Monday, October 25, 2010

Song of the Week

I think I like every song Eddie Vedder sings.

"Just Breathe", Pearl Jam

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Catechism #35 & 36

Question #35: What does it mean that he "was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary"?

Answer: That the eternal Son of God, who is and remains true and eternal God, took to himself,
through the working of the Holy Spirit, from the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary, a truly human nature so that he might become David's true descendant, like his brothers in every way
except for sin (John 1:1; 10:30-36; Acts 13:33 (Ps. 2:7); Col. 1:15-17; 1 John 5:20; Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18-23; John 1:14; Gal. 4:4; Heb. 2:14; 2 Sam. 7:12-16; Ps. 132:11; Matt. 1:1; Rom. 1:3; Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:17; Heb. 4:15; 7:26-27)

Question #36: How does the holy conception and birth of Christ benefit you?

Answer: He is our mediator, and with his innocence and perfect holiness he removes from God's sight my sin—mine since I was conceived (1 Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 9:13-15;Rom. 8:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 4:4-5; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why I cringe when people say America is/was a Christian nation

Last night I spoke to a small group of international graduate students on the topic "Is America a Christian Nation?" I asked at the outset if they had been given the impression that America was a Christian nation and they all agreed that they had.

I began by asking what it is that makes an individual a Christian. I outlined three essential things. First, an internal work of God referred to as 'regeneration' or 'being born again'. That is the work of God and the sine qua non of being a Christian - without that work, we are still dead in sin and not a part of the Kingdom. This internal change will be manifested externally in the Fruit of the Spirit, but these externals flow from (necessarily) the internal change and cannot be forced or produced simply by the will of man.

Second, Christians are defined right belief. I asked, "if I told you I was an atheist who believed in God, what would you say?" Rightly they understand that I wouldn't be a real atheist, for atheists are marked by a specific belief, namely in the nonexistence of God. Likewise, real Christians are marked by certain beliefs. John, in his first letter articulates a doctrinal test -those who are truly believers will confess Christ. Those who don't, aren't genuine believers, but antichrists. Paul articulates the importance of right belief in several places, but look specifically at Galatians 1:6-9 and his condemnation of 'another gospel'. The early creeds, accepted by Catholics and Protestants (and with minor disagreement, Orthodox believers) are a wonderful summary of what true Christians have believed for centuries.

Finally, there are certain actions that mark of genuine Christians. Again, I asked, "what makes someone a vegetarian?" Obviously, vegetarians are marked off by certain practices, more so than beliefs. They don't eat meat. So Christians are marked off by certain actions, among them is participation in the sacraments of baptism and communion. The New Testament does not allow for a category of believer that is unbaptized or non-participatory in the sacramental life of the Body of Christ (I know, the exception is the thief on the cross. Likewise, the NT doesn't allow us to conceive of believers who are not connected to the life of the church.

Having established what it means for a person to be a Christian, we moved on the discuss what it means for a nation to be Christian. First, a nation could be officially Christian in that it recognized/supported/regulated a state church. England is officially Anglican. Denmark has the Danish National Church (Lutheran). In a similar way, many states officially support Islam as the state religion (Iran, Kuwait, etc.), and several officially support Buddhism (Cambodia, Thailand, etc.). Second, a nation could be established explicitly on Christian principles, theology, Scriptures, etc. The charter of the Plymouth Colony(Mayflower Compact) is such a document, stating,

"Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic..."

Third, a nation could be considered Christian if the vast majority of the population is Christian (but, on that, see the discussion above regarding the marks of a true Christian). So, do these apply to America?

Going back to the early 1700's, N.America was controlled by three colonizing powers: France, Great Britain, and Spain. Before the 1700's, other nations, like the Dutch, controlled some portions of N. America, but by 1700, it was those three that controlled the entire N.American continent. Two of the three were Roman Catholic, England was officially Protestant. Of the three groups of settlers (English, Spanish, and French), only one came for explicitly religious reasons. The Pilgrims (Separatists) and the Puritans settled in Massachusetts in hopes of finding freedom from (Anglican) persecution. However, not all British settlers came for religious reasons. Alongside the Dissenters (Pilgrims & Puritans) looking for freedom came good Anglicans who were motivated by the hope of a new life or financial prosperity.

