Monday, October 28, 2013

Vos on the Psalter

"The Psalter is of all books of the Bible that book which gives expression to the experimental side of religion. In the law and the prophetic writings, it is God who speaks to his people; in the Psalter, we listen to the saints speaking to God. Hence the Psalter has been at all times that part of Scripture to which believers have most readily turned and upon which they have chiefly depended for the nourishment of the inner religious life of the heart. I say that part of Scripture and not merely that part of the Old Testament, for even taking the Old and the New Testament together the common experience of the people of God will bear us out in affirming that there is nothing in Holy Writ which in our most spiritual moments–when we feel ourselves nearest to God–so faithfully and naturally expresses what we think and feel in our hearts as these songs of the pious Israelites. Our Lord himself, who had a perfect religious experience and lived and walked with God in absolute adjustment of his thoughts and desires to the Father's mind and will; our Lord himself found his inner life portrayed in the Psalter and in some of the highest moments of his ministry borrowed from it the language in which his soul spoke to God, thus recognizing that a more perfect language for communion with God cannot be framed."

(Geerhardus Vos, Songs from the Soul, Grace and Glory)

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Stark Christlike Contrast to Pat

Decide for yourselves which reaction to a wife having Alzheimer's is Christlike: Pat Robertson's advice: Pat Robertson: The Monster-Maker or the husband in the following clip:

Some very important Tim Keller quotes on marriage here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

The 3 Points of Mortification of Sin

We all know of the importance of the mortification of sin, but sometimes the concept floats off like a balloon up in the skies of abstraction. This is an attempt to put some particularization into a non-negotiable of the Christian life.

In my own words:

1. Faith in Christ in the efficacy of His death on the cross.

2. Relentless prayer.

3. Humility and broken sobriety.

In John Owen's words:

Gospel Sobriety in Owen

In the work entitled, A Treatise of the Dominion of Sin and Grace, John Owen describes the antithesis as being in either of two possible dominions. The one who is in the dominion of sin, the person who has not been blessed with definitive sanctification, is the unbeliever. For this person, there has not occurred that epochal break with the rule of sin by virtue of faith-wrought union with Christ. The believer, while still at war with indwelling sin in progressive sanctification, has been liberated from sin's sovereignty.

The following quote is preceded by Owen's treatment of what it means for sin to have dominion in the mind. I am now on the part wherein he discusses the affections, and I found this snippet to be valuable:

"If we love any thing more than God, as we do if we will not part with it for his sake, be it as a right eye or as a right hand unto us; if we take more satisfaction and complacency in it, and cleave more unto it in our thoughts and minds than unto God, as men commonly do in their lusts, interests, enjoyments, and relations; if we trust more to it, as unto a supply of our wants, than unto God, as most do to the world; if our desires are enlarged and our diligence heightened in seeking after and attaining other things, more than towards the love and favour of God; if we fear the loss of other things or danger from them more than we fear God, -- we are not under the rule of God or his grace, but we are under the dominion of sin, which reigns in our affections...All the commands we have in the Scripture for self-searching, trial, and examination; all the rules that are given us unto that end; all the warnings we have of the deceitfulness of sin and of our own hearts, -- are given us to prevent this evil of shutting our eyes against the prevalent corruption and disorder of our affections." (The Essential Works Of John Owen)

The gravitas in Owen's words is hard to miss. The ascertaining of our right standing with God, of being not in the dominion of sin but of grace, does not appear to him as simply a matter of "getting used to our justification" but involves real hard and sacrificial work! While Owen is keen on highlighting the primacy of faith: "I call these latter evidences subordinate ones, and additional to that of faith, [and they are] of great use by way of establishment and confirmation unto believers, provided they be not abused to sole resting and reliance upon them, to the great prejudice of our life of faith: for we live by faith (so must all repenting sinners when they have attained to the highest pitch of holiness in this life), and not by sense, no, not even spiritual sense; it is a good handmaid to faith, but no good mistress to it.", it is a faith that is ever examining the heart so that its affections may solely be grounded on Christ.

I am always thankful for Owen's Gospel sobriety.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hope at the End of Dr. Powlison's Rope

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Improper Attire, Poythress' Ire

(click on pic to enlarge)

Something caught the eye of Dr. Vern Poythress and he doesn't seem pleased.

What could it be?

Figures. Not the proper robe for the occasion.

Offer Good While Supplies Last: First 300 Episodes of Christ the Center

The Reformed Forum has been a tremendous blessing to me and I'm certain to a vast number of other people who have desired and continue to desire the cultivation of the historic, Reformed faith.

I have found it a privilege to be able to actually converse with some of the program's pillars, like Jared Oliphint, Jeffrey Waddington and Jim Cassidy online, asking them questions now and again (Camden Bucey is somewhat harder to accost. LOL).

Now the guys have decided to offer the first 300 episodes of the famed Christ the Center program for free as a single download. For directions, go here.

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