One of my dearest friends, Andrew Vogel, got married two weeks ago (p.s. He has an amazing blog). He had originally asked me to do this Scripture Reading at the wedding. But unfortunately, the drive from Philly to Newark, Ohio is a long one, and many variables can make for much delay, and indeed, this is what happened. (Amy and I went on to the rest of our plans: a wonderful visit to God’s country, Pittsburgh). Anyway, to add to the pain of this loss, this particular set of Scriptures that I was going to have the honor of reading just happens to be the best set of Scripture readings I’ve ever encountered for a wedding. No Song of Solomon or 1 Corinthians 13 here; just a proper and exegetically sound exploration of the sweeping story of God’s relationship with his own Bride. Therefore, I felt compelled to share these verses with you today. May they stir and woo you for Bridegroom for Whom your soul was made.
Andrew and Laura, I pray that this feeble attempt at publicly participating in the celebration of your union communicates the love and grace of our Lord to your hearts. May it bless you.
Finally, this is done. This is the last post in a three-part series that’s been walking through my development as a thinker and feeler in this world. The first part, at its core, was about the culture and world around me as I grew up that helped cultivate the arrogance I still war against inside me. The second part was about the things that have humbled me and showed me my finitude. So where does that leave me now; and why does it warrant this little series?
The confluence of all of these forces (of arrogance and humbling) has made a very interesting creature out of me as of late. A recent trip back home to visit my parents found me getting into several vehement fights with them over (of all things) politics. It’s not even that I disagree with them very much! It was mainly a frustration over just how unwavering and (I felt) naively arrogant their commitment to these ideas were. In short, I was getting mad that they seemed to allow no room for disagreement or for them to be wrong. A couple of times my Dad asked me, well what do you think? And I realized I had no answer. All I knew was that no one could know so surely what was right. Why? Because God had showed me in the past several years that I couldn’t. And if I (of all people) couldn’t know with certainty, then surely no one else out there could, right? (P.S.- that was sarcasm) It all culminated in a moment where my dad pretty much said that my writing had been steadily losing it’s quality ever since the “pinnacle of my writing”: a post I wrote called “On Holy Week, Suicidal Ideations, & My Heart“.
And… intensity at work, lack of sleep, church home group beginnings, Fall TV premieres, a trip with the lady to meet the parents, and two weeks later, I find myself here, computer atop my lap, typing these words over a bowl of stove-top-made oatmeal. I’m ready to pick this blog post up again after more facebook, blog comments, and text messages than usual asking when the next post would be. This sets up a pressure under which I don’t work well, but it’s a pressure I feel is appropriate to bring up considering the content to follow.
In my last post, I unpacked a bit of my own story which has led me to often be perceived as an arrogant overly-sure man–and indeed I see this in myself often. But I went on to point out how this arrogance is not necessarily at its root sprung from pride or over-confidence, but rather a deep fear and insecurity that at the end of all things I wouldn’t be found pleasing to the God I know I love.
Monday I showed how someone could take some bad Christian culture and redeem it to truly honor God. Well, thanks to Andrew Vogel, a good friend and former classmate, whose comment showed me another video that really needs to be redeemed, remixed, or just removed. Here’s the video. If anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears. Big. Floppy. Ears. Somebody get some GaGa in this thing.
Don’t worry, the title is not referring to this very blog post you are reading right now. It’s actually referring to this article at Christianity Today by Brett McCracken:
Wrightians & the Neo-Reformed: ‘All One in Christ Jesus - A dispatch from Together for the Gospel and Wheaton’s Theology Conference with N.T. Wright
The article compares and contrasts the general ethos of two very different conferences that occurred very close to the same time. One conference was the Together for the Gospel Conference and Wheaton College’s Theology Conference with N.T. Wright.
photo from Wired Science
Well, my article for last week on Patrol took a little longer for me to submit it than usual so it only just got posted. The article has to do with the recent situation involving Bruce Waltke, formerly of Reformed Theological Seminary. The article is in response to a recent post by Rick Phillips of the site Reformation21, whose mission is “Encouraging biblical thinking, living, worship, ministry, and constructive cultural engagement.” I believe the articles written by Phillips (and others) reacting to Waltke’s situation do not fall into any of those parameters set by that mission statement. Here’s the link:
“If You Believe in Jesus, the Resurrection, & Evolution, You Are A Heretic”
Also, something that might be of interest to some, the article contains a very surprising and substantial list of names (and links to sources) of Christians throughout history whose view of Genesis either explicitly or implicitly allows for, encourages, or would have allowed for theistic creation by means of Darwinian evolution. Check it.
You can see all of my past articles for Patrol here.
I’m not married. I don’t even see it on the imminent horizon for myself. But it’s something I’ve waited for, have tried to prepare myself for, and have written my fair share of poetry about throughout the years (here’s a sampling of my passion for it, my confusion about it, my fears about it, and my desire for it). The Westminster Bookstore is having a 48 hour sale ending at 3pm on Friday, April 16th.
There are two books that this sale affects, but there are three books I’m mainly talking about in this post, so don’t stop reading until I get to the third. The main book being promoted in this sale here is Paul Tripp‘s new book, What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. The second book is not a new one, but it is one of WTSbooks’ “favorite books on marriage”, and that is John Piper‘s This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence.
The Voice of Psalms
Ecclesia Bible Society
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009
Purchase at Amazon
The Voice of Psalms (Thomas Nelson) is a special collection of the Psalms in the new Voice translation of the Bible. It contains four reading plans (one for Advent, Lent, Praise, and one for comfort and guidance). It has also has 75 “practical and insightful reflections” on various Psalms.
Most Bibles are translated with the assumptions of systematic theology undergirding them, acting as if what makes the Bible divine is that is has this particular combination of these particular words. The Voice, on the other hand takes seriously the assumptions of biblical theology, that the Bible is divine because of the true God and true story of redemption it testifies to. In translating The Voice, biblical scholars and theologians are teamed up with artists, writers, poets, novelists, memoirists, playwrights, lyricists, and other creative minds in order to make the translation both beautiful and unique for each book of the Bible.
I just wanted to let all of you know about a new article I recently put up on GoingToSeminary.com. In light of this advent season, I retooled some of the things I wrote in my Beauty series to encourage those of us getting bogged down in holiday busyness and school finals. I hope the article is used to stir many of you towards the great God that dwelt among us. Here’s the link:
Also, for those interested, my church, Liberti (I go to the South Philly campus) has put together a prayer guide for Advent. I hope this further helps you in the weeks to come.
p.s. – “Slavery, Atheism, and the Bible, part 2″ will be out either this weekend or monday (Part 1 here)