Moving ahead to the time of the Revolution and the founding of the United States as a nation, many Christians look back to our Founding Fathers as pillars of Christian virtue who sought to establish a nation on the Christian principles. There is, however, good reason to question this. (I won't even raise the issue of whether or not rebellion against a sovereign is biblical, I'll just direct your attention to 1 Peter 1:13 and Romans 13:1-7). While it is absolutely true, that many pastors were supportive of the Revolution and that many of the Founding Fathers were good Christians (Patrick Henry, John Witherspoon, and Samuel Adams -who's better known for his beer than his role in founding our nation), that is certainly not the whole story. Among the founders there were quite a few Deists (and heretics). Ben Franklin denied the deity of Christ. John Adams denied the Trinity. Thomas Jefferson took scissors to his Bible and cut out all things supernatural, including the resurrection of Christ. Can such men be considered Christian? The did talk of god, but they eschewed a Christian understanding of God. They're god was sub-Christian. Thomas Paine was worse yet (or maybe better yet). He said, "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all." No wonder he was referred to as the 'filthy little atheist'! Moreover, Washington, while being a regular church goer refused communion for his whole adult life. In addition, he was a Grand Master in the Masonic Lodge - something that cannot easily be reconciled with genuine Christian convictions. (Regarding the image: in the words of an author I can't remember, 'Praying doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger.' Ok, the quote is actually, 'going to church doesn't make you a Christian...' but you get the idea.)

Considering all of this, I believe we can say that Christianity was certainly influential, but not exclusively so. Maybe more important than Jesus or Moses were the Enlightenment philosphers in vogue at the time - Kant, Rousseau, etc - and their elevation of autonomous reason over revelation (ie. 'we hold these truth to be self evident').

Moreover, beyond the small circle of founders, the population at large, while certainly thinking of themselves as Christian, could be thought of as only nominally so. Belief in God can be assumed, as well as a general Judeo-Chrsitian ethic; however, it is estimated that only 10-15% of the population attended church regularly. Con

In addition, when you look at the founding documents of the United States, you don't see any gospel orientation (not even a specifically Christian orientation like in the Mayflower Compact). Certainly vague talk of God or Creator is there, but Deists could affirm that No mention of Christ or the gospel. There was never an officially sanctioned state church for the nation (though many states supported the church - Anglican or Congregational). In fact, our Constitution distances us from any form of established religion. Our leaders are not subject to any religious test (Article 6.3), and religious liberty (not just of Christians) was articulated in the 1st amendment. Interestingly, Patrick Henry understood this to be grounded in the gospel, writing,"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship." I disagree with him on the first part, but affirm the connection between the gospel and religious freedom in the second part of the quote.

It must be conceded that American's breathed Christian air. The Judeo-Christian ethic was assumed. I've even heard it said that the god atheists disbelieved in was the Christian God (not a Muslim god or Hindu god, etc). However, that is a far cry from saying we were founded on Christian principles.

So, I believe saying America is a Christian nation doesn't do justice to the historical complexities surrounding the birth or our nation. In addition, and more importantly, it doesn't do justice to the nature of genuine Christianity. This is why I cringe when I hear pastors or theologians or lay people saying it. Do we really want that baggage?

First, American civil religion isn't Christianity. Morality isn't Christianity. Christian does come with a moral system, but the moral system, which American did, by and large, embrace, isn't what is essential to Christianity.

Second, looking at the history of our nation, we cannot claim it was a Christian nation and then turn a blind eye to the atrocities we have, as a nation, committed. Slavery. The dispossession of and slaughter of Native Americans. The confinement of Japanese in internment camps. And that's the short list. No wonder people in other parts of the world hear America claiming to be a Christian nation, look at our history, and conclude they want nothing to do with Christianity.

