Monthly Archives: May 2015

Quote: Francis Turretin

The threefold misery of men introduced by sin–ignorance, guilt and tyranny and bondage by sin–required this . . . threefold-office [of Jesus Christ].  Ignorance is healed by the prophetic ; guilt by the priestly ; the tyranny and corruption of sin by the kingly office [of Christ].  Prophetic light scatters the darkness of error; the merit of the Priest takes away guilt and procures a reconciliation for us; the Power of the King removes the bondage of sin and death.  The Prophet shows God to us; the Priest leads us to God; and the King joins us together and glorifies us with God.  The Prophet enlightens the mind by the Spirit of illumination; the Priest by the Spirit of consolation tranquilizes the heart and conscience; the King by the Spirit of sanctification subdues rebellious affections (Institutes of Elenctic Theology, 2.393).

Deuteronomy 18:14-22English Standard Version (ESV)

“14 for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.

A New Prophet like Moses

15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16 just as you desired of theLord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17 And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or[a] who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’—22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.”

 

Psalm 110:1-4English Standard Version (ESV)

Sit at My Right Hand

A Psalm of David.

110 The Lord says to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”

The Lord sends forth from Zion
    your mighty scepter.
    Rule in the midst of your enemies!
Your people will offer themselves freely
    on the day of your power,[a]
    in holy garments;[b]
from the womb of the morning,
    the dew of your youth will be yours.[c]
The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
    after the order of Melchizedek.”

Psalm 2 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Reign of the Lord’s Anointed
2 Why do the nations rage[a]
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break[b] them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

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Filed under Francis Turretin, Munus Triplex, Quotes

Memorial Day Order

remember them MEMORIAL DAY ORDER Headquarters Grand Army of the Republic, Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868. GENERAL ORDERS No. 11

I.The 30th day of May, 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit. We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided republic. If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remains in us. Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the nation’s gratitude—the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

II. It is the purpose of the commander in chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

 

III. Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective. By Command of – John A. Logan, Commander in Chief N.P. Chipman, Adjutant General via “Memorial Day Order” – National Cemetery Administration.

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Pentecost aka Holy Spirit Day!

Actually I missed it myself. May 24 would have been Pentecost or Holy Spirit day on the Church calendar. This is when the Church celebrates the indwelling of the the Holy Spirit during Pentecost. In a time when many of us unconsciously think of God as distant-or the formal term immanent- this day in Church history helps us to remember the promise of our Lord to send a helper, comforter, and giver of life to indwell us and make us temples of the Holy Spirit.

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BOOK REVIEW: Interpreting the Prophetic Books: An Exegetical Handbook

ITPBTITLE: Interpreting The Prophetic Books: An Exegetical Handbook

AUTHOR: Gary V. Smith

PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2014, (214 pages).

I was very interested to see Interpreting The Prophetic Books(ITPB) as part of the Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis (HOTE)series. If you have not yet been exposed to this series it is well worth considering. The HOTE series attempts to provide students of the Bible with basic interpretive skills for Biblical exegesis. The HOTE series editor David M. Howard explains that “An appreciation for the rich diversity of literary genres in Scripture is one of the positive features of evangelical scholarship” (ITPB 15). It appears that consideration over genre is fairly recent in contemporary scholarship which makes the HOTE a very timely series. Moreover, one of the important areas where genre comes in to play is the interpretation of the Prophetic Books of the Bible. It has been a long held suspicion of mine that the neglect of the prophetic books in day to day preaching and teaching today is due in part to a lack of interpretive tools necessary for a proper interpretation of the text. Prophetic books can be demanding and without some of the proper interpretive tools teaching preparation can be a very daunting task. Gary Smith has I believe successfully provided the necessary tools to help students get the best and most out of their study of the Prophetic Books.

