Christ Is a Blazing Sun, His Word is a Lightning Bolt

Asking the question, what are preachers sent to do, Doug Wilson gives a powerful and clear answer in his Desiring God message from 2009.  Here is what he says,

We are not sent to preach a distant star or moon. We are sent to preach a blazing sun that lights and heats every creature, that dominates all things, and around which everything else must necessarily revolve.

We are not sent to make a few mild suggestions. We are not sent to have a relational dialogue. We are sent to preach and to declare. We are commissioned—ordained—to compel every manifestation of worldly power, glory, wisdom, and exaltation to yield to and obey God’s word.

We come to declare that all men need to repent and believe. The kingdom of God is here. We declare what has been accomplished, not what we would like to be accomplished. We are ordained to feed the sheep and drive away the wolves. And if needs be, we have been ordained to preach the word as if we were thunder and lightening. How can we not? The Scriptures themselves are thunder and lightning.

God, help us pastors and preachers as we deliver your Word tomorrow.  May it strike with the power and precision of a lightning strike, and may the world know that you are speaking.  May the light of Christ illumine our minds and shine forth in our messages so that your people will turn from their sin and flee to their Savior.

Let us Proclaim Christ, dss

7 Things Not To Sip At The Tea Party: Doug Wilson’s Sound Advice

Doug Wilson gives sound advice for evangelicals as election day nears and political fervor increases in his article “Seven Things for Christians to Not Sip at the Tea Party.”  It is pithy and practical and worth reading in full.  Here is the outline.

1. Keep your head…
2. Conservative forms of postmodern relativism are no better than the others kinds…
3. Do not make the mistake of thinking that anything that makes the socialists, liberals, progressives, and commies froth at the mouth must be biblical. What they are advancing is evil, sure enough, but that doesn’t mean that anyone who fights them must be good…
4. Always act, and never react. Action needs to proceed from a biblically based framework of political principles, and not from fauxoutrage over the fact that your gored ox is not covered by Medicaid.
5. Don’t support any political movement in such a way that eliminates your ability to protest the inevitable compromises that will follow in the train of electoral victory, such compromises being undertaken and advanced by Republicans ten minutes after the election.
6. Take note of the fact that pastors, theologians and writers alive today, who actually embody the principles held by the Founders, will usually not be allowed anywhere near the microphones, at least not while the television crews are still there…
7. Above all, beware the idolatry of a Christless civil religion…We are Christians and the worship of a generic Deity is prohibited to us. There is no way to the Father except through the name of Jesus. But there are manifestations of the American civil religion that are seductive to evangelicals. And so we must be told, again and again, little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).

Wilson’s counsel is helpful.  Like Moore’s article, it encourages evangelical engagement, but engagement that proceeds from a mind renewed by the whole counsel of God and one that is jealous to guard itself from the idol of civil religion.  As we protest for liberty, may we never forget our greatest liberty comes from Jesus Christ alone (John 8:32; Galatians 5:1).

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

Palin, Posts, and Prayer

I don’t write much about politics, and for good reason. I am a political novice and a legislative skeptic, but since my google reader has been overflowing with recent ‘Palin’ posts,  I feel compelled to offer the obligatory political post.  So instead of talking better than I know about politics, I will simply link to a handful of reflective Christians who have offered insightful and sometimes irascible comments.

The importance of this issue to gender complementarity, women’s roles, and the local church is where I am most concerned, and it is interesting that concurrent minds have diverged over this issue.  Voddie Baucham and Doug Wilson see this as a deadly plague for the family.  Albert Mohler sees this as a unique opportunity to differentiate the church from the government office.  Denny Burk follows the President’s lead. David Kotter, and the folks at CBMW, seem to want to use this opportunity to clarify the biblical nuances of gender complimentarity. And Tim Challies offers a cumulative survery of these and other considerations.

All of this discussion is healthy and good. Yet, I wonder in the richness of the conversation how much, if any, prayer has been lifted for this VP candidate and her family. Personally, I have been convicted about my lack of intercession. As I wrestle to understand the impact this governmental decision has on gender roles and the local church, in addition to its effect on Sarah Palin’s own family, I have not prayed for her as a godly, complementarian man ought. Ironically, as gender issues arise in the wake of these events, one thing is clear from the passage that has caused so much debate–i.e. 1 Timothy 2–that godly men are to raise holy hands to the Lord in prayer. They are not to quarrel in anger, but rather are to labor in prayer for the good of the their family, their church, the gospel, and their country. Discussion is good but prayer is better. May we as we read, write, question, and speak about these recent events, lift holy hands to heaven and pray for Sarah Palin and for our government, so that the gospel of Jesus Christ might have free reign in our families, our churches, and our country.

Here is a list of recent posts:

Reforming Marriage author, Doug Wilson has four thought-provoking posts: Kind of Spooky When You Think About It , Palin Comparison , An Epistemological Pileup, John Slays His Thousands.

Voddie Baucham separates Pro-Life and Pro-Family and makes some provocative, but polarizing, comments about Sarah Palin’s VP selection in his post, “Did McCain Make a Pro-Family Pick?”

Offering a more balanced commentary, Dr. Al Mohler blogs on his website, and on the Washington Post’s eclectic “On Faith” website

Denny Burk follows Dr. Mohler’s lead and presents a balanced response to the issues his post: Southern Baptist Hypocrisy?

Also navigating the challenging terrain of complementarity, CBMW Director, David Kotter offers a two-part series, “Does Sarah Palin Present a Dilemma for Complementarians?” Part 1. Part 2. From speaking with him the other day, it sounds like more reflections on the biblical and cultural issues are forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Finally Tim Challies summarizes a long list comments in the blogosphere with his lengthy rundown.  You can read it all here.

May we who love the wisdom of gender complementarity pray for Sarah Palin, for our country, and for our churches as we continue to think biblically on this matter!