Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges, Daily quote

Bridges quoting from Scott's Life, "With all my discouragements and sinful despondency; in my better moments, I can think of no work worth doing compared to this. Had I a thousand lives, I would willingly spend them in it: and had I as many sons, I should gladly devote them to it." p23

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges, Daily quote

Those who will faithfully discharge their duty as ministers of the gospel shall have need to be prepared for sufferings.....Except we realise a high estimation of the Church, the constraining influence of the Saviour's love, and the upholding prop of Almighty grace, what is there to preserve us from sinking in to despondency? p12&13

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges, Daily quote

Speaking of the Christian ministry.......

"This therefore is the ordained means of conversion, and of subsequent establishment in every stage of the Christian life; and its necessity must continue, while there is a single sinner to be brought into the family of God, or a single grace in the heart of the saint to advance to perfection." p10

How different the view that ministers and the church has by and large of the ministry today. How many men see their ministry in this Biblical light? How many congregations view the ministry in their midst is this light?

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges, Daily quote

"For surely it is the highest dignity if not the greatest happiness that human nature is capable of here in this vale below, to have the soul so far enlightened as to become the mirror, or conduit or conveyor of God's truth to others."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges, Daily quote

It has been about 20 years since I read this book and after picking up a copy from the library of the late FS Leahy I decided to read again. Bridges was an Anglican minister from the 1800s. I reckon a chapter a day will do the trick. One chapter one quote.

"Who hath skill and strength proportionate? Who has a mind and temper to direct and sustain so vast a work? If our Great Master had not Himself answered these appalling questions by His promise - My grace is sufficient for Thee, and if the experience of faith did not demonstrably prove that our sufficiency is of God; who with an enlightened apprehension, could enter upon such an awful service, or if entered, continue in it?" p5

Singing the Songs of Jesus, Michael LeFebvre

Anyone who loves the psalms needs to read this book so that you will love them even more. Though just some 160 pages this is no airy fairy light weight ditty. Every line of this gem is carefully thought through and as a book punches well above its weight. The author has a different angle on psalm singing that is both thought provoking and worship empowering.
With psalm singing growing in popularity world wide this is a book just right for the times. The author is keen for the reader to see psalm singing as singing not simply words about Christ and breathed out by the Spirit of Christ but singing with Christ.
Although the writer makes it clear that this book is not a defense for exclusive psalm singing the reader is left with one concluding thought - why would anyone ever want to sing anything else.
Every psalm singing church should press this book into members hands so that they will be filled with encouragement to keep on singing the psalms. Every young person or not so young person looking out into the church and thinking - you know we really need to abandon these psalms for something more popular - needs to take up and read.
Food here not only for your mind but joy for the heart.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism

With the blessing of having a number of baptisms to administer in the life of the congregation I have been preaching a series on baptism, adding a new sermon when there is a baptism. To help in preparation I have been reading and studying up on baptism. I have had this volume on my to read shelf for at least a year and now have finally been through it. It is a collection of papers on the subject of covenantal infant baptism edited by Gregg Strawbridge. It has a good range of pastoral, historical and theological studies. Each chapter stands on its own and can be read without connection to the others. Gregg Strawbridge has managed to enlist some heavy weight reformed writers including Joel Beeke, Joseph Pipa, Richard Pratt and Daniel Doriani. Of the fifteen chapters only the penultimate one by Douglas Wilson gave me cause for concern. If I read him correctly he seemed to be favouring children partaking of the Lord's Supper. Having said that he did have some worthwhile comments to make on how we raise our children.
Anyone who is wanting to seriously study the whole issue of baptism must read this book.
It is published by P&R.