Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Scribbling on the Bible

An exhibit at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow has been making the headlines recently. The exhibit is entitled "Untitled 2009" and is part of the "Made in God's Image" exhibition. The item that is presently causing a bit of a stir was suggested by the Metropolitan Community Church in Glasgow and the main thrust of this group is to state that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is not a sin. Rev. Jane Clarke from MCC Glasgow commenting on the idea behind the exhibit stated, "Many people will tell you there are no LGBT people in the Bible so we invited visitors to the exhibition to write their names in a Bible to show that there are." This invitation led to a host of people writing some rather obscene comments on the Bible, which I will spare you. Another part of the exhibition had a woman ripping pages from the Bible and stuffing them into her underwear.

Many have rightly stated that it is hard to imagine the Koran being treated in this way. So how should we respond to this sad piece of so called "art"? Firstly on the Bible being treated in this way. We should be filled with sorrow that men and women would abuse the Word of God rather than listen to it. We should be driven to our knees to pray that God would open the eyes of the blind that they would see the glories of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We should be like the psalmist with streams of water running down our faces that our fellow human beings would seek to rewrite and therefore reject the message of God.

And as for those who feel that they are left out of the Bible - there is good news. No one is left out of the message of the Bible. All are included - all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God....there is no one righteous not even one. All by nature are enemies of the living God. But the good news is that God so loved the world that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

That little word whosoever is so inclusive. It includes all sorts of sinners. Jesus Christ alone can turn away the wrath of God that rests on men and women because of their sin - whatever form that sin takes. That whosoever means that Jesus can transform any life, He can make new creations. So if you are reading this please don't feel left out. God speaks about you in his Word - you are a sinner and His Son Jesus Christ is able to save sinners. There is wonderful good news that corrupt and sinful lives can be left behind and the image of God can be remade in you day by day. Paul wrote to believers in Corinth Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. I Corinthians 6v9-11

We should pray that as men and women look at this exhibit they will be overcome with the thought that to seek to rewrite what God has said is utter folly and to listen to the Word of the God, who will not be silenced, is the wise option. We should pray that no matter what brand of sin is ruining people's lives that rather than try to find excuse for it that they will flee to Jesus Christ, repent and find the transforming power of the gospel to leave lives of sin behind.

Friday, July 24, 2009

12000 cubic metres of Soil & Noah

The BBC news is carrying some interesting footage of a field in Durham in which 12,000 cubic metres of soil (15000 tonnes of earth) were washed away in a matter of minutes as a river rerouted across a harvest field. A deep canyon like gash gouged out across the land to the amazement of locals. Not that I need any help to believe in the Flood of Genesis but this catastrophic event in a Durham field shows what can happen so quickly. Why do do the scientists not look at these sudden cataclysmic events rather than driving students mad with the millions of years nonsense and uniformitarianism? I guess the god of this age has indeed blinded the minds of unbelievers, and the Bible is right afterall!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Band of Brothers

So what will you do with all that time at uni? Improve your snooker skills, watch Sky sports? What about something that will prepare you for serving Jesus Christ in a way that even your course won't. Sinclair Ferguson writing on the life of John Calvin says that the sharp mind of Calvin and his abilty to get to the heart of what a Scripture text was saying was founded in an "underground fellowship of like minded men." It was this Scripture focussed fellowship that the Lord used to shape his mind and transform his life. Ferguson writes, "Such brotherhoods are the God's chief instruments in stimulating holy living and advancing the gospel."
Wouldn't it be fantastic that if you left not only with a few more letters after your name but really useful for King Jesus? So why not plan for founding your little band of brothers. Your curriculum is simple - study and memorise the Word, learn the basics of NT Greek and read Calvin's Institutes. Who knows - perhaps from your brotherhoods God will raise up some men with something of the devotion and mind of Calvin.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Brothers we are not Professionals, John Piper

30 short punchy chapters to sort out slipping pastors. Took this on holidays this year and was challenged in every chapter. The chapters cover the full spectum of who we are as men, husbands and preachers. It covers what we should preach and how we should preach. Like all of Piper's writings this gets right under the radar and hits where it hurts. Every man thinking of the ministry or in the ministry should read this book yearly. You will not agree with all that John Piper says. He would not expect you too as long as you have a good biblical reason. The chapters that I found most challenging were the ones on prayer, our giving and keeping my languages up to date. In reality every chapter was a gold mine of helpful thoughts. This is a book to read on your knees, praying for forgiveness and grace to be the pastors that the Chief Shepherd wants us to be.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Leagacy of Sovereign Joy, John Piper

This is another outstanding book in Piper's biography series, The Swans are not Silent. This volume of 155 pages covers the lives of Augustine, Luther and Calvin. Though available as free audio downloads from Desiring God, there is something about having the words in front of you to ponder and reread. The introduction alone on learning from flawed saints is worth the £8.99. If you want to learn about these three great men of the faith and how to read biographies and distill them then this series by John Piper is a must.

The 24/7 Christian, Anthony Selvaggio

This 175 page devotional commentary on James published by Evangelical Press is a super little study and useful for any Christian. The scattering of Greek throughout and the well marked footnotes of the 14 chapters is evidence that the writer has studied the passages in detail. Though not every paragraph of James is covered in this little book, most passages are referred to at some level. Any commentary on James ought obviously to have application so that faith can be seen at work, and this helpful commentary has plenty of teased out application. It is worth a place on any bookshelf.