Dluxe's World

Friday, February 29

Wisdom for the Weekend [1]

"Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles." (Matthew 12:18)

There was no such love as Christ's to become a servant, there was no such misery as we were in, out of which we were delivered by the abasement of Christ becoming a servant. So it is wondrous in that regard, springing from the infinite love and mercy of God, which is greater in the work of redemption and reconciliation that in the creation of the world...

[F]or the distance between and something was less than the distance between sin and happiness. For nothing adds no opposition; but to be in a sinful state there is opposition. Therefore it was greater love and mercy for God, when we were sinful and so obnoxious to eternal destruction, to make of us sinners not only men, but to ... make us heirs of heaven out of a sinful and cursed estate...

[H]ere His mercy triumphed over that which is opposite to God, over sinfulness and cursedness... Therefore there is mercy above all mercy and love above all love, in that Christ was a servant.

Richard Sibbes, A Description of Christ


Where's the beef, yo?

Ok. So, I actually manage to start blogging again and half the emails I get are chastising me for the lack of original content. Yeesh. You people are so hard to please.

Since I'm a people pleaser, I'll start getting some non-quotation, original-ish stuff up starting next week. At the very least, I'll post quotes with some personal observation or addendum. I'm also going to try to bring back the WWWednesday and Whitefield posts. In the case of the former, it will be kept tame. In the case of the latter, truth is that there will be less Whitefield for a while, so I'll be pitching them as 'Wisdom for the Weekend' posts instead.

Hope that's helpful, and hope something here will be edifying for your walk with Christ.


Thursday, February 28

"What the world calls accident"

Poor little boy! It is mercy indeed that he recovered from such a formidable hurt. The Lord wounded, and the Lord healed.

I ascribe, with you, what the world calls accident to him, and believe, that without [God's] permission, for wise and good ends, a child can no more pull a bowl of boiling water on itself than it could pull the moon out of its orbit.

And why does He permit such things?

It is to remind us of the uncertainty of life and all creature-comforts; to make us afraid of cleaving too close to pretty toys, which are so precarious, that often while we look at them they vanish, and to lead us to a more entire dependence upon himself; that we might never judge ourselves or our concerns safe from outward appearances only, but that the Lord is our keeper, and were not his eye upon us, a thousand dangers, and painful changes, which we can neither foresee nor prevent, are lurking about us every step, ready to break in upon us every hour.

How many are laboring and planning in the pursuit of things, the event of which, if they obtain them, will be but like pulling scalding water upon their own heads. They must have the bowl by all means, but they are not aware what is in it till they feel it.

John Newton, The Works of John Newton - Volume I


Wednesday, February 27

Take up and read, again...

Well, I think that I've devised a plan I like... I'm posting it here for feedback and so that a couple of you who are close to me will hold me to it.

My plan is to divide the year up two different ways:
  • On one hand, I wanted to adopt a modified version of Dever's "Canon of Theologians" to try to get back in reading the foundational classics of the faith.
  • On the other hand, I wanted to also be reading contemporary authors on the major 'spheres' of pastoral ministry ('ministry of the Word', counseling, and theological engagement contemporary issues).
So, I've married the two... Since I read relatively fast, I'm going to have the two 'tracks' going concurrently. It looks a little something like this:
Since I know this isn't the clearest diagram, let me outline March as an example. I plan to get a hold of some of Richard Sibbes sermons (I read Bruised Reed last summer) and read through a couple over the course of the month. At the same time, I'm going to be reading Age of Opportunity by Tripp. In April, I'll move on to John Stott (probably Cross of Christ, which I never finished) and some other counseling book.

Obviously, I tried to group the 'old and not-so-old staples' to fit with the quarterly themes (Piper, Spurgeon, and Lloyd-Jones under preaching, Edwards and Carson under theological engagement) but I'm not restricting my reading of those guys to the subject areas. For example, I can completely anticipate reading Grace Abounding during John Bunyan month even though it has little to do with 'counseling' proper.

So, what thinkest thou?


Tuesday, February 26

Back on the Reading Rainbow

One of the first things that was plastered on the pages of this blog was a book/reading list that I was trying to work my way through (and ultimately stopped updating like everything else around here)... Well, I managed to get all the way through that list and more. The lone exception is that my Greek still sucks. Oh well.

About a year ago, I started to stop reading... That is I had exhausted my 'want to read' and 'need to read' lists. Shortly thereafter, I hit what I can only describe as the first fog of depression that I've even been in. Truth is, there are still lingering wisps of that around but far fewer than there were only a couple months ago.

