The Capranica

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Location: Hemet, California, United States

Co-Pastor of First Baptist Church of San Jacinto, California

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thoughts From the Study

Here's a few excerpts from my personal reading as of late: "[The cross] was a stumbling block to the self-righteous Jews, and foolishness to the philosphical Greeks; but to those who received it to the salvation of their sould, it was Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God. it was not Christ transfigured on Mount Tabor; not Christ stilling the tempest, and raising the dead; not Christ rising triumphantly from the grave, and ascending gloriously, amdist shouts of attendant angels, to his throne in the highest heavens: but Christ on the cross, expiring in darkness and woe, that the first preachers of the Gospel delighted to exhibit to the faith of their hearers. This was their Gospel; its centre, and its glory. it was faith in this Gospel that controlled the hearts of their converts, and made them ready to die for him who had, by his death, procured for them eternal life. In this faith they exclaimed, 'God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.' To this they referred when they said, "I am crucifiec with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." - John L. Dagg - Manual of Theology, 213. "No higher motive to holiness can be needed, than that which proceeds from the cross." Dagg, 218. "So God sustains the caracter of a righteous Judge; and soone than disregard the claims of law, and overthrow his moral government, he is willing to plunge the sword of justice into the heart of his beloved Son. And such is the reverence of the Son, for the law of his Father and the claims of justice, tha he patiently consents to be led as a lamb to the slaughter, that his death may justify God in forgiving and saving the guilty." Dagg, 219. "If Christians object to secular humanism as an established non-Christian worldview in the schools, thenit makes no sense to fight to establish another non-Christian worldview - worship of the God of the Lowest Common Denominator. If this problem is corrected by instituting Christian prayer, then we are back to our earlier unjust arrangmement. Because our society is so diverse, thee is no way to establish school prayer unless there is compromise on the content of prayer. In our society, individuals from a multitude of different religions, denominations, and worldviews are enrolled in the public schools. This means that any prayer acceptable to the majority of all these groups wold have all the doctrinal igor of oatmeal. Students would learn to pray to a mush god; the god of the civil religion. The various theologies of Mormons, Catholics, evangelicals, etc., woudl be run through a blender and the resulting concoction assembled into a prayer. Such prayers would be a theological monstrosity. If the seculariests were included in the compromise (and to be fair, they must be), then the result will be, not a prayer, but a moment of silence in which the students are allowed to pray, lust, blaspheme, or whatever else suits them." Douglas Wilson, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, 41. I've also been read through Norm Geisler's Chosen But Free and James White's The Potter's Freedom. Too many quotables from these two. I had some respect for Geisler until I read CBF. It's a poorly written book that demonstrates little genuine interaction with Calvinism. He threw White a real softball on this one. Preaching the Parales by Craig L. Blomberg is another text I am just now finishing up for a DMin class. While my heart does not resonate with much of the way Blomberg preaches, he has challenged me with thinking more deliberately and carefully about better and varied ways to communicate the intended point (or as he suggests with parables, points) of a parable (or any text). From Augustine's Confessions: 'Whoso seeks from God any other reward but God, and for it would serve God, esteems what he wishes to receive, more than Him from whom he would receive it. What then? hath God no reward? None, save Himself. The reward of God is God Himself." p 26. ". . . wretched is every soul bound by the friendship of perishable things; he is torn asunder when he loses them, and thenhe feels the wretchedness which he had ere yet he lost them. . . . Thus was I wretched, and that wretched life I held dearer than my friend." 31.

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