The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There's not a whole lot! I mean, on the one hand we could say the resurrection of our Lord from the dead. That's certainly a joyous occasion (as well as Good Friday, where He paid the penalty for our sins).
But neither of those could have happened unless he did the truly remarkable thing of becoming one of us; or, as John records it: "the Word became flesh" (Jn. 1:14).
The phrase "presuppositional apologetics" might be lost on many in the church, but its method and use has continued to increase in popularity even today. Dr. Bahnsen didn't develop the method but learned it from Dr. Cornelius Van Til. He did, however, give teeth to it, as demonstrated remarkably in his formal debate ("The Great Debate: Does God Exist?") with Gordon Stein and other debates.
What do I mean by that?
I mean that Christ's resurrection is so powerful that He not only was Himself raised from the dead, but that He uses this same power to bring forth from the dead all whom He chooses, and that this same power is constantly at work within us who call upon Him as Lord.
It's simply not about just loving your neighbor. When we see what the parable is really calling for we'll see that it's loving our neighbor in a very overwhelmingly inconvenient way. Then when we dig deeper into realizing who the characters are in the parable we realize that the neighbors whom we are to love are in fact our greatest enemies. After all that we ought to shutter in fear if we are really called to go and do likewise, especially given why we are called to do so.
But, oh the bliss, mercifully this fear drives us to our knees in turning to the Lord Jesus Christ who Himself can both save us from not being Good Samaritans and also empower us to be Good Samaritans to His glory.
Care to revisit the parable with me?
He who sits in the heavens laughs...
It's been a little over a year since I first launched this site. With this anniversary-of-sorts I'm pleased to have a long-desired facelift(1) to the homepage and facebook profile for this venue that makes up a part of my ministry to the body of Christ.
The main thrust of this ministry is to advocate or to teach to the body of Christ that God's Word is applicable in all areas of life, whether personal, social, political, or anything else. God has standards for every area of life. And He works through His children to accomplish those changes (Phil. 2:13).
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is Lord not just over the church (Eph. 1:22-23), but also society (Ps. 2) - and that He has concern not just for our salvation and prayer life but also for our life when it comes to interpersonal relationships, education, work, leisure time, entertainment, social obligations, political activity, and all the rest.
To all of the world (the elect and the reprobate) He is the supreme ruler and the most sovereign potentate (Ps.2:1-12; Dan. 4:34-35), to whom everyone (whether believer or not) owes allegiance, submission, and glory (Ps. 66:1-4; Dan. 6:25-27, 7:13-14). To the redeemed community He is not only Savior from our sinful nature in all of these things (Rom. 3:21-26, 4:1-8, 5:1ff), but He is also Lord over our new nature in all of these things (Rom. 6:1, 6; Eph. 4:17-24).
He is more than Lord in our spiritual lives, and He is more than Lord to only the redeemed community.
To put it simply - He is Lord over all people, over all time, over all of life.
In these writings we have a wealth of insight not only in seeing the Lord as our great example - the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2) - but also as seeing Him as our only Savior from our sin (Acts 4:12).(2)
With that in mind, I think it's helpful to study the Psalms to see how they relate to our gracious Lord and Savior. And what better place to start than Psalm 1?
Indeed, in that context, I have hardly any agreement.
But I do think giving ourselves sufficient attention (in a Biblical sense) is lacking at times - at least in my own life I can personally testify to that. But what does that mean?
Could you really learn to love Jesus more by focusing on yourself?
What is a Biblical reason to give more attention to myself - for all of us to give more attention to ourselves?
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers...
However, I do not believe that the judgment for teaching false doctrines is what James is himself concerned about in this passage.
To be fair, I’m sure there are many husbands out there who feel the same way about their wife (and praise God for that).
While the following will be a commentary on how thankful I am for my own wife and for all the things she’s done in the line of Proverbs 31, it’s also a sort of devotional commentary on the text of Proverbs 31 that I think others might benefit from as well - so feel free to keep reading even for that aspect.
But in all honesty, the following is truly to let you know that whatever good you see in me, there is an amazing, wonderful wife whom God has provided to me as my helper in this world who is behind it all – to His glory.
And truly, they are! Paul says to us concerning the importance of the written word: "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction..." (Rom. 15:4). Likewise, when he was in prison and needed comfort, encouragement, and strength, what did he so strongly request that Timothy bring him, but written wisdom: "bring...the books, and above all the parchments" (2 Tim. 4:13).(1)
"He is not here, for he has risen..."
He was given a charge from His Father; and as the perfect Son He obeyed it completely both to lay down His life and also take it back up again (Jn. 10:17-18). This He did, so that He would lose nothing that the Father has given Him (Jn. 6:39) and that all those who look on the Son and believe in Him should have eternal life (Jn. 6:40).
Praise God that "He is not here [in the tomb], for he has risen..." (Mt. 28:6)! He has risen indeed!
This post was written in April, 2016. It is published with an earlier date because it was meant only for an audience of those in search of a pastoral candidate. This is the best way for me to have it visible to that audience without requiring a secret password.
To be sure, being a pastor is a calling and special gifting from God (Eph. 4:11). It's one for which I've felt for 15 years now and has yet to be fulfilled in His providence.
You may be thinking that I should have given up at this point. Surely if God wanted me to be a pastor he would have brought it to pass by now, right?