Lastly, I think Christians should think long and hard about whether or not the idea of a Christian nation is even biblical. Can a Christian America be squared with Jesus' statements regarding the spiritual nature of his kingdom? I don't think they can be easily reconciled.

I'll conclude with a long quote from Richard Alpert in the Huffington Post:

“Speaking from the heart of the Muslim world in Turkey's Cankaya Palace in April 2009, President Barack Obama answered the question with the nuance that has come to characterize his public statements: America, he declared, is "a predominantly Christian nation" but "we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation."

The President's answer seems to strike a discordant tone between reality and self-perception. On the one hand, American has no official church or religion. The United States Constitution expressly forbids a national religion. Yet on the other hand, Christianity is the religion of a substantial supermajority of the American population. According to the latest results of the Pew Research Centre's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, nearly 80 percent of Americans self-identify as Christian.

But there is no contradiction in the President's statement. America is, and indeed always has been, a nation of Christians but it is not, nor has it ever been, a Christian nation.”

Want more. Watch this short video from Bryan Chapell, President of Covenant Theological Seminary.

Catechism #33 & 34

We discussed these two questions yesterday, I just forgot to post them. If you haven't noticed, the Catechism is following, roughly, the outline of the Apostles Creed. The framers of the Heidelberg Catechism (mainly Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus) were geniuses when it comes to pedagogy!

Question #33: Why is he called God's "only Son" when we also are God's children?

Answer: Because Christ alone is the eternal, natural Son of God. We, however, are adopted children of God—adopted by grace through Christ ( John 1:1-3, 14, 18; Heb. 1; John 1:12; Rom. 8:14-17; Eph. 1:5-6).

Question #34:. Why do you call him "our Lord"?

Answer: Because—not with gold or silver, but with his precious blood—he has set us free from sin and from the tyranny of the devil, and has bought us, body and soul, to be his very own (1 Pet. 1:18-19; Col. 1:13-14; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Tim. 2:5-6).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Song(s) of the Week

I rarely buy music. When I do, it's used cd's from Amazon or Racks in Bloomington. But I heard Mumford and Sons on the radio Thursday afternoon and paid for the iTunes download on Friday morning. This is a live version of their song 'Little Lion Man', which I love. However, like versions for the radio are great - the album version has a quite a few f-bombs in the song (which I didn't realize till I was listening to it at church. Oops. Also, I'm posting the song 'Awake my Soul'.

"Little Lion Man"

"Awake My Soul"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Coffee Lovers Commercial

I think it was Bob's discussion of great commercials this morning in the sermon that brought this to mind. I love coffee - hate ordering it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Too Missional?

Kevin DeYoung has a great post over at his site. Apparently some were concerned with Kevin's comments about 'missional' language at the Desiring God Conference. Here's how he opened his comments on 'missional':

Let me say something at this point about the relatively new term “missional.” I do not have a problem with people putting “al” at the end of “mission.” More and more the word simply means “being involved in mission.” Or it is shorthand for “get out of your holy huddle and go engage your community with the gospel.” And I’m all for that. Every Christian should be. So I am not on a crusade to make people stop using the word missional, nor do I want you to be suspicious of everyone who does. Nevertheless, I have a few concerns with what I sometimes see in the missional mood...

He goes on to offer some good thoughts/concerns:

(1) I am concerned that good behaviors are sometimes commended using the wrong categories.

(2) I am concerned that in our new found missional zeal we sometimes put hard “oughts” on Christians where there should be inviting “cans.”

(3) I am concerned that in all our passion for renewing the city or tackling social problems we run the risk of marginalizing the one thing that makes Christian mission Christian: namely, making disciples of Jesus Christ.

Read the rest and then his clarifications here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Catechism #31 & 32

I think these questions do a great job of explaining the three offices of Christ as Prophet, Priest and King, and how those offices are paralleled in those who are 'in Christ'. The boys, especially Caleb, have commented several times how much they like doing this devotionally. I would recommend DeYoung's book, The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism. In the next week or two I'm going to add John Williamson Nevin's book History and Genius of the Heidelberg catechism, copyright 1847, to my reading list (available for free here). I'm going Heidelberg crazy!

