Jesus Christ

Take the time and watch this...

Wonderful testimony to our Lord Jesus Christ. Wonderful example of fatherhood after the Father Almighty, a mother in Israel, and brotherhood in Christ. Thanks, Taylor.


Tim Keller's "divine dance": the Trinitarian twist...

Reading some of Tim Keller's books recently, certain emphases stood out. One being something he calls the "divine dance." Keller prefers framing discussions of the Trinity with this analogy. He concludes with it in The Reason for God and opens with it in King's Cross (aka Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God)...

Exploring the background to this analogy, I came across a very helpful book, Engaging with Keller: Thinking Through the Theology of an Influential Evangelical, contributed by various authors, including Pastor Kevin J. Bidwell.


An atheist says Africa needs Christ...

Praise God for this piece demonstrating the Hound of Heaven (we hope) baying a man to repentance and faith; but praise God more for the faithful servants of Christ who have quietly given their lives to one man and one woman and one child and one village and one tribe and one nation while NGOs, Christian and otherwise, get all the money and hobnob with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Bono.

Sorry to send you to Dawkins, but the Times wants money to read and we don't link to media outlets that directly charge for content.


A psalm for Easter...

Let's celebrate Easter
with the rite
of laughter.
Christ died and rose
and lives.
Laugh like a woman
who holds her first baby.
Our enemy death
will soon be destroyed.
Laugh like a man
who finds he doesn't have cancer
or does but now there's a cure.
Christ opened wide the door of heaven.
Laugh like children
at Disneyland's gates.
This world is owned by God
and He'll return to rule.
Laugh like a man
who walks away uninjured
from a wreck
in which his car was totaled.
Laugh
as if all the people in the whole world
were invited to a picnic
and then invite them.

-Joe Bayly


Learning our shapes...

In our Pathway (small group), we are going through 1Peter. As noted before, the Holy Spirit connects our lives to the ministry of the prophets of old with those who announce this grace to us. Though R2K adherents would have us think otherwise, the announcement of grace has implications for every facet of our lives. Grace does more than alleviate our consciences...


But he pulled free and escaped naked...

Watching Passion's Giglio out there in front of these United States repenting of his former faithfulness to Jesus Christ in calling gays and lesbians to repent reminds me of this anecdote recorded by Mark from that dangerous time surrounding Jesus' arrest. When the Jews came for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane under cover of night, they carried weapons. It was dangerous and men often run from danger—even young men. Mark tells us:

And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me, as you would against a robber? Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me; but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures.” And they all left Him and fled.

A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked. (Mark 14:48-52)

The young man escaped but it was costly because when he ran away, he was naked. And of course this young man is you. He is me...


If I could have a beer with Jesus...

A dear bro sent this link wondering if it's blasphemous? Not at all. He should read my Dad's Christmas story, "How Silently, How Silently," about Jesus coming to Wheaton. Jesus drank wine with his twelve buddies.


To our dear readers...

This post is deleted on the advice of my better half. She's wise. 


The God of Glory thunders (w/audio)...

Those of you who, with me, wish you could have been there to hear the big bang of David's recent post, "Happiness on the Fourth of July," have to watch this video from a recent Texas Ranger's game. God thundered from heaven and the men on the field dropped to the ground or ran for the dugouts. Minnesota Twin Denard Span tweeted...


Messiahless Jews...

And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (Romans 11:23)

Yes yes, I know speaking in generalities about Jews today leads to the "anti-Semitic" smear. But hey, life is short and there are all kinds of truths just waiting to be let out of the closet...

USA Today ran a profile of James Levine and Roman Polanski's fellow traveller, Woody Allen, last week, and I noted this:

Does he worry that his films won't be remembered? "I don't care about my work lasting. I would like to last. They can turn my movies into guitar picks. Nothing lasts. Nothing at all. Not even the sun."

Given such disturbing insights, it is hard to know whether all those years Allen spent in therapy paid off--or just made his existential despair into fodder for future features. (USA Today; June 19, 2012)

Make no mistake: the existential despair of Christless Jews is the fodder of our entertainment...


My sin their door...

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
  Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
  A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
    When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
          For I have more.
  
- John Donne, "Hymn to God the Father," stanza II.

(NOTE: I hope church officers, Titus 2 women, fathers, and mothers read this.)

Back in the fifties when Dad was eastern regional director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and edited "His," we lived in Philly and Dad led a men's Bible study at Tenth Presbyterian. Years later he told me that one day he'd asked the twelve men who attended how many of them had been sexually molested as boys? Six of them indicated they had and for several it was a man in church leadership (two their church choir director). This was back in the fifties. Since then pornography and sexual perversion have exploded across the Western world.

