Friday, December 30, 2011

Adopted as Sons, not Daughters

Here is yet another reason to translate what the Scripture actually says, not what we think it ought to say according to current ideology. Speaking of the biblical teaching on adoption, Robert Letham writes,

The current tendency, influenced by the pressure of gender-inclusive language, to refer to believers as "sons and daughter" of God is misleading, blurs this vital truth, and has the effect of blunting the church's appreciation of what union with Christ entails. Jesus Christ is the Son of the Father, and is so eternally; that is his name and that is his status. It is not a sexual term, for God is not a sexual being. By referring to Christian believers as "sons," the NT is not, under the influence of patriarchal culture, bypassing half the human race. Instead, it is pointing to our shared status with the Son of the father, in and by the Holy Spirit. The introduction of talk of "daughters" obscures this point, placed at the hub of the Christian life.

Union with Christ, 54, fn. 19

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

That They May All Be One

Christ prayed that all who would believe in him through the message of his apostles would be one. Clearly this has ramifications for how we live with other Christians, beyond our fellow church members. But what are they? How do we even begin to endeavor to maintain the unity produced by the Spirit in our day of ecclesiastical confusion? We will begin the new year with by expending some spiritual sweat grappling with Christ's prayer for his church.

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing (#69)
Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken (#220)
I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord (#224)
Come, We That Love the Lord (#223)

Scripture Reading
Old Testament: Exodus 21:1-19; Psalm 111
New Testament: Romans 13

That They May All Be One - John 17:20-26

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Insatiable Desires Christward

Andrew Bonar's sketch of Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) presents before our eyes another of that great multitude of whom we ought to "consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith."

His description of himself on one occasion is, "A man often borne down and hungry, and waiting for the marriage supper of the Lamb." He is now gone on to the "mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense;" and there he no doubt still wonders at the unopened, unsearchable treasure of Christ. But oh! for his insatiable desires Christward! Oh! for ten such men in Scotland to stand in the gap! - men who all day long find nothing but Christ to rest in, whose very sleep is a pursuing after Christ in dreams, and who intensely desire to "awake with His likeness."

The Letters of Samuel Rutherford, ed. Frank E. Gabelein

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Seek the Lord

Come now, insignificant man, fly for a moment from your affairs, escape for a little while from the tumult of your thoughts. Put aside now your weighty cares and leave your wearisome toils. Abandon yourself for a little while to God and rest for a little while in Him. Enter into the inner chamber of your soul, shut out everything save God and what can be of help in your quest for Him and having locked the door seek Him out. Speak now, my whole heart, speak now to God: 'I seek Your countenance, O Lord, Your countenance I seek.'

Anselm, "Proslogion" in The Major Works, 84.

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Proving the Fulness of Sin and the Grace of God

No proof of the fulness of sin, after all, is so overwhelming and unanswerable as the cross and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and the whole doctrine of His substitution and atonement. Terribly black must that guilt be for which nothing but the blood of the Son of God could make satisfaction. Heavy must that weight of human sin be which made Jesus groan and sweat drops of blood in agony at Gethsemane and cry at Golgotha, 'My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?' (Matt 27:46). Nothing, I am convinced, will astonish us so much, when we awake in the resurrection day, as the view we shall have of sin and the retrospect we shall take of our own countless shortcomings and defects. Never till the hour when Christ comes the second time shall we fully realize the 'sinfulness of sin.' Well might George Whitefield say, 'The anthem in heaven will be: What hath God wrought!'

J. C. Ryle, Holiness 

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

Bible Reading Plans

Do you meditate upon the word of God day and night? His word is his gift to us that we might know him. Prepare now to make 2012 a year of reading the Scriptures faithfully. Here is a blog post which gives several profitable plans for reading the Bible consistently. Read it, and let it challenge you to read the Word.

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

Friday, December 23, 2011

United for the Cause

The experience of meditating on John 17 is like soaring high in the limitless sky. There is simply no end to the beauty and grandeur of our triune God and his works. One could be quite happy here forever.

