Monthly Archives: November 2011

Union with Christ by Robert Letham; First Thoughts

The UPS driver caught me right as I ventured into the cold afternoon to fetch the mail. As he parked on the street he handed me a gem. After carefully unpacking the box there emerged Robert Letham’s newest work entitled … Continue reading

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This is Aslan’s Doing!

In C.S. Lewis’ chapter Aslan is Nearer, Lewis focuses on Edmund’s repentance. Edmund has now discovered that Turkish Delight was no delight and that the Queen is no beauty. On their journey to kill the humans–Edmund’s siblings–Edmund begins to see … Continue reading

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Pure Grace

‎”The fact that God is pleased to forgive a sinner who repents is pure grace. Pure grace! It is perfectly true that God does not forgive impenitent sinners; he forgives penitent sinners. That he forgives penitent sinners is a matter … Continue reading

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Movie Review: True Grit

I confess it has been a while since I watched a movie. We have enjoyed various TV series this past year, but now that have we have bid Netflix Streaming adieu, we are finally able to focus on our large … Continue reading

Posted in Movies/Reviews | 4 Comments

Sermon: Mark 11:1-10; Advent

Text:  Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesussent two of his disciples 2and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt … Continue reading

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A Fuller Hope

Many people assume without  question that the final Christian hope is to leave this wicked world of space, time and matter and to go off, as disembodied souls, into heaven‟. That is fine as a statement of what happens to God‟s … Continue reading

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Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Cantata 140 – J. S. Bach)

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I like Cigars, but I love my Pipes even more

As an eight year pipe-smoker, I have found my pipes to be vastly better companions than cigars. Cigars are celebratory. I never turn down cigars on birthdays and the birth of children (one of many reasons I hope to have many … Continue reading

Posted in Pipes and Pleasure | 6 Comments

Advent Prayer

By Peter Leithart Father, You are light, and You dwell in the unapproachable, eternal light of Your Son and Spirit.  In You is no darkness or shifting shadow. On the first day, You made light shine in the midst of … Continue reading

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Communion Meditation: United to Him

Our Lord Jesus Christ comes for us. He comes for us because we have been made worthy in His sight. We are his lovely children; created by His love for the Bride. At this table we come adorned with royal … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Examining our Lives

Today marks the first Sunday of Advent. It is the beginning of a rich season of anticipation and preparation. For centuries Christians have used the month prior to the celebration of Christ’s incarnation to ready their hearts and their homes … Continue reading

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Union With Christ

The often neglected doctrine of union with Christ has been dealt well by two great biblical theologians, Richard Gaffin and Lane Tipton. Covenant union with Christ is the context by which we see election and the cross. Scroll down to … Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Scripture and Prayer

Psalm 100 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his … Continue reading

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Law as Friend

Richard Gaffin has this to say about the relationship between Law and Gospel in his book By Faith and not by Sight: “From this perspective, the antithesis between law and gospel is not an end in itself. It is not … Continue reading

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Weekly Communion

This past week–last Sunday of the Church Year–I offered a case for weekly communion. This is not an exhaustive treatment, since it is a sermon; but it covers some historical biblical thoughts concluding with a few applications on how we … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Our Expectations

For the Church, the last Sunday of the year is not in late December, but today. This is the last Sunday of the Church Year. We have undergone a myriad of emotions in these last 12 months only to go … Continue reading

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The Lord’s Supper is the World

Peter Leithart begins his delightful Blessed are the Hungry by observing that “the Lord’s Supper is the world in miniature…within it we find clues to the meaning of all creation and all history, to the nature of God and the … Continue reading

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The Sacraments and Union with Christ

According to Mathison, Calvin believed that “baptism is connected with the believer’s initiation into mystical union with Christ. The Lord’s Supper is connected with the believer’s ongoing continuation in this union (19).”

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Given For You

I spent a semester with Keith Mathison in Orlando doing an independent study on Luther and Calvin’s sacramental views. I read and re-read his fine book. Almost five years later I have picked it up again only to be refreshed … Continue reading

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The Eyes of Treason

Mr. Beaver identifies treason in Edmund: “Then mark my words,” said Mr. Beaver, “he has already met the White Witch and joined her side, and been told where she lives. I didn’t like to mention it before (he being your … Continue reading

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Calvin and the Sacraments

My former professor Keith Mathison’s work Given For You is undoubtedly the best work on Calvin’s view of the Sacraments. The book argues that Calvin avoided the pit-falls of the Roman Church and the symbolic memorialism of the Zwinglians. Rather, Calvin … Continue reading

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Is He Safe?

I have arrived at a well-known passage in C.S. Lewis Chronicles. In the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe the Sons of Adam and Eve are seeking for a solution to rescue the lovely Mr. Tumnus. The Beaver quickly shatters … Continue reading

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St. Athanasius on the Psalms

St. Athanasius on the Psalms: So then, my son, let whoever reads this Book of Psalms take the things in it quite simply as God-inspired; and let each select from it, as from the fruits of a garden, those things … Continue reading

Posted in Psalms, Quotes | 4 Comments

Ecclesiastical Self-Critique

Robert Jenson (Prolegomena III) observes that communities do not care for self-critique. The church is also one such community. This is why the Reformation was such a blow to the church of the day. Jenson writes that the “Reformers’ emphasis … Continue reading

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Exhortation: For All the Saints: Theology in the Holy Church

Robert Jenson argues that theology is “the church’s enterprise, and the only church conceivably in question is the unique and solitary church of the creeds.”[1] That is to say, the Church has its boundaries. To study the Bible and God … Continue reading

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Communion Meditation: Let Us Gladden Our Hearts

We have looked briefly at the book of Revelation in the sermon. Revelation describes a worship service. A great multitude is gathered presenting their praise teo the God of our salvation. The hosts of heaven gather around the throne of … Continue reading

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C.S. Lewis and Food

The food theme is not as prevalent in Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia as they are in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I have chronicled a bit of the delicious appetite of Tolkien for food here. Yet, as I make my … Continue reading

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The Intent of Biblical Stories

Eric Auerback (Mimesis, 14-15) writes that the intent of biblical stories: “is not to bewitch the senses, and if nevertheless they produce lively sensory effects, it is only because the moral, religious, and psychological phenomena which are their sole concern … Continue reading

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Man Needs Liturgy

David Chilton in his delightful Revelation commentary The Days of Vengeance demurs Protestant rationalism, which has abandoned liturgical worship. He observes that the abandonment of certain liturgical practices actually “contribute to the outbreaks of individualistic pietism.” Chilton concludes succinctly: “Man needs liturgy and … Continue reading

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Theology of Patience

I have argued before–as have others–that the Church needs to develop a theology of patience. After all, the Edenic sin of impatience– that of taking something without being prepared–has plunged us into innumerable other sins. We are a future-oriented people, which … Continue reading

Posted in Creeds, Theological Thoughts | 3 Comments