Archive for October, 2006

Hallowed be Thy name.

“The name of God is the renown whereby he is celebrated among men for his virtues, as are his wisdom, goodness, might, justice, truth, mercy. We ask therefore that this majesty be sanctified in such virtues of his, not that his majesty may increase or decrease in itself, but that it may be esteemed as holy by all, that is to say, that it may be truly acknowledged and magnified and that (whatever God may do) all his workings may appear glorious as they truly are. So that, if he punishes, he may be held as just; if he forgives, he may be held as merciful; if he accomplishes his promises, he may be held as veracious. In sum, that there may be altogether nothing in which his glory be not as engraved and resplendent, so that praises to him may resound in all spirits and on all tongues.” (Instruction in Faith, p. 60)


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Our Father who art in heaven.

“First of all this rule is presented to us: All prayers must be offered to God in the name of Christ, as no prayer in another name can be pleasing to God. For, since we call God our Father, it is certain that we understand beneath it the name of Christ also. Certainly, as there is no man in the world worthy to introduce himself to God and appear in his sight, this good heavenly Father (to free us from this confusion which should have rightly embarrassed us) has given us his Son Jesus to be our mediator and advocate toward him, by whose leading we may boldly approach God, having good confidence that, thanks to this intercessor, nothing which we will ask in his name shall be denied to us, since the Father cannot refuse him anything. And, since the throne of God is not only a throne of majesty but also of grace, we have the boldness to appear frankly in his name before that throne, in order to obtain mercy and find grace when we need it. And, in fact, as we have the ordered law of invoking God and we possess the promise that all those who will call upon him shall be heard, so there is also a special commandment to invoke him in the name of Christ and the promise given of obtaining what we will ask in his name (John 14:13; 16:23).”

“It is added here that God our Father is in the heavens. His marvelous majesty (which our spirit according to its rudeness cannot otherwise comprehend) is thus signified, inasmuch as there is nothing before our eyes more excellent and full of all majesty than the sky. The phrase ‘in heaven’ is equivalent to saying that God is lofty, mighty, incomprehensible. Now, when we hear that, we must lift on high our thoughts each and every time that God is mentioned, in order not to imagine of him anything carnal and earthly, not to measure him according to our comprehension nor to subordinate his will to our affections.” (Instruction of Faith, pp. 59-60)

Instruction in Faith was written by John Calvin in 1537. I definitely recommend this little book.

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More Politics

Melinda Penner, affectionately known as “Melinda the Enforcer” by Greg Koukl, has a good post on the Stand to Reason blog called “Political Fasting.” It deals with David Kuo’s new book called Tempting Faith and follows very closely Doug TenNapel’s comments on Tony Campolo. No, followers of Jesus Christ should not fast from politics, especially in the next forty days.

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Doug TenNapel has a good response to Tony Campolo’s comments about starting a group of “Red-Letter Christians.” Doug’s observations are excellent! (Be aware that Doug’s blog is a bit raw and edgy in spots – fair warning.) One more thing – check out his post called “Intolerance of the Tolerant.” Well said, Doug!

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Gary DeMar from American Vision has posted an article entitled “Secularism is the Problem.” It’s very good and argues against the idea that Christianity in specific and religion in general is the root of all problems in the world.

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How important is “community” in the life of a Christian? Very, according to Donald Miller in his book Blue Like Jazz. On page 175, he writes:

“Before I lived in community, I thought faith, mine being Christian faith, was something a person did alone, likes monks in caves. I thought the backbone of faith was time alone with God, time reading ancient texts and meditating on poetry or the precepts of natural law and, perhaps, when a person gets good and godly, levitating potted plants and pitchers of water.

“It seems that way in books. I had read a Christian book about the betterment of self, the actualization of the individual in the personal journey toward God. The book was all about focus and drive and perspective. It was all stuff you did in a quiet room. None of it had anything to do with community.

“If other people were part of the Christian journey, they had small roles; they were accountability partners or counselors or husbands or wives. I hadn’t seen a single book (outside the majority of books in the New Testament) that addressed a group of people or a community with advice about faith.

“When I walked into the Christian section of a bookstore, the message was clear: Faith is something you do alone.”

Miller’s point in the rest of the chapter is that the Christian faith is not – and was never intended to be – something you do alone. We can’t do it by ourselves. We need each other. We’re not monks in caves. We’re the body of Christ, with emphasis on the word “body.” Thanks for the reminder, Don.

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Books Mean Things

Al Mohler has posted some comments on books and personal libraries in his blog called “By Their Books We Shall Know Them.” He says, “The books we collect, display, and read tell the story about us. This may be especially true of Christian ministers.” You can read it here – it’s the third posting down.

I agree with Al and the article he quotes. I like to check out other people’s libraries – it really does tell me a lot about them.

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