Question #31: Why is he called "Christ," meaning "anointed"?
Answer: Because he has been ordained by God the Father and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit to be our chief prophet and teacher who perfectly reveals to us the secret counsel and will of God for our deliverance; our only high priest who has set us free by the one sacrifice of his body, and who continually pleads our cause with the Father; and our eternal king who governs us by his Word and Spirit, and who guards us and keeps us in the freedom he has won for us [Luke 3:21-22; 4:14-19; (Isa. 61:1); Heb. 1:9 (Ps. 45:7); Acts 3:22 (Deut. 18:15);John 1:18; 15:15; Heb. 7:17 (Ps. 110:4); Heb. 9:12; 10:11-14; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:24;Matt. 21:5 (Zech. 9:9); Matt. 28:18-20; John 10:28; Rev. 12:10-11].

Question #32: But why are you called a Christian?
Answer: Because by faith I am a member of Christ and so I share in his anointing. I am anointed to confess his name, to present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks, to strive with a good conscience against sin and the devil in this life, and afterward to reign with Christ over all creation for all eternity [1 Cor. 12:12-27; Acts 2:17 (Joel 2:28); 1 John 2:27; Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9-10; Heb. 13:15; Rom. 12:1; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Gal. 5:16-17; Eph. 6:11; 1 Tim. 1:18-19; Matt. 25:34; 2 Tim. 2:12].

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Inerrancy in Poiema

This past Sunday we finally brought to a close our conversation on inerrancy in Poiema (the Sunday school class I teach at ECC). I had initially planned on spending two weeks on the topic as part of our semester long series on the theology of the Word; however,the discussion was so good, it ended up taking five or six weeks (I lost track). This isn't a full run down of the conversation, just some of the key points from this last week.

First, we continued discussing some of the 'inconsistencies' pointed out by Bart Ehrman in his Misquoting Jesus. Most of his 'errors' evaporate in light of a proper definition of 'error', 'contradiction', as well as 'inerrancy'. There are, however, problem passages that aren't cleared up so easily. For example, the Lucan account of Jesus' birth and the census and the governorship of Quirinius. Honestly, I'm not entirely satisfied with 'solutions' offered by scholars; however, I advocated an attitude of humble faith. Scripture has proven itself reliable time and time again when scholars thought it was clearly in error (i.e. Sargon, Sanballat, etc). In addition, there isn't evidence that contradicts the Lucan account - we don't have record of who the governor was during the timeframe of Jesus birth, nor do we have clear historical attestation (outside of Scripture) as to what Quirinius was up to during that time. We know he was leading an army before that, and giving Caesar a tour of the eastern provinces after that. We also know he was governor during the early part of the first century AD, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that he served an earlier term as governor during the time of the census. Anyway, the point is that we should be willing to give the Scripture the 'benefit of the doubt' in such cases. The Chicago Statement adopts a similar approach to questions like the one mentioned above:
Article 14 - We affirm the unity and internal consistency of Scripture. We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved violate the truth claims of the Bible.
We also revisited the issue of 'limited inerrancy'. Traditionally, evangelicals (and others) have held that Scripture is our only infallible guide to faith and practice. Alternatively, some posit that Scripture is only infallible when it speaks to faith or practice. The shift in wording is slight, but the implications are large. I gave three reasons why I reject the notion of limited inerrancy. First, it raises the very serious danger of a reduced canon and the problematic question of which passages speak to faith and practice (and are to be treated as authoritative) and which do not (and can be dismissed as non-authoritative). Second, as Christianity is a religion rooted in historical details like the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, what happens when we remove the historical details from the category of inerrant? RC Sproul argues that we may very well loose the basis for our salvation. Less alarmist is the approach of V.Philips Long in this book Art of Biblical History, The, which again, I highly recommend. Third, the idea of limited inerrancy raises a big apologetic issue: “to those outside the fellowship of evangelicals, the notion of limited inerrancy appears artificial and contrived…we cannot believe the Bible concerning earthly things but we stake our lives on what it says concerning heavenly/eternal things.” (RC Sproul, Scripture Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine). How do we explain and defend the idea that Scripture has been divinely superintended and inerrant in parts, but not the whole. Again, the Chicago Statement is instructive:
Article VI - We affirm that the whole of Scripture and all its parts, down to the very words of the original, were given by divine inspiration.
We deny that the inspiration of Scripture can rightly be affirmed of the whole without the parts, or of some parts but not the whole.
Next we considered briefly (too briefly) the scriptural and theological arguments for inerrancy. First, we looked at several passages of the NT: 2 Peter 1:20, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 3:16, and 1 Timothy 5:18. In 2 Peter 1 the apostle teaches that all prophecy (referring here to the Old Testament) was carried along by the Holy Spirit, not the creativity of the men who spoke/wrote. Paul states in 2 Timothy 3 that all Scripture is God breathed (inspired). In 2 Peter 3 the apostle refers to those who twist Paul's letters (which he admits are tough). The key phrase is 'as they do the other Scriptures.' Peter understands Paul's writing to be on par with the Old Testament Scripture. Finally, in 1 Timothy 5 Paul begins the sentence with the phrase 'Scripture says', then adds two quotes. The first is from the book of Deuteronomy. The second is from Luke 10. Apparently then, Paul sees Luke's writing as on par with Scripture (though the dating of those two books is pretty tight). So, if all of Scripture is of God, and that includes OT and NT, then all of Scripture (in the originals - more on that later) must be true and accurate. Errors come from 1)a lack of knowledge, or 2) an intention to mislead/deceive. Neither can be true of God, so Scripture is deemed to be inerrant by virtue of it being of God. While this is a circular argument in that it assumes what it attempts to establish, it should be noted that every appeal to a final authority is circular.