But we must also come back to earth to live faithfully according to this beautiful vision, so this Lord's Day we will consider Jesus' prayer that all who believe in him may be one as the Father and the Son are one. Join us! There is no better way to spend Christmas Day.

Angels from the Realms of Glory (#111)
Silent Night! Holy Night! (#109)
Away in a Manger (#112)
Who Is He in Yonder Stall? (#120)

Scripture Reading
Old Testament: Exodus 20; Psalm1
New Testament: Romans 12

United in Love for the Cause - John 17:20-26

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Joy to the World

This coming Lord's Day, we will offer to the Lord a sacrifice of praise for the coming of our Lord. May you be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit as we gather for praise.

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

Friday, December 09, 2011

God Giving God

Our God is a giving God, and what he supremely gives is himself. How does he do this, and what does it mean for our life in him? Join us this Lord's Day to listen to Jesus pray about these things.

Joy to the World (#92)
The First Noel (#98)
See in Yonder Manger Low (#102)
Angels from the Realms of Glory (#111)

Scripture Reading
Old Testament: Exodus 19; Psalm 68
New Testament: Romans 11:17-36

God Giving God - John 17

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Amusing Ourselves to Death Discussion 7

Chapter 10: Teaching as an Amusing Activity
1.      While using “Sesame Street” as an illustration of contemporary views of education, Postman makes the following observation. “‘Sesame Street’ was entirely consonant with the prevailing spirit of America. Its use of cute puppets, celebrities, catchy tunes, and rapid-fire editing was certain to give pleasure to the children and would therefore serve as adequate preparation for their entry into a fun-loving culture” (142). Are educational structures and forms always oriented toward some end-goal? What is the end-goal of contemporary educational structures and forms? What should Christian education strive toward?

2.      Postman claims “If the classroom now begins to seem a stale and flat environment for learning, the inventors of television itself are to blame, not the Children’s Television Workshop” (143). Do you agree or disagree?

3.      As something of a side note, I must register my agreement (of all things!) with Postman’s quotation from John Dewey: “Collateral learning in the way of formation of enduring attitudes…may be and often is more important than the spelling lesson or lesson in geography or history….For these attitudes are fundamentally what count in the future” (144). How should this influence Christian parents who consider sending their children to public schools? to Christian schools? to homeschool?

4.      Now back to a fundamental point of engagement with this chapter…Postman says that “reading books and watching television differ entirely in what they imply about learning,” and that this “is the primary educational issue in America today” (144-5). What is the primary educational issue in America today from a Christian perspective?

5.      When criticizing education as entertainment, what precisely are we criticizing?

6.      What does Postman posit as the three commandments of television’s philosophy of education (147-8)?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Loving Holiness

Something to consider as we meet together tomorrow.

Have I a real love to holiness? Do I press after it, and earnestly desire to be more holy, using holy ordinances for this end, that I may be made thereby more and more holy? Am I fond of holy ordinances and holy people, and that because they are holy? Have I a real value for holiness wherever I see it? Do I delight in God’s holy word, and that because it is holy? Do I call the holy sabbath a delight, and that because it is holy? Do I love the brethren because they are holy, and love them the better the more holy they are? Do I long to be made perfect in holiness in that other world?

Matthew Henry

Shunning Sentimentality and Pragmatism

Who knew that wisdom could be found in the Huffington Post?

This article isn't the whole fight, but the author lands a hard right hook to the head.

Here is the jist of the article: "God save us from the successful church."

Read it all here.

Friday, December 02, 2011

In, but not Of

Yes, that old "in but not of" again. It seems like a cliche: "Christians are in the world but not of the world." But what did Jesus mean when he prayed, "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world" and "As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world"? We will seek to come to grips with that this Lord's Day.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel (#87)
O Come, All Ye Faithful (#88)
Angels We Have Heard on High (#89)
Once in Royal David's City (#91)

Scripture Reading
Old Testament: Exodus 18; Psalm 7
New Testament: Romans 11:1-16

In the World, No of the World - John 17:6-19