Brother and sister in Christ, you need to protect your precious children!

The Clearnote churches in Bloomington and Indianapolis have a three-year men's curriculum...


Chuck Colson on the Resurrection...

(TB: Chuck Colson gave himself to many works lots of us praise God for. Beyond his prison work and efforts to reform sentencing laws, there's his writing. One year Mary Lee and I gave one of his books to the other staff members of our congregation as a Christmas gift. Also I've recommended or given away his book Born Again any number of times. It's that rare bio that bears some resemblance to Augustine's Confessions. What a wonderful testimony of God's grace to recommend to unbelievers. Here's another piece of his writing that's meant a lot to me. I've used it in Easter sermons and commend it to you.)

“Watergate” and the Resurrection of Christ” by Chuck Colson

One of those involved in “Watergate”

After I became a Christian, my lawyer’s mind demanded evidence regarding the Bible. Was it legend, or could it really be taken as God’s revelation?

I read some excellent books. But ultimately it was my experience in Watergate, strange as that will sound, that convinced me the Bible is the authoritative, inerrant revelation of God. Let me explain...


A psalm for Easter...

Let's celebrate Easter
with the rite
of laughter.
Christ died and rose
and lives.
Laugh like a woman
who holds her first baby.
Our enemy death
will soon be destroyed.
Laugh like a man
who finds he doesn't have cancer
or does but now there's a cure.
Christ opened wide the door of heaven.
Laugh like children
at Disneyland's gates.
This world is owned by God
and He'll return to rule.
Laugh like a man
who walks away uninjured
from a wreck
in which his car was totaled.
Laugh
as if all the people in the whole world
were invited to a picnic
and then invite them.

-Joe Bayly


An anthem for Maundy Thursday...

From Clearnote Church, Bloomington's Maundy Thursday service, for you. (TB)

 


A psalm on the death of an eighteen-year-old son...

What waste Lord
this ointment precious
here outpoured
is treasure great
beyond my mind to think.
For years
until this midnight
it was safe
contained awaiting careful use
now broken
wasted
lost.
The world is poor
so poor it needs each drop
of such a store.
This treasure spent
might feed a multitude
for all their days
and then yield more.


A psalm for Maundy Thursday...

Tonight 
Lord Jesus Christ
You sat at supper
with Your friends.

It was a simple meal
that final one
of lamb
unleavened bread
and wine.
Afterward...


Merry Christmas!

David and I wish each of you a very merry Christmas!

A Psalm of Christmas

Lord we blame
the innkeeper
for only giving you
the stable
when his inn was full
but what about
all the others
who lived in Bethlehem
that night
when you were born.
Why were
all their houses
that weren't full
of guests
fast closed
against the one
who contained you?
God bless
our little homes
this Christmastime
make them
big enough
to welcome you
contained in those
for whom the world
has no room
except
a cold and lonely
Christmas day.

- Joe Bayly


Man, who is but a maggot...

Where is sin? I've been reading Job and it struck me that this truth is completely absent from the church:

How then can a man be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure? If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in his eyes, how much less man, who is but a maggot--a son of man, who is only a worm! (Job 25:4-6)

Do your children know they are sinners? Do you and your wife know how desperately wicked you both are--that your hearts are unbelievably deceitful? Do you preach for conviction of sin in your flock? Do you share Jonathan Edwards' conviction that the doctrine of original sin is the key to conversion and revival? 

It's always struck me that the Reformed church seems incapable of preaching the sinfulness of sin. Yet doctrinaly, we continue to pay lip service to total depravity. How can we do this? What good is it to have a tool that we are in principle opposed to using? The demons have more faith in total depravity...


ClearNote Bloomington Choir: Ride On, King Jesus!

Phil Moyer directs the choir of ClearNote Church, Bloomington last Lord's Day singing "Ride On, King Jesus!" (TB)


Roman Catholicism is a medieval heresy...

Under the post, Repenting of parachurch, Baptist childhoods..., one comment elicited this response from your scribe. I posted it as a comment, there, but also put it here for the benefit of those who don't keep track of comments. (TB)

Brothers, allow me a few responses, although they must be hopelessly brief considering the weight of these matters.

>>Be careful when you sling around words like apostasy, idolatry (Per Calvin we're all "fabricum idolarum") and heresy.

We are careful. That is, careful--very careful--to keep them alive. The proper word to use concerning Roman Catholicism is 'heresy'. Read Joe Brown's Heresies. Reformed pastors and elders use this word following our Reforming fathers's example because Roman Catholicism is a system of doctrine that leads souls to Hell. Systematically.

The center of Rome's system is the merchandising of salvation through...