Another approach associated with John Warwick Montgomery is less circular (though not entirely so). If one grants that the Bible is a generally reliable guide to the historical Jesus, then one can establish that Jesus has indeed risen from the dead, validating his claims to be the unique Son of God. If Jesus is the Son of God, he should be trusted, and, it is admitted by all, Jesus had a high view of Scripture. He quoted it often, treated it as the authoritative word from his heavenly Father. So, based on the above, it can be concluded that if Jesus thought highly of Scripture and regarded it as 'of God', we ought to also.

Historically, those who uphold inerrancy are on pretty solid ground also. Some have argued that inerrancy is actually a modern invention. One blogger writes, "The doctrine of inerrancy, however, is a particular view of inspiration, modern in origin, that goes far, far beyond the Reformers (and the Fathers, and the historical church, for that matter). I reject it wholesale, while still maintaining the high view of Scripture's infallibility." The problem with that is twofold. First, the word infallible is a stronger word than inerrant. To accept Scripture as infallible but not inerrant is to say that Scripture cannot err, but has errors. The second problem is that it's just plain wrong. It is not a modern invention, nor is it particularly Protestant. Here's a sampling of quotes:

Augustine (354-430 BC): "None of these (scriptural) authors has erred in any respect of writing." Also,in a letter to St. Jerome, "On my own part I confess to your charity that it is only to those books of Scripture which are now called canonical that I have learned to pay such honor and reverence as to believe most firmly that none of their writers has fallen into any error. And if in these books I meet anything which seems contrary to truth, I shall not hesitate to conclude either that the text is faulty, or that the translator has not expressed the meaning of the passage, or that I myself do not understand. ..."

Pope Leo XIII (1893) encyclical letter Providentissimus Deus said in part: “so far is it from being possible that any error can coexist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (Imprimi Potest) 1994, states in section 107: "The inspired books teach the truth. Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confined to the Sacred Scriptures."

Luther: “Everyone knows that at times they [the fathers] have erred as men will; therefore, I am ready to trust them only when they prove their opinions from Scripture, which has never erred.” Also, ”St. Augustine, in a letter to St. Jerome, has put down a fine axiom – that only Holy Scripture is to be considered inerrant”

In addition, we discussed the question, "how important is inerrancy?" We should, I think, understand inerrancy as important, but not a test of orthodoxy. Also, it's important to understand that while it's important, it is not enough to guarantee orthodoxy. I would argue that simply affirming inerrancy is probably less important than showing respect to Scripture in how we use it.

