Morning Mashup 09/26

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

On the Trinity

The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything | Fred Sanders | $12.51

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Experiencing the Trinity: The Grace of God for the People of God | Joe Thorn | $7.87

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Communion with the Triune God | John Owen | $28.00

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Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith | Michael Reeves | $9.72

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ARTICLES

For the Bible Tells Me So | Albert Mohler

Andy Stanley does not mean to deny the central truth claims of Christianity…he affirms the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But he does so while undercutting our only means of knowing of Christ and his resurrection from the dead — the Bible.

The Eternal Subordination of the Son Controversy: The Tension Between Bible and Doctrine | Alastair Roberts

The dogmaticians and systematic theologians have principally made their case through appeal to the creeds, patristic sources, and other important theologians from the tradition. They have discussed the deeper logic of orthodox Trinitarian theology, and have shown the ways in which the ESS position departs from it. However, their engagement with Scripture itself has been relatively slight. By contrast, Scripture has played a very prominent role in the arguments in favour of ESS.

Christian Men and Their Video Games | Tim Challies

If you’re a gamer, or a Christian gamer at least, you’ve rolled your eyes through a hundred articles by now, each one telling you why your gaming is sad, wasteful, pathetic. You’re immature, you’re addicted to pleasure, you’re a dopamine junkie. You might even have found yourself compared to a porn addict since in many minds porn and PlayStations go hand in hand. That’s not what the articles actually say, of course, but it can sure feel like it. Gamers are an easy target and a lot of people line up to take their swings.

5 Things I Learned As a Pastor’s Kid | Samuel James

Brief lessons learned from a pastor’s kid. Pastors and church members, take note.

Old, Restful, and Reforming | Jared Wilson

Jared Wilson reflects on 10 years of the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement.

Why I’m Glad We Marched and Wish We Hadn’t | George Robinson

On July 9, a handful of our staff and members participated in the Black Lives Matter march in Augusta. I’m glad they did and wish they hadn’t.

VIDEOS

Jose Fernandez Had a Special Bond With His Grandmother

 

Five Things Introverts Are Secretly Paranoid About

 

 

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Morning Mashup 08/22

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of Kindle deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


KINDLE DEALS

Look and Live: Behold the Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory of Christ | Matt Papa | $2.99

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Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View | Garry Friesen | $1.99

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ARTICLES

Six Things a Godly Dad Does | Scott Slayton

Our oldest daughter just celebrated her eleventh birthday, so I have now been a parent for over a quarter of my life. There have been sins, mistakes, wins and growth as we seek to raise our four children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I have ransacked the Bible, read books, watched other godly men, and asked them lots of questions as I have sought to discover the answer to the question, “what does a godly dad do?”

Leadership in the Church | Doctrine and Devotion

Joe and Jimmy talk about the realities and responsibilities of church leadership. Very helpful for anyone considering a call to ministry.

The 3 Minor Prophets Who Wrecked Me | Trevin Wax

In my time as editor, however, I’ve grown to love the Minor Prophets, all sandwiched together at the end of the Old Testament. There are three in particular who, I would say, have “wrecked me” – in a good way, in a powerful way in which I felt the refreshing shower of God’s grace.

Do You Pray Like a Non-Believer? | John Piper

It is possible that nominal Christians learn the language of true, Christ-exalting, God-centered, sin-confessing, Spirit-dependent, promise-trusting, holiness-pursuing prayer. But I have found that it is rare for those with little love to Christ to pray as though they love him and his kingdom.

Learning to Do Less So Parents in Your Church Can Do More | Timothy Paul Jones

When it comes to our children, we might ask a similar question: What does it profit your child to gain a baseball scholarship and yet never experience consistent prayer and devotional times with his parents? What will it profit my child to succeed as a ballet dancer and yet never know the rhythms of a home where we are willing to release any dream at any moment if we become too busy to disciple one another? What will it profit the children all around us in our churches to be accepted into the finest colleges and yet never leverage their lives for the sake of proclaiming the gospel to the nations? What will it profit pastors to lead the largest churches with the greatest discipleship programs if they don’t disciple their own households?

With Love, Your Single Daughter | Rachel Dinkledine

At first I thought of writing you a letter of apology–an apology for not fulfilling your dreams, for not giving you a son-in-law, and for leaving you grandchildless. However, an apology implies I have the ability to change the story. And, at this moment, I don’t. So instead, I want to say “thank you.”

