Saturday, February 28, 2009

John Frame on a Hard Phrase in Scripture

I always love it when someone helps me understand something a little bit better. Especially when it's something in the Bible.

John Frame is someone who has done this for me several times before. You know those difficult phrases in the OT when it says “God relented” or “God changed his mind” or even “God repented” (see particularly in 1 Samuel 15)? There is no easy, quick answer to the apparent difficulty with God changing his mind. In other words, doesn't someone change their mind when they don't really know what's going on? Isn't God omniscient (i.e., since he knows everything why would he change his mind?)? This quote from Frame is instructive:
How then should we understand God’s “relenting?” For one thing, God states as a general policy in Jer. 18:5-10 that if he announces judgment and people repent, he will relent; similarly if he pronounces blessing and people do evil. In other words, relenting is part of God’s unchanging plan, not a change forced on him by his ignorance.*
Simple, clear, and helpful.

Frame and Vern Poythress have a joint website with their materials linked here. There seems to be a large variety of resources from the two of them there.

Related Books:
John Frame The Doctrine of God
John Frame The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God

*From his article "Does the Bible Affirm Open Theism?," emphasis mine.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Some questions to start the week

Why do I forget everything I read in Scripture?
Why do I have a hard time remembering the last time I was greatly changed by what I read in the Bible?
Why am I not more affected by God's Word?

If you constantly ask yourself these questions:
  1. You are not the only Christian who thinks this
  2. You are not a second-rate Christian
  3. You are not the problem
  4. Your method is the problem

This is where biblical meditation comes in. Dr. Donald Whitney defines it like this: "Biblical meditation is deep thinking on the truths and spiritual realities revealed in Scripture, or upon life from a scriptural perspective, for the purposes of understanding, application, and prayer" (Lecture notes, 2/22/09, Personal Spiritual Disciplines Class). More to come...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guitarist Andy McKee

My good friend Kevin McKay pointed me to this musician about a year ago. Andy McKee is really innovative, and his music is excellent.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

At the Root of All that is There...

Psalm 33:4 and following tell of the creation of all things by means of the spoken words of God. As I reflected on these words this morning I was struck by the thought that nothing we see exists independently of God’s act of speaking. Around every corner lurks something that is there because of God’s Word, whether dependently or independently. For if it is something man-made it can only be there because “God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion'” (Gen. 1:26a). Our creativity is God’s creativity in shadow and whisper.

At the root of all that is there lies the voice of God.

Is what we see in chaos? Is it in ruin? This is where the Fall enters in. These sadnesses are the greasy fingerprints of humans on God’s clean, white linens. It only makes us yearn all the more for “a new earth” (Rev. 21:1).

Related Helpful Books:
The God Who is There
Knowing God

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Burfday

Yes, today is my birthday. I am 27 years young, and just as beautiful as the day I was born (read that last statement very carefully). I thought it would be interesting to see what Wikipedia has to say about this day in history, and I've included a few of the more interesting bits below, with appropriate titles:

  1. Pointless - I share the exact birthday with Japanese singer Ami Suzuki (1982)
  2. Historically Significant - The British Parliament declares Massachusetts to be in rebellion (1775)
  3. Fun - The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show (1964 [does anyone know where their name came from??])
  4. Sobering - English Reformer Bishop John Hooper becomes a martyr for the faith (1555)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Blog on hold

I was about to write a post about evangelism. But then Eliot laughed at something, and I thought, "Why blog when I could play with Eliot?"

I couldn't think of one, single, solitary good reason.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Simple Thought for Monday Morning

"Love people and use things--don't love things and use people," says Art DeMoss.

I love deep, lengthy, powerful quotations. But sometimes I also like short, meaningful ones like this one.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Leadership and Appearance

I'm reading a book on a leadership for a class, and, I must admit, I'm not too excited about it. I find much of leadership material to be self-centered and prideful, rather than the kind of selfless leadership that Christ calls us to (see Mark 10:35-35). So I tend to roll my eyes when I read something like the following on "Appearance":

To important people around you, your appearance makes a definite statementvabout who you are and what you think about yourself...I suggest to men that, if they have only a little money to spend on appearance, they concentrate on their hairstyle, tie, belt, and shoes. ( from Leading With Confidence by Bobb Biehl)

My first thought is that this is a ridiculous waste of time. Spending time on appearance is vain. But as I thought about this a bit more I realized that, much as I would not like to admit it, I do spend time on my appearance. I cannot fool myself into thinking that I ignore appearances in myself or others. So the question is: why should something like this quote be considered legit, if at all? Should Christian leaders spend more than 10 seconds thought on appearance when it is humility that the Lord honors (James 4:10)?