Saturday, March 21, 2009

Theodicy, Underdog-Style

A brief but moving, heartfelt, and tear-soaked delivery by Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr. on what God's mercy, love, and longsuffering means to sin-entrenched humanity.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Billy Graham's grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of New City Church in Florida, has a new book about to be released this April called "Unfashionable". Of course, availability in the Philippines by that time is quite another matter—LOL—but do listen to Tullian discuss the premise of the book in the vid below. I was extremely blessed and inspired to find underdogism promoted in his thought.

A snippet from the upcoming book:

"According to Jesus, Christianity is not cool. There, I said it. I'll even go a step farther: if what's fashionable in our society interests you, then true Christianity won't. It's that simple.Think about it. Jesus said some pretty unfashionable stuff. If you want to live, you must die. If you want to find your life, you must lose it. He talked about self-sacrifice and bearing crosses and suffering and death and the dangers of riches. He talked about the need to lay down our lives for those who hate us and hurt us. He talked about serving instead of being served, about seeking last place and not first. He talked of gouging out our eyes and cutting off our hands if they cause us to sin. He was making the profound point that daily Christian living means daily Christian dying—dying to our fascination with the sizzle of this world and living for something bigger, something thicker, something eternal. Jesus calls his people to live for what is timeless and not trendy, to take up the cross and follow him, even when it means going against social norms. Of course, all this is flat-out uncool in a world that idolizes whatever cultural craze is in style, whatever is fashionable."

Theology Enfleshed

2 Cor 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Cor 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

2 Cor 4:8

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;

2 Cor 4:9
Persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

2 Cor 4:10

Always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

2 Cor 4:11

For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

The pursuit of the knowledge of God is the greatest human endeavor possible. Theology is treasure. However, it doesn't stop there. When God gives His beloved knowledge of Himself and His ways, He then enfleshes this knowledge so that what the beloved knows becomes who and what he is. This is the painful part; the formation of Christ in the Christian is through affliction, persecution, and mortification.

In my own life, I am amazed that much of what I know theologically is still very much distinct from who and what I am. This gives me great sadness; O, how the Christian life is fraught with despair over sin and the painful process of sanctification.
But I must not lose hope. The Lord is faithful. I will cling to Him like a child to his father, always mindful of the fact that to be His child is to suffer and die everyday.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord—Woe is Me!

Isaiah 6 cuts to the quick! Just for the life we lived today, you and I can fittingly cry "Woe is me!", for its incongruity to God's holiness and our professed Christianity. We miss the mark time and time again and we mourn. We cry out to God and ask for more of His holiness to be who and what we are, not just positionally, but in true substance and character. And so we will never cease to worship Him for all eternity for that is precisely what He has accomplished in Christ, and that is make a way for us to be partakers of His holiness, His beauty, and His character.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Phil on Fire!

I got the privilege a while ago of listening to Phil Johnson's message on the "pornification" of the pulpit, delivered at the 2009 Shepherds' Conference. I must say that Phil lived up to his alter ego as the "Pyromaniac" for his fiery exposition of Scripture, laying to ash the claims of many famous evangelical pastors/preachers to contextualization as the foundation of their blatant misuse of the tongue and their adoption of the culture's skewed value system.

Phil made mention of other aberrant "ministries" but really honed in on Mark Driscoll as the chief object of his Scripture-reinforced rebuke. Armed with Titus 2:7-8, he ably demonstrated the perversity that the current trend in pastoring/preaching has mutated into and mainly attributed it to an infatuation with "coolness", "hipness", and what it really boils down to, WORLDLINESS, that has descended upon these younger batch of "modern" pastors/preachers. These ones want to look, smell, feel, and SOUND like the world in order to win the world. Of course, this type of fulfilling the Great Commission is actually an unfulfillment of it!

As I see it, only a wholehearted acceptance of the Christian's status as an underdog in the eyes of an anti-Christian world, and that as mandated by God, is the antidote to the pride that is at the root of all this unfaithfulness and compromise in modern evangelicalism.

Reality is founded on abstractions. A dog can't meow, and a cat can't bark. If you howl like the world, then perhaps you might be a wolf yourself.

1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Self-Control: The Lifeblood of Virtue

" the exercise of godly restraint upon our human appetites and passions.This quality is practically the lifeblood of virtue itself—so that a person of true character is most easily distinguished by his or her extraordinary self-control. In the development of Christlike character qualities, here is a trait to which we ought to give a significant amount of energy and attention."

- John MacArthur, The Quest for Character, ch. 25, p. 104–105

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