VIDEOS

Throwback Thursday: John Stott on the Wrath of God

Throwback Thursday3One of the most uncomfortable Christian doctrines to discuss in any social setting is the wrath of God. It doesn’t matter if you are in a small group, Sunday morning sermon, or a coffee shop, when you talk about God’s wrath, the tension in the room automatically increases.

Last night, I was leading a small group of teenagers in a discussion about the exclusivity of the gospel. The only way to enter and enjoy God’s presence is through the person and work of Jesus Christ (John 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5). In the process of that discussion, I asked them to think about all of their friends who are outside of Christ. Then, I asked them to funnel the exclusivity of the gospel through the lens of friendship. My hope was that the wrath of God against those outside of Christ would not casually pass over them. My hope was that they would see the hopelessness that even their kindest friends are facing outside of Christ. Ultimately, my hope was and is that they would be ignited to leverage their friendships for the sake of the gospel and the eternal joy of their lost friends.

Have you ever considered God’s wrath in relation to loved ones in your life who you know are outside of Christ? Doing this doesn’t change the truth and reality of God’s wrath, but it does help us pause to consider a true biblical definition of God’s wrath. Wrath, most commonly associated with raging anger, has absolutely zero positive connotations in human relations.

So, how can something as unstable as anger, which Jesus equates to murder, be found in a perfectly holy God?

In John Stott’s commentary on Romans, he writes very helpfully on the relationship between human anger and God’s wrath:

If we are to preserve the balance of Scripture, our definition of God’s anger must avoid opposite extremes. On the one hand, there are those who see it as no different from sinful human anger. On the other, there are those who declare that the very notion of anger as a personal attribute or attitude of God must be abandoned.

Human anger, although there is such a thing as righteous indignation, is mostly very unrighteous. It is an irrational and uncontrollable emotion, containing much vanity, animosity, malice, and the desire for revenge. It should go without saying that God’s anger is absolutely free of all such poisonous ingredients.

The wrath of God, then, is almost totally different from human anger. It does not mean that God loses his temper, flies into a rage, or is ever malicious, spiteful or vindictive. The alternative to ‘wrath’ is not ‘love’ but ‘neutrality’ in the moral conflict. And God is not neutral. On the contrary, his wrath is his holy hostility to evil, his refusal to condone it or come to terms with it, his just judgment upon it.

[Stott, Message to the Romans, pp. 71-72]

Read that last paragraph again. Crucial to an understanding of God’s wrath is knowing that the alternative is not love, but neutrality. The good news of God’s wrath is that he is not neutral when it comes to sin, evil, and suffering. He is a sovereign conquerer of these things. His wrath is poured out against them. And the most radically mind-blowing news I’ve ever heard is that the way God conquers sin, death, evil, and suffering is by bearing his righteous wrath himself.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (Westbow Press, 2016). He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

The Light Hiding Behind a Dark Psalm

light-bulb-light-oldPsalm 88 is one of the darkest psalms in the Bible. I know this because when I read it at the beginning of our staff meeting the other day, you could feel the mood of the room shift from lighthearted laughter to solemn silence. The room fell quiet as I read the anguish of Heman the Ezrahite. Even our jabs at the psalmist’s name were quickly forgotten as we listened to him pour out the depths of his soul.

The first section of his lament is representative of the entire psalm:

For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves. (Psalm 88:3-7)

The psalm grows darker and darker. In many psalms of lament, there is a positive rise at the end where hope in God reigns supreme over all the sorrow that fills the psalmist’s heart. But Psalm 88 is different. There is no final declaration of hope in God. There is no victory song to sustain the soul in the waning hours of the night. Psalm 88 ends like this:

But I, O Lord, cry to you;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Lord, why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your dreadful assaults destroy me.
They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness. (Psalm 88:13-18)

The psalmist cries to the Lord, but there is no answer. There is no sign of the morning sun after the dark night. The man feels alone in his depression. He doesn’t even feel the Lord’s presence. In fact, according to the psalmist, it is the Lord himself who has been active in his suffering. At the end of the day, this man is left with nothing but darkness. And there is no prospect for seeing the light again.