The book (ITPB) itself is a very manageable 214 pages of well written and understandable prose. It is broken down into six chapters that deal with The Nature of Prophetic Literature explaining the prophetic genre itself, Major Themes in the Prophetic Books providing a big picture perspective of the prophetic books, and while this book is not a book on homiletics the remaining chapters Preparing for Interpretation, Interpretive Issues In Prophetic Texts, Proclaiming Prophetic Texts, and From Text to Application are in essence instruction in homiletics. Some of the features of ITPB are a helpful outline at the beginning of each chapter that lays out the direction of the discussion. There is also a very helpful glossary of about 70 common terms used in OT studies as well as scripture and subject indices in the back of the book.

In chapter 1 Dr. Smith explains the genre of prophetic literature. He explains that prophetic literature of the OT was vitally important for the NT church because of their teachings on law, the coming Messiah, and God’s kingdom. However, the challenge for modern day readers is grasping the context of the prophetic books. The difficulty is that we are not only separated from the OT prophets by time but they wrote from various political, socio-economic, and religious settings. Because of this it is an over simplification to approach the prophetic literature the same way in every case without causing a distortion of the text. In order to keep the prophets teachings in their proper contexts Dr. Smith explains the use of various interpretive concepts that emerge from the prophetic text to assist the reader with analysis. Tools such as Temporal Categories of Prophecy, Genres of Prophecy, Parallelism, and Imagery help provide the way in which the Prophetic text ought to be examined and understood.

Chapters 2 and 3 are discussions that I would categorize as “preparation”. One of the pitfalls in a book like this which seeks to help students with interpretation is to impose an interpretation. ITPB works very hard at providing the framework without providing the interpretation. So in chapter 2 for example the reader is given a broad overview of each of the prophetic books with attention to the primary themes without offering too much by way of interpretation. Chapter 3 restricts itself to only providing background information about the prophetic books to include the use of textual criticism and further resources to assist one with the study of the prophetic books.

Chapter 4 deals with the thorny complexity of Interpretive Issues in Prophetic Texts. This chapter discusses some of the errors that we tend to make in interpreting prophetic books to include: is prophecy literal or metaphorical, metaphorical interpretation of prophecy, difficulties between prophecy and its New Testament fulfillment, and is prophecy always fulfilled. This isn’t a complete list of the discussions found in this chapter but they are some that I found very helpful.

While this isn’t a book on homiletics (the method of sermon preparation) chapters 5 and 6 provide a very good homiletic outline useful for anyone in the role of teaching. Chapter 5 covers more of the process of teaching preparation while chapter 6 has more to do with the practical application of prophetic text. Chapter 6 is lengthy but very important in that this process of practical application has demonstrated itself to be challenging for modern day teachers. While most teachers want to give practical application many times it is at the expense of the text. This is where ITPB demonstrates its merits by demonstrating how one can provide practical application without compromising the content of the text.

PERSONAL REFLECTION

There is so much substance in the prophetic books. Smith makes the point that “the prophetic books were of great importance to the New Testament church” (ITPB 23). While it is quite understandable why some are apprehensive about teaching the prophetic books because of their complexity, I think the ITPB reader will be pleasantly surprised by how helpful this volume can be to them in their teaching ministry. PERSONAL RATING: 5 Stars out of 5 ________________________________________

This book is provided to me courtesy of Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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Filed under Bible, Book Review, Christian Education, Hermeneutics, Homiletics, Preaching

REMEMBER THEM.

remember them

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Stanford Prof Says That Video Game A Pornography Addiction Are Linked To A Crisis Of Masculinity

“Men who play video games “in excess” and watch online porn are facing what has been called a masculinity crisis, according to a leading US psychologist.” You can read the post here.

There isn’t really anything here that we were unaware of. The more important question is how do we treat for these behaviors.

 

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Half of Atheist Kids Wind Up Believing

According to Pew, more than half of those raised in non-religious households will eventually identify as a believer in something. Why? Because they got married, most likely. Read more here.

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