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Archive for August, 2017

Dignity and Depravity

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The horrific flooding in Houston as a result of Hurricane Harvey has put a basic biblical doctrine – anthropology – on full display. (Anthropology is the doctrine of man.)

What the Bible teaches about man is built on two pillars of truth: the dignity of man and the depravity of man.

Man (speaking in the generic sense of all human beings) is created by God in His image and likeness. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen. 1:26-27) As humans, we’re like God and similar to Him in some ways, but not in all ways. As a result, every single human being has dignity, value, and worth. We have the ability (though not perfectly) to reflect God’s character and attributes. We’ve seen a lot of that in Houston over the last few days. People have rushed in to offer whatever help they can give, sent donations to organizations that provide relief, and many have made heroic attempts to save and help anyone in need. The dignity of man is on display.

Man, although created in the image and likeness of God, is also sinful and fallen. The effects of Adam and Eve’s sin have been passed own to all of us like a virus, but they’re not completely to blame – you and I ratify the decision they made every day. The result is stated clearly in Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All human beings are sinful in every part of our being – mind, will, affections, body. In other words, we’re totally depraved. We’re sinners, therefore we sin. The depravity of man has also been on display in Houston. We’ve seen it in price-gouging, looting, scams that take advantage of people’s generosity, and even in despicable comments made on social media wishing death on those with different political views.

We human beings are what has been called a “beautiful tragedy.” Because of God’s doing, we have incredible dignity, and because of our doing we have thorough depravity. The only hope we have for restoration is that which comes through God’s grace by means of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

While we see man’s dignity and depravity, we also see God’s power and grace. We’re praying for you, Houston!

 

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on 2 Timothy 3:1 through 4:5. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Because we live in perilous times, we need to have a realistic view of mankind, not despair, continue in what we’ve learned, and preach the Word!

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“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.” (Ecclesiates 12:11)

The police need to step up. So says David French in National Review. I completely agree with him. For some reason (and I have a theory about that), police have stood down while protests become violent with regard to person and property. The violent riots and protests that happened after President Trump was elected haven’t stopped – they’re getting worse – and local police are simply watching it happen. This is very bad for our society. You can read French’s article here.

“Your Child’s Best Education is Outside the Classroom” is a series of suggestions made by Gary DeMar on learning and being a life-long learner. Even though this applies mostly to kids, adults would do well to adopt some of these practices, too. We need to love God with all of our minds! You can read the article here.

Are you preaching a Bible study or a sermon? Tim Challies gives those who preach something to think about. You can read it here.

Although there has been a lot of talk in the past ten-to-fifteen years about focusing our missionary activities on “the city,” we can’t forget the need for rural ministry – it’s just as important. You can read Kyle Borg’s article here.

Someone stole a truck carrying 20 tons of chocolate, including a lot of Nutella, in Germany. Here’s the story. I hope they didn’t eat it all at once.

 

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on Colossians 1:15-20. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Jesus Christ, the Lord of creation and redemption, has first place in everything.

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“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.” (Ecclesiastes 12:11)

Al Mohler writers a letter to American Christians called “Letter from Berlin: The Letters of History and the Heresy of Racial Superiority.” It’s especially important to think about after what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. You can read it here

Joe Carter has written an FAQ on Charlottesville, which can be read here. It’ll help give you a basic grasp of the situation.

The Wall Street Journal has a well-reasoned, well-written editorial about our culture and its response to Charlottesville, focusing on identity politics, in specific. You can read it here.

Does our job matter? Does God have anything to say about in His Word? Yes, our job does matter (including the way we do it), and yes God does have quite a bit to say about it in His Word. Dan Doriani has written a helpful article called “12 Basic Principles for Faith and Work.” You can read it here.

Mindy Belz, of WORLD, says plants needs pruning, but so do we as God’s people. Read her excellent piece here.

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“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.”  (Ecclesiastes 12:11)

Richard Phillips explains the slippery slope toward theological liberalism (unbelief, in other words) in this article at the reformation21 blog.

VBS and the mission of the church is a timely article, especially this week at Cross Creek Bible Church! You can read it here.

Good news: Pastor Hyeon-Soo Lim has been released from prison by the North Korean government! You can read the story here.

The Left prides itself on being tolerant, but, in reality, they aren’t. Here’s another example: Asking musicians not to play and people not to come as Dennis Prager (a conservative) guest-conducts an orchestra. Josh Charles, from The Federalist writes about it here.

Here is an interesting story on churches for the deaf in China and Taiwan. God is at work, we can be certain of that!

 

 

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“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. “  (Ecclesiastes 12:11)

We should read three books according to Mark Loughridge: the book of Scripture, the book of Creation, and the book of Providence. Trying to read God’s handwriting isn’t easy, but it’s very rewarding. You can read Mark’s article here.

Free speech in the United States is waning. That’s the opinion of David French of National Review. He gives several current events as examples: Lena Dunham and Google. You can read his piece here.

Can we trust the Gospels as reliable historical documents? Yes, we can! The authors were quite concerned about getting details correct, even small and seemingly insignificant ones. You can read Tim Barnett’s article here.

Tony Reinke asks a good question – Are you chasing happiness or holiness? Read the article here.

Social media, especially Facebook, can make us very tired. Stephen Altrogge says this is true because of our tendency to move outside of our burdens and calling, with the consequence of being crushed. It’s something to think about. You can read it here.

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