I’ve never suffered from deep and dark depression. So, it is easy for me to carelessly and insensitively scoff at this man and his cries and confessions. There is great danger in interpreting the Bible through your current emotional state. But it is impossible to not filter the Bible through your current emotional state. That’s why when I approach Psalm 88, I’m a little impatient with the extended lament. However, if I were experiencing a season of seemingly endless suffering, my encounter of Psalm 88 would be much different. I can imagine that many people in the trenches of piercing affliction can perfectly identify with the poetic groaning of the psalmist in Psalm 88. We must be careful not to allow our emotions to determine our hermeneutic. But we must be sensitive to our emotions and allow the objective meaning of biblical texts to speak into our lives.

Whether you can identify with Psalm 88 or not, it seems problematic that a true believer could write such strong words that implicate the Lord. How do we deal with Psalm 88 and the lack of hopeful crescendo? What do we do when we are left in the pit to weep in the darkness of our depression? Here are three basic observations about Psalm 88 that help us see the godly nature of such a dark song.

1. It is helpful to see the vivid experiences of God’s people

This is one of the reasons I love biographies. Seeing how Christians throughout history have dealt with various issues and experiences is instructive and comforting for us as we journey through different seasons of life. Seeing a deeply afflicted brother pour out his heart gives language to our own afflictions and let’s us know we are not alone. In the words of William Plumer, “If we knew more of the religious experience of God’s people, we should be less apt to think our trials peculiar.”

2. Our suffering, though painful for us, may be healing for others

Much like Job and other psalmists, the pain they experienced was real and they may have never received an answer for their suffering. But millions of people have been comforted by their experiences. Plumer comments, “Some suffering on earth is designed to instruct and comfort others. That which to us is a dirge may be to others a song. How deeply afflicted Heman was, yet how consolatory is this Psalm to God’s people of successive generations.” So, if you’re feeling dirge-y, someone someday will be singing over the ashes of your suffering. Encouraging, right? Seriously, your suffering is not meaningless. It may blossom into a song of hope for others. There is beauty in your affliction.

3. Christians are not immune from suffering and are never hopeless in suffering

It’s an obvious point, but it is helpful to remember that being in Christ does not grant us immunity from suffering. Much like Job’s friends, we want to connect all of our suffering to sin in our lives. While some suffering definitely flows from the consequences of personal sin, the biblical witness is clear that not all suffering is the result of sin. Again, Plumer is helpful:

It is no new thing for good men to have many and great troubles. When floods of ungodly men, waves of sorrow and terrors roll in upon us, let us remember God has carried others through as sore trials. It is sad indeed when we have no respite from grief, when the clouds never break away, when refuge seems to fail. But no trials can come that will justify us in failing to make God the depository of our sad tale.

The one small gleam of light shining from Psalm 88 is less about the disposition of the psalmist’s cries and more about the direction. When you suffer, do you cry out to God or complain to your family and friends? Heman the Ezrahite, through searing pain, lays his soul bare in a desperate cry to God. Psalm 88 is drenched in humility and God-centered dependence. Even though he feels that God is infinitely distant, he still cries out to him for refuge. In the hopeless night of your deepest suffering, where do you turn?

The only one who can and will sustain you in the darkness is the Christ who is light bursting into the darkness of a sin-ridden world. And the Christ who sustains is the Christ who suffered. While I can hardly identify with the psalmist of Psalm 88 in this season of life, Christ can fully identify with Heman. If you read Psalm 88 with tears of identification, know that Christ looks into your situation and says, “I’ve been there.” The light hiding in the darkness of Psalm 88 is the beauty of affliction in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything said of Heman in Psalm 88 could be said of Christ on the cross. The floods of God’s wrath was released on Christ and they did not cease. But through his suffering we find salvation.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (Westbow Press, 2016). He is a M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

Morning Mashup 06/09

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A mashup of Kindle deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


KINDLE DEALS

ARTICLES

Pastoral Ministry is About Souls, Not Stats | Jared Wilson

The way we are typically programmed to measure the success of our ministries sets us up for hollow victory and desperate failure. But this is not to say we should never do any measuring. It is only to say that what we measure and how we measure shows where our confidence lies.

Parents, Tell Your Kids They Are Sinners | Mike McGarry

As we talked about his sin, I reminded him of the gospel. God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross so we could be forgiven of our sin. Because we’re forgiven, we should live differently—not for his acceptance, but from his acceptance. We say no to ourselves and yes to God because he loves us and is making us more like himself. And when we look like Christ, the world sees a glimpse of the greatness of God. If I refuse to tell my kids they’re sinners, I’m forfeiting a chance to communicate gospel grace.

