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Showing posts from February, 2010

Resources on Justification and the New Perspective

Tabletalk has put together a collection of helpful resources on Justification and the New Perspective on Paul (NPP). If you've been wondering what all the fuss is about the NPP or N.T. Wright's view of justification, then this collection is a good place to start. There are videos to watch, audio to listen to, and even articles to read with contributors such as Don Carson, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, John Piper and Al Mohler (as well as many more). Justification is the doctrine by which the church stands or falls, so guarding sound teaching in this era is vital.

Prayer in the Dark

Mark 1:35 speaks of Jesus getting up early to pray while it was still dark. In the European winter it's quite normal to get up in the morning while it's still dark, but Jesus didn't live in northern Europe. In Israel, even in the middle of winter, the sun is up by half past six: in the summer at about half past five. So getting up early to pray really did mean getting up early.
Today when we get up in the dark in the European winter it's okay. We turn on the light and work can begin even before the sun comes up. In 1st century Israel there were no electric lights. Everything was very quiet before the sun came up as nothing much could be done. Most people would have got up with the sun.
So by getting up early while it was still dark to pray Jesus was choosing a time to pray when there would be nothing else going on. It was the distraction-free time of the day.
If you're anything like me, you probably need a distraction-free time of the day for prayer. At some times of …

Trains, Taxis and Evangelism

Last weekend I was travelling. Travelling nearly always means talking to strangers. Not just the people who take our tickets, check our passports or x-ray our luggage to whom we speak for a only few seconds; but talking to people with whom we end up passing considerably more time.
Now, I'm not the most outgoing of people. I don't strike up conversations with everyone I meet. As I was returning to Brussels on the Eurostar at the end of the weekend I couldn't help but overhear as the two (rather loud) people in front of me struck up a conversation which was to last the entire journey. These were two complete strangers, yet sitting across the table from each other in a railway carriage made a two-hour long conversation both acceptable and even, in their case, desirable. Apart from exchanging a few pleasantries, I kept myself to myself. The business woman sitting beside me clearly wanted to get on with her work without being disturbed. That's vital to the whole speaking to…

Good Evangelism

The test of our evangelistic method is a simple question: does it make justification clear? The vital question is for people to know if they are acquitted by God.
Will Metzger, Tell the Truth, p.189

Our Plans and God's Purpose

God's Purpose Will Come to Pass

Eph. 3:11 tells us that God has an eternal purpose. Just pause there a moment to think about that word purpose. It's not a wish or a hope, it's not something that God would like to see happen if at all possible. No, it's the eternal purpose of our sovereign God.
When we make plans they depend on many things around us. They may depend on circumstances or on other people. They may depend on the economy or the weather. They may depend on our strength or intelligence. They also depend on us. That means that some of our best laid plans come to nothing. Much as we would sometimes like something to happen, it isn't always possible for there are reasons beyond our control. There are no reasons, however, beyond God's control. There is no one upon whom and nothing upon which God is dependent. He is the sovereign Lord who controls the whole of creation, and so nothing can get in the way of His plan. God's plan is not like our plans because God is not like us; He is the al…

Lloyd-Jones on the Church's Greatest Need

The greatest need of the church from every standpoint is a great visitation of the Holy Spirit, and it is only as she receives this she will be enabled to understand again, to grasp and to preach to others, the saving message of the gospel of the Son of God!
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Joy Unspeakable, p.164