. These biblically grounded messages appeal to youth who have seen a false prosperity gospel bring further damage to their broken urban communities.

At every tour stop, these artists sit down for hours and talk with youth from diverse backgrounds trying to find their way in the world. If a concert ends around 11 a.m., they’ll counsel spiritual seekers for another two hours. It’s a grueling schedule, but Lecrae and the others artists realize God has given them unique gifts and an uncommon opportunity to reach people with the gospel. Their talent and the increasingly popular hip hop genre doesn’t only open doors in urban communities. Their reach also extends into predominantly white suburban churches where maturing Christians desire to passionately live out the gospel and seek a firm theological foundation. Their constant focus on the gospel resonates with Christians who want less of themselves and more of Jesus. The concerts also provide a platform for proclaiming the good news to seekers.

Despite the evident way God is using these men to spread his message, they face a number of challenges straddling the divide between their urban context and Reformed culture. They know from experience how much the hip hop culture needs the gospel and solid theological teaching to help Christians grow in grace. But they’ve also learned much about God and his Word from the riches of the Reformed tradition. The successful artists of Reach Records have more experience with bouncing back and forth between these two worlds. Others, though, feel forced to choose between what they know to be true and the context where they feel welcomed, understood, and supported. Each Sunday forces them to decide if they will side with truth or culture.

Cooperation is vital for the spread of the gospel and formation of the church. More traditional Reformed leaders might marvel at what God is doing through these artists to reach communities closed off to their influence. They might be surprised to learn how many Christians in their own churches enjoy listening to rap. Already, signs point to increased collaboration among Christians divided by background, race, and musical preferences but united by God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.