Is Religious Freedom for Non-Christians Too? | Russell Moore

Religious liberty is never an excuse for violence and crime, nor has religious liberty been so construed in American history. The United States government should fight, and fight hard, against radical Islamic jihadism. But the government should not penalize law-abiding people, especially those who are American citizens, simply for holding their religious convictions, however consistent or inconsistent, true or false, those convictions are.

About Those “20 Minutes of Action” | Ann Voskamp

Rape is not “20 minutes of action” — it’s a violent act with lifetime consequences and it’s time for parents to take far less than 20 minutes of action and stand up right now and say hard things to our sons right now before it’s too late.

 Why Are So Many Christians Bored With the Bible? | Marshall Segal

Unfortunately, many Christians love the idea of the Bible, but not really the Bible itself. We love having a Bible close by, even within reach, but don’t make time to open it on an average day. We talk about Bible reading like we talk about cutting calories or cleaning our house. We’re grateful for the results, but we don’t wake up dying to do it again. It sounds like a fine thing to do, until we have to choose what we won’t do in order to make time for it.

VIDEOS

Morning Mashup 09/25

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A mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


Hajj Stampede Near Mecca Leaves Over 700 Dead – Horrible tragedy. Praying for the families of those affected.

9 Marks of a Generous Giver – Comprehensive and concise article on the Christian and giving. “The first three marks involve where your giving goes; the next three tease out heart motives in your giving; and the final three explore dynamics between your giving and Caesar (as well as non-profits you support).”

Why Don’t Protestants Have a Pope? – With Pope Francis in the States, Kevin DeYoung answers an important question with some help from Herman Bavinck.

How to Read the Bible and Do Theology Well – Don Carson: “Although we cannot know anything with the perfection of God’s knowledge (his knowledge is absolutely exhaustive!), yet because God has disclosed things, we can know those things truly.”

Pastoring Rappers – Richard Clark interviews the artists of Humble Beast.

Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books – Albert Mohler shares his reading habits and strategies while offering some suggestions on how to make the most of books.

Speaker Boehner to Resign at End of October – Reaction from Republican leaders varies, but there is a clear commitment to preventing a government shut down.

15 Key Quotes from Pope Francis’ Address to the United Nations – “In the lengthy address Pope Francis covers a wide range of topics, from the rule of law to nuclear weapons to the drug trade. Here are 15 key quotes from the speech.”

God’s unconditional love poured out in our heart is the unique force impelling us to love him and others. –G.K. Beale

Precious Time: Brief Reflections on 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16

Infinity-Time1Have you ever done something or went somewhere and then said to yourself, “Boy, that was a waste of time!” I remember waiting in line to get the autograph of one of my favorite authors. I had one of his books with me and was so excited for him to sign his name on the inside cover of the book and take a picture with me.
I waited in line almost an hour and my favorite author still wasn’t there. Suddenly, I heard the crowd at the front of the line grumble. Word passed from front to back that the author was unable to sign autographs after all. He wasn’t feeling well and was heading to the airport to fly home. I remember rolling my eyes and sighing with everyone else, saying, “Boy, that sure was a waste of time!”

When we spend a lot of time or energy doing something, we want it to be worth something. We want it to count. We want it to matter. We never want to waste our time. Paul wanted the Thessalonian Christians to know that he had not wasted his time with them. He wrote, “For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain” (v. 1). You see, being a Christian in Thessalonica was not easy. Christians were not popular in this city. Paul himself suffered in this city, but he wanted the Thessalonians to know their time and his time was not wasted.

Why? Why would Paul’s time with these Christians not be wasted? And how does Paul know this? Is it worth it to follow Christ when it’s not a popular thing to do? Is it a waste of time to go to church? Is it a waste of time to have family devotions? Is it a waste of time to intentionally pray or share the gospel with your neighbor?

We will never waste our time when we talk about, think about, and share the gospel. Spending time on the gospel is always time well spent. Paul had shared the gospel with these Christians “in the midst of much conflict” (v. 2). Through all the trouble Paul faced, he continued to share the gospel and do whatever it took for these Thessalonians to believe in Jesus. Paul didn’t waste time trying to please other people because he wanted to please God. Paul didn’t waste time keeping the gospel to himself. The gospel was given to him, so he wanted to give it to others (v. 4). Paul didn’t waste his time bragging on himself. Instead, he spent his time bragging on Jesus (v. 5-6).