One thing I was convicted about the other day is that I really need to get back to feeding my soul by reading. In trying to come up with a model that works, I was greatly helped by a couple resources from our friends at Sovereign Grace: The first of their new 'leadership podcasts' dealt specifically with developing better reading habits among pastors. In addition, I stumbled back across a seminar that Mark Dever gave at LC07 on his annual reading plan.

So, tonight I'm going to draft a plan of attack for the year ahead (ok, what's left of it anyway)... I hope you'll peek back and comment to help me flesh it out.

In the meantime, pick up a book yourself and stretch you brain a little.


Spurgeon said it, again.

Stop to think about the emphasis on works and the characterization of the atonement as 'cosmic child abuse' that have started to gain traction in the church. Now, read this by Spurgeon... This could've been written days ago, rather than a hundred or more years ago! How timely!

Those who set aside the atonement as a satisfaction for sin also murder the doctrine of justification by faith. They must do so. There is a common element which is the essence of both doctrines; so that, if you deny the one, you destroy the other.

Modern thought is nothing but an attempt to bring back the legal system of salvation by works. Our battle is the same as that which Luther fought at the Reformation. If you go to the very ground and root of it, grace is taken away, and human merit is substituted. The gracious act of God in pardoning sin is excluded, and human effort is made all in all, both for past sin and future hope. Every man is now to set up as his own savior, and the atonement is shelved as a pious fraud.

I will not foul my mouth with the unworthy phrases which have been used in reference to the substitutionary work of our Lord Jesus Christ; but it is a sore grief of heart to note how these evil things are tolerated by men whom we respect.

We shall not cease, dear brethren, in our ministry, most definitely and decidedly to preach the atoning sacrifice; and I will tell you why I shall be sure to do so. I have not personally a shadow of a hope of salvation from any other quarter: I am lost if Jesus be not my Substitute. I have been driven up into a corner by a pressing sense of my own personal sin, and have been made to despair of ever doing or being such that God can accept me in myself.

I must have a righteousness, perfect and Divine; yet it is beyond my own power to create. I find it in Christ: I read that it will become mine by faith, and by faith I take it. My conscience tells me that I must render to God's justice a recompense for the dishonor that I have done to His law, and I cannot find anything which bears the semblance of such a recompense till I look to Christ Jesus. Do I not remember when I first looked to Him, and was lightened? Do I not remember how often I have gone as a sinner to my Savior's feet, and looked anew at His wounds, and believed over again unto eternal life, feeling the old joy repeated by the deed?

Brethren, I cannot preach anything else, for I know nothing else. New dogmas may or may not be true; but of the truth of this doctrine, I am sure.

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Monday, February 25

Spurgeon said it...

Last Sunday, I finished a four-week series in our ABF on the Bible (shortened thanks to illness from five). The goal I had in mind was to help build an increased affection for God's Word in the saints and help people build something of an apologetic framework for defending Scripture to people outside the church.

Today, I came across this quote from Spurgeon that would've been a great bookend to the series... Wrapping up a sermon, the Prince of Preachers said this:

Well, now, time fails us, and I can say but little. I have only just cursorily touched on the text. I now hand it to you. May the Lord help you “sons of Jacob” to take home this portion of meat; digest it well, and feed upon it. May the Holy Ghost sweetly apply the glorious things that are written! And may you have “a feast of fat things, of wines on the lees well refined!”

Remember God is the same, whatever is removed. Your friends may be disaffected, your ministers may be taken away, every thing may change; but God does not. Your brethren may chance and cast out your name as vile: but God will love you still. Let your station in life change, and your property be gone; let your whole life be shaken, and you become weak and sickly; let everything flee away-there is one place where change cannot put his finger; there is one name on which mutability can never be written; there is one heart which never can alter; that heart is God’s - that name Love.

What a blessing it is that God, who is there and who is always the same, has given us His Word to be an anchor in the storm and a feast for our souls.

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Wednesday, February 20


Tim Challies writes some fabulous, balanced thoughts on the lightning rod that is Mark Driscoll.

I really appreciate that Tim is both direct in his critique of Driscoll's tongue and yet willing to embrace openly the good that God is doing in and through Driscoll's ministry.

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Tuesday, February 19

"I need someone who will look me in the eye..."

I've been admonished that I should start blogging again. So, I am here to try to do that.

Fascinating video here from a recent episode of ER. Did anyone see the full thing? I'm particularly curious at how the 'chaplain' character responds to the very pointed attack on her theology? Does this serve as a crisis point for her character, or is she 'allowed' to push off the issue?

Anyway, I've always thought that ER does a good job of offering compelling TV. Here's yet another example. View, and discuss below.


Friday, February 1

A study in contrasts...

Go here, and watch the video there then listen to the audio right underneath it.

That's all.