August 13, 2016

Sacrificial Love & Faithful Submission



August 6, 2016

God's righteousness binds together his love and his wrath.

We have seen that God's love always observes the boundaries of his righteousness. Even in redemption, god takes enormous pains so that in showing love he may be just (Romans 3:26). the sacrifice of Christ ensures that God's redemption is both loving and righteous, so that Scripture can even appeal to God's righteousness as a ground for the forgiveness of sins, and thus God's righteousness becomes a form of love. But it is also God's righteousness that ensures  the final punishment of those who reject his love, that is, his wrath against them. Without the wrath of God against those who finally disbelieve, God's love is no longer righteous. So God's righteousness binds together his love and his wrath. God's righteous love must be wrathful, if at the end of history there remain any unrepentant people. 
John Frame, Systematic Theology pg. 275

May 21, 2016

Money, Sex, and Power by John Piper - Book Review

This is a review for Christian Audio's version of Living in the Light: Money, Sex, and Power by John Piper. 

Money, Sex, and Power is John Piper's newest book release. I just finished listening to Christian Audio's version of this book as read by Rick Souer. In this book John Piper asserts that Money, Sex, and Power have been given to us, as good gifts from God, for our enjoyment but also for His Glory. He also asserts that these three gifts are highly volatile and dangerous to our lives and our souls. In as much as they can bring God great glory, when ordered and orchestrated according to God's plan, they can also bring great ruin when they swing toward the center of our desires.

Pastor John begins this book by defining the terms: money, sex, and power. He then goes on to describe the specific dangers that each of these good gifts can pose in our lives and what the destruction might look like, to varying degrees, as each person might succumb to worshiping any one of these and thereby honoring the created over the creator. Throughout the book, and especially near the end, he sets up the illustration of a solar system, with each of these: money, sex, and power, as planets with Jesus Christ as our Sun. I love how he paints this illustration with an almost poetic beauty. How our solar system sings with beauty when the sun is at the center with it's gravitational pull aligning all of the erratic orbits of these other things in our lives.

As usual, this book is saturated with Scripture. I am convinced that if you were to wring one of John Piper's books in your hands, Scriptures would pour out: drenching your hands and pooling themselves at your feet. I love this about his books.

I want to highly recommend this book. I am giving it five stars on Amazon. It was full of wisdom, insight, and practical knowledge. It presents a thoroughly Biblical view of money, sex, and power. So, if you don't always have time to sit down and read, then I want to recommend this as a good audio book to purchase or borrow. I know on Amazon (through the link attached to the image above) you can listen to this version through Audible for free with a three month trial.

May 14, 2016

tough week?

Been having a tough week?
Has it been difficult, challenging... hard?
Could it be described as a "crap-shoot"?

The best thing for you this weekend is not fishing, camping, or vacationing. You will not find what you need by partying, playing games, drinking, having sex, hanging out with friends, running that 5k, or even taking that extra nap.

Many of these things are good, and can and should be enjoyed in the right context... but you will not find in any of these the thing you need the most after your difficult week.

Instead, go to a church this weekend that will preach to you the good news of Jesus Christ: the truth that you can enjoy absolute rightness with God through the work of Jesus.

Go to a church to hear the gospel preached... not because you don't know it, but because you are prone to forget it and need to hear it again and again. You will have no real joy in your life until you enjoy the righteousness of God through the knowledge of Jesus.


May 11, 2016

When I Don't Desire God by John Piper - Book Review

Here is my review of When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy by John Piper and read by David Cochran Heath.

I have made no secret of the fact that the last few months of my life I have battled a certain melancholy spirit like I never have before. This hasn't been the most trial-fraught time of my life by any means, but this dark cloud has followed me at all times and has shadowed all I have done. I have clung to Jesus, but sometimes it has felt like: just barely. So, it was a very providential moment when I rediscovered that I already had the audio version of this book, and it was just waiting to be listened to.

As many people know, John Piper's flagship book is Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. That is a fabulous book, but I have found that, like many others, I don't need convincing that I should desire God as the greatest good. Instead, I find in myself that as much as I know this is true, I don't always feel it. Is there something wrong with me? Am I doing something wrong that I wouldn't spontaneously burst into overflowing admiration for the Creator of the Universe? Why is it that as I seek to pursue obedience to the God who, in love, has redeemed me through great sacrifice, that I am not filled with joy in my pursuit? In other words, "What do I do when I don't desire God?" The answer to that question is found in this book: Fight for Joy.

As with all of John Piper's books, this book is filled with Scripture. It is not only Biblically based, it is Biblically guided and thoroughly Biblical in its final assessment. It is laid out in clear terms how one is to Fight for Joy... a Joy that is truly a gift from God, not something that is earned. This is an encouraging book, filled not only with Biblical examples of those who needed to fight for joy, but also with a plethora of historical examples. So many of these examples were of saints that I had placed on a higher spiritual plateau, but after hearing of their struggles I find a welling up of hope in my heart.

This version was read by David Cochran Heath and produced by Christian Audio. If you aren't much of a reader, I would encourage you to check out an audio book sometime. This one would be a great one to start with!