Paul shared everything he had with the Thessalonians. Most importantly he worked “night and day” both earning a living and sharing the gospel (v. 9). He didn’t waste his time with what he taught the Thessalonians. He taught them the gospel and showed them how to live it out each day (v. 10-12).

Do you know how Paul knows his time wasn’t wasted? First, he obeyed God’s command to teach and preach the gospel. You will never waste your time obeying God. But his time was also not wasted because the gospel found a home in the hearts of the Thessalonians and they were changed. They started imitating Jesus (v. 14). They suffered for Christ (v. 15). When the gospel changes your life, you know you are not wasting your time in church or in Bible study or in family devotions or sharing the gospel with your neighbor. Whatever helps you look more like Jesus is not a waste of time.

You can do a lot of things that are a waste of time. Following Jesus is never one of them. You will never waste your life following Jesus. You will find it.


11751958_1209158262442953_3486622930933138849_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram.

Quick Quotes: 12 Quotes from “Reflections on the Psalms” by C.S. Lewis

Q-train-logoEvery Friday, I plan to share select quotes from a book I am either currently reading or have previously read. Few things have impacted my faith and life as much as reading has. This will be just one way I promote books and reading. These articles will be for the dedicated reader who loves to gain insight from as many books as possible. They will also be for the Christian looking for new books to read. I am always on the lookout for new books to read. Hopefully some things I share will lead you to pick up a new book. Finally, these articles will be for those of you too busy to read. Hopefully these quick quotes will provide you with easy access to books you would otherwise not have time to read. Each article will include a brief discussion of the author and his work followed by ten (or more) pertinent quotes from the book. 


C.S. Lewis has become one of my favorite authors. One of the things I love most about Lewis is his candor and honesty. It comes across as false modesty, but it isn’t. Lewis is sincere, but his frequent confessions of struggling with a certain idea or topic or biblical truth is refreshing and educational for a young minister and writer like myself. As much as I learn from Lewis’s insights, I learn even more from his demeanor and tone. It helps that he is a colossal writer. Not many since Lewis can say they are in his class of writers.

91L1rEe7EpLI began reading Reflections on the Psalms because my pastor has been preaching through various psalms over the past few weeks. We are heading into the final week of that series, and as the children’s pastor I have been preparing and preaching sermons to the kids of our church on the same texts my pastor has been preaching to the rest of the congregation. Walking with Lewis through various themes, ideas, tensions, and truths in the psalms has been a delight. This book is in a class of its own. It’s not a commentary. It’s not a devotional. It’s not a collection of essays. It is one man’s reflections on one of the most popular and impactful books of the Bible. Through penetrating prose, Lewis probes our hearts and while he definitely reflects on many psalms, his work is more a reflection on the human condition than anything else. The Psalms are like a mirror, which simultaneously exposes our true selves while reflecting the glory of God. Lewis’ Reflections on the Psalms holds that mirror up so we can better see.

Here are twelve important quotes from Reflections on the Psalms to whet your appetite:

1. A man can’t be always defending the truth; there must be a time to feed on it.

2. The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express that same delight in God which made David dance.

3. [The Law is] like mountain water, like fresh air after a dungeon, like sanity after a nightmare.

4. I take [Psalm 19] to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.

5. In so far as this idea of the Law’s beauty, sweetness, or preciousness, arose from the contrast of the surrounding Paganisms, we may soon find occasion to recover it.

6. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.

7. If it were possible for a created soul fully to “appreciate,” that is to love and delight in, the worthiest object of all, and simultaneously at every moment to give this delight perfect expression, then that soul would be in supreme beatitude.

8. Our “services” both in their conduct and and in our power to participate, are merely attempts at worship.

9. I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.

10. I had not noticed how the humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious, minds, praised most, while the cranks, misfits and malcontents praised least.

11. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.

12. These conjectures as to why God does what He does are probably of no more value than my dog’s ideas of what I am up to when I sit and read.


396110_519885398036913_1852978654_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram.

Throwback Thursday: Thomas Boston on the Supremacy of Scripture

Throwback ThursdayIn the catechism ministry I lead on Wednesday evenings, we just finished looking at questions and answers relating to the Word of God. The catechism I adapted from historic Reformed catechisms, such as the Westminster Shorter and Baptist Catechisms, is divided into six major sections. The first section deals with the Bible. Over the past few weeks, we have studied the content, purpose, message, and nature of the Bible.

