For Your Edification is a weekly set of resources on the subjects of Bible, Theology, Ministry, and Family Life. Let me know what you think or if you have other resources that growing Christians should be aware.
Read the Gospels. When N. T. Wright is wrong, he is very wrong; but when he right, he is really right. And in this video, he is really right. Asked the question what legacy would you want to pass on to your children, he points them to the inimitable Jesus of the Gospels. Have a look.
Education or Imitation? Bible Interpretation for Dummies Like You and Me. Curtis Allen, assistant pastor at Solid Rock Church and rapper extraordinaire, has just released a book that looks like it will be a helpful read on biblical interpretation for people who never go to seminary. Rightly, he points to Jesus as the model for learning how to interpret the Bible. You can get the book for $10 at Amazon or for 99 cents on Kindle right now: Education or Imitation? Kindle Edition. Here is the book’s witty and wise promotional video.
What is General Revelation? Baptist Pastor, Fred Zaspel, lists a number of helpful biblical truths about General Revelation–the doctrine that describes how God has revealed himself to all humanity in nature (externally) and in human nature (internally). His outline synthesizes the truth content of passages like Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:18-23; Acts 14:16-17 and Acts 17:22-31. He concludes with a number of practical implications, including this last point:
Since general revelation does not provide a knowledge of God as Redeemer, it cannot be made the basis of anything more than a preparation for the gospel. General revelation cannot be viewed as a means of salvation, even to such as have never had opportunity to hear the message of salvation from sin through Christ’s incarnation, atonement, and resurrection. Only a radical new birth, in which spiritual life is imparted to those who are spiritually dead, will suffice; and such a sweeping transformation cannot be brought about by general revelation, but only by the gospel of Christ!
You can read the whole thing at the CredoMag Blog.
Meditations on the Fear of God. In the Bible fear is a complex thing. For instance, Psalm 25:14 says that “the friendship of the Lord is reserved for those who fear him.” Psalm 130:3 states, “But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” And in Exodus 20:20, “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.'” But, the positive outlook on fear changes in the book of 1 John, when the beloved disciple writes that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 5:18).
From these four verses alone, it is evident that knowing if and how and why we should fear God takes some serious biblical reflection. This week John Piper helps us think about a couple aspects of Goldy fear. It is not long so I have included the whole thing.
I think that when we are sinless we will still fear God in the sense of reverential, trembling awe — as when we stand on a peak before vast stretches of unscalable cliffs. And we will also fear, I suppose, in the sense of shuddering with thankfulness that we are not among the number who still dishonor God.
But the painful fear, the guilty fear, the craven fear, the humiliating fear — all such fear will one day be taken way. But only in the way God intends. And in his time. We should not be done with it in the wrong way, or too soon.”
Here is the way C. S. Lewis puts it:
Perfect love, we know, casteth out fear [1 John 4:18]. But so do several other things — ignorance, alcohol, passion, presumption, and stupidity.
It is very desirable that we should all advance to that perfection of love in which we shall fear no longer; but it is very undesirable, until we have reached that stage, that we should allow any inferior agent to cast out our fear. (“The World’s Last Night” in C. S. Lewis: Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces, 51)
FAMILY, LIFE, & MINISTRY
Pure Hope: Christian Solutions in a Sexualized Culture. Today, I am on my way to the “Pursuing Purity Conference” at Southern Seminary. About six months back a friend told me about this ministry, and after meeting their leaders, hearing about their vision, and commitment to the gospel, I am happy to commend it as a go to resource for finding helpful resources for growing in purity and holiness. They are continuing to put resources on line in three areas: pureJUSTICE, purePARENTING, and pureRECOVERY. Check them out!
Today, Pray for the conference as it equips leaders to take the message of purity back to their churches.
Desiring God INTERNATIONAL. Have you ever met someone whose heart language is not English. With a desire to share the gospel, you feel like your are at an impasse because of the language barrier. What do you do? Well, here is a resource to know about. Desiring God has a growing list of resources translated into other languages. It takes the teaching of John Piper and puts them in the heart language of your friend. Check it out.