Lastly, I showed my cards. What do I think about inerrancy (probably pretty clear by now, but maybe not). I uphold inerrancy, but don't love the word. I would much prefer just to stick with Bible words; however, since the early days of the church we as a body have seen the necessity of using extrabiblical words to explain and defend biblical teaching (ie. 'Trinity', 'persons', etc.). However, after I've gone through the process of defining inerrancy properly I fear the term ‘inerrancy’ dies the death of a thousand qualifications. Finally, While acknowledging the term ‘inerrant’ has a long history in the church, I feel the word has been loaded down with baggage that it didn’t’ originally carry (due to Enlightenment understandings of certainty, etc.). Yet, despite this uneasiness, I will continue to use the word and uphold the truth behind it. Quite simply, I can’t think of a better way to affirm the complete trustworthiness of Scripture.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Song of the Week

I've loved Johnny Cash since I heard the song "Boy Named Sue". I heard this song for the first time I remember on Pandora as I was writing my paper Wednesday night (oddly, I was listening to a Nine Inch Nails channel). I love it.

Johnny Cash, "Ain't no Grave"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Catechism #29 & 30

Question #29: Why is the Son of God called "Jesus," meaning "savior"?

: Because he saves us from our sins. Salvation cannot be found in anyone else; it is futile to look for any salvation elsewhere (Matt. 1:21; Heb. 7:25; Isa. 43:11; John 15:5; Acts 4:11-12; 1 Tim. 2:5).

Question #30
: Do those who look for their salvation and security in saints, in themselves, or elsewhere really believe in the only savior Jesus?

No. Although they boast of being his, by their deeds they deny the only savior and deliverer, Jesus.

Either Jesus is not a perfect savior, or those who in true faith accept this savior
have in him all they need for their salvation (1 Cor. 1:12-13; Gal. 5:4; Col. 1:19-20; 2:10; 1 John 1:7)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Catechism #27 & 28

These two questions were great, and I loved sending the boys off to school today with these thoughts rattling around in their brain pans.

Question # 27:
What do you understand by the providence of God?

Answer: Providence is the almighty and ever present power of God by which he upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth, and all creatures, and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty — all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but from his fatherly hand (Jer. 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-28; Heb. 1:3; Jer. 5:24; Acts 14:15-17; John 9:3; Prov. 22:2; Prov. 16:33; Matt. 10:29).

Question #28: How does the knowledge of God's creation and providence help us?

We can be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing will separate us from his love. All creatures are so completely in his hand that without his will they can neither move nor be moved (Job 1:21-22; James 1:3; Deut. 8:10; 1 Thess. 5:18; Ps. 55:22; Rom. 5:3-5; 8:38-39; Job 1:12; 2:6; Prov. 21:1; Acts 17:24-28).

Monday, October 04, 2010

Song of the Week

I don't know what brought this song to mind, but it was my families favorite song for a few years back in the late 80's.
Carman, "The Champion"

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Catechism #26

We talked about this question both Thursday and Friday. I think, to date, it's my favorite of the catechism.

Question #26: What do you believe when you say,"I believe in God, the Father Almighty,creator of heaven and earth"?

Answer: That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, who still upholds and rules them by his eternal counsel and providence, is my God and Father because of Christ his Son.

I trust him so much that I do not doubt he will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and he will turn to my good whatever adversity he sends me in this sad world.

He is able to do this because he is almighty God; he desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.

(Gen. 1 & 2; Ex. 20:11; Ps. 33:6; Isa. 44:24; Acts 4:24; 14:15; Ps. 104; Matt. 6:30; 10:29; Eph. 1:11; John 1:12-13; Rom. 8:15-16; Gal. 4:4-7; Eph. 1:5; Ps. 55:22; Matt. 6:25-26; Luke 12:22-31; Rom. 8:28; Gen. 18:14; Rom. 8:31-39; Matt. 7:9-11)