Q 2. What teaches us how we should glorify God by enjoying him forever?
A. The Word of God alone teaches us how we should glorify God by enjoying him forever.

Q 3. What is the Word of God?
A. The Word of God is the Bible made up of the Old and New Testaments and inspired by God.

Q 4. What does the Bible mainly teach?
A. The Bible mainly teaches what man must believe about God and what God requires of man.

The questions do not encapsulate everything within the doctrine of the Word of God, but they do cover most of the crucial and fundamental aspects of the Bible. What I want the kids I lead to come away with is a sense of what the Bible is and what it is for. I feel confident that most of the kids know the nature, purpose, and basic content of the Bible.

But more than a thorough and impressive head knowledge, I want the kids I lead to come away dumbfounded by the Bible. I want them to see it as amazing that God speaks. I want them to see Scripture as supremely satisfying for their lives. Because of this, I believe it is more crucial to our ministry for our leaders to show enthusiasm and joy over the Bible than to say kids should be enthused and joyed over the Bible.

Only when the Bible is seen as supremely valuable; only when it is seen as a precious treasure, will it be obeyed. There are countless competing pleasures in the world and many worldviews demanding obedience. Once we see and understand the Bible is revelation from God himself, where do we go from here? Christians far too casually confess the Bible is God’s Word. If that massively radical statement is true, then what should it mean for our lives. If the Bible truly is what it says it is, what now?

Scottish theologian Thomas Boston (1676-1732) presents four exhortations for Christians approaching the Bible. If you hold that the Bible is God’s Word, inerrant, infallible, and supremely valuable, then consider Boston’s exhortations.

  1. Let us highly prize this book for the sake of the author. The Ephesians thought that they had good ground to be zealous for the image of Diana, because they fancied it fell down from Jupiter, Acts 19:35. Your Bible is a book really come from God; let us be ashamed we do not prize it more, by using it diligently to the ends for which if was given the church.
  2. Let us believe it in all the parts thereof; the commands, that we may study to conform ourselves to them; the promises, that we may thereby be encouraged to a holy life; and the threatenings, that we may thereby be deterred from sin. Alas ! though we own it to be the word of God, that we are no more moved with it than if it were the word of man, and such a man as we give little credit to. For compare the lives of the most part with it they say, it is but idle tales.
  3. Let us submit our souls to it, as the oracles of the living God. He is the great Lawgiver, and in that book he speaks: let us own his authority in his word, and submit to it as the rule of our faith and life, without disputing or opposing.
  4. Let us study to be well acquainted with it, and make it our business to search the scriptures.

396110_519885398036913_1852978654_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram.

Morning Mashup 09/02

coffee-newspaper
Kentucky Clerk Not Issuing Marriage Licenses – A Rowan County clerk has stood her ground and continues to refuse to issue marriage licenses. She is at war with her employer, the Kentucky state government. But Ryan Anderson shows there is a better way for protecting religious liberty rights of county clerks as well as civil rights of citizens. If you are at all plugged into this unfolding drama, please consider this piece.

When Jesus Got the Bible Wrong – Uh oh! Don’t you just love clickbait? Nevertheless, this is a fantastic piece about hermeneutics and biblical tensions.

Should We Go Down the Ashley Madison Rabbit Hole? – “Our media-saturated lives offer regular opportunities to make private details public. How do we know when to feed our hunger and when to starve it?”

Tullian Tchividjian Files for Divorce – I don’t know how I missed this news. I’m saddened to see Tchividjian fall. Praying for God’s grace in his life.

Judgment and Grace – Another sad loss in the Reformed Christian community as Ligonier’s R.C. Sproul Jr. was suspended by Ligonier based on his confession that he had signed up with Ashley Madison.

6 Joys and Perils of Full Time Ministry – I think most pastors can identify with these.

The End of the RGIII Era in Washington? – It’s kind of hard to believe, but Robert Griffin III’s tenure in the nation’s capital may be short lived. The former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has already been passed over in favor of Kirk Cousins for the starting gig in Washington. Now the question will be, What’s next for RGIII?

Why All Christians Should Care About Systematic Theology – A helpful excerpt from a book partly written by my current Systematic Theology professor, Stephen Wellum.

Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him. –C.S. Lewis