A balanced child

May 28, 2011

Try it yourself!!!

A Balanced child!

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Commentary Give Away

May 21, 2011

http://www.gadietrich.com/2011/05/book-giveaway-thessalonian-epistles-commentary/

WWJD re-reduxed

May 19, 2011

A friend of mine asked me @ this whole Camping prediction of Judgement Day being two days away. Here was my short-but-sweet answer:

First of all, I believe that all of the NT was finished being written by 70 AD (as opposed to most Xns who think Rev was written @ 90 AD). Second, in my opinion, if #1 is true, then I believe the expectation of Jesus’ coming that he predicted in Matt 24 was about the destruction of Israel and the removal of the Temple (Old Creation); if both of these are true, then the majority of the NY letters when talking about Jesus’ coming and paying back the enemies of his people, the Church, are talking about that. Third, the “coming” that Jesus talked about was not to end the physical world as most think, but judgement against Israel and for the church and this is what Revelation is about: God is divorcing his whore of a wife, Israel and taking a new bride (New Creation in Rev 21). Fourth, as Rev discusses, a 1000 year period of time (symbolic of OT periods of time between the building and rebuilding of the Temple: Solomon’s–>Herod’s=1000 years [pretty sure that’s right]) will elapse wherein the Kingdom of X will grow and flourish culminating in the final judgement of all mankind (of which the previous one against Israel was a miniature). Fifth, the fact that Jesus’ words @ his coming to judge Israel came true, one can then trust that his judgement of all mankind at the final resurrection will come to pass as well. Finally, what this means is that Camping is looking at prophecies that have already happened and applying to fit his scheme and so he is wrong. Finally, finally, the prophets look for a time when the whole world will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord and where Jesus will defeat all his enemies including death; since this hasn’t happened and probably won’t happen by Saturday, he ain’t coming back for quite a long time!!!! Thanks for asking, that was fun!

Written prayers are most helpful creations. I find (personally for me) written prayers (either my own or historic liturgies) are to me strong guides for prayer times. Oftener than not, my mind wanders or I am not sure what to pray and those who love Jesus more than I and who have spent the time and energy thinking Biblically in their own prayer lives are my tutors. The bibline prayers of the saints who have gone before are rich with depth and meaning–more so than, “Help me today, Jesus.” The prayers of old might seem archaic at first but at second glance and with a little reflexion display deep roots in the heart of the Bible.
So, following Pastor Dove’s exhortation this morning to sleep well in Christ, let us ponder the simplicity of the good Dr.’s prayers on providential sleep:

LUTHER’S MORNING PRAYER

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

LUTHER’S EVENING PRAYER

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

There is an ambiguity in this verse that is not readily apparent. Do you see it? I’ll wait….There are two kinds of parenting: active and passive. As an active parent, one takes the bull by the horns and shows him who is boss. As a passive parent, one horns are taken hold of and he his wrestled to the ground until he cries “Uncle!” Most readers take this verse to be a call to active parenting and it is but in a round-about-way. It is a call to active parenting by first of all proving that passive parenting is not the best way. Do you see it yet?
What happens when one let’s one’s garden go unattended? Weeds aren’t pulled; ground isn’t tilled; vines aren’t staked. The unattended garden (passive gardening) runs amuck and will grow as its nature dictates. If you let your garden grow the way it wants, it will not depart from it. Now, do you see? The ambiguity of the verse is more apparent when read this way: train up a child according to his way of doing things and when he is old, he will not depart. If parents are passive in training up their children; training them according to their own desires or allowing them to run the show will establish in them a pattern from which they will not likely turn when they are older. What is the remedy? The remedy is a four-letter word: W-O-R-K. Children are a garden and if left unattended the inmates will be running the asylum (sorry for the mixed metaphor).

WWJD redux

May 9, 2011

What follows are reflexions of a small group discussion of Psalm 2 following the morning’s sermon on the text.

When I began to change my thinking along the lines of what it means that Jesus is King, I redeauxed (re-did or re-vamped) the ubiquitous acronym What-Would-Jesus-Do-? into…..wait for it…..WORLD WIDE JESUS DOMINATION!!! Now, while most of us evangelocos know that Jesus is King in some sense I fear it’s an impotent one. If anything Jesus is King in the sense that the President elect is only “in-waiting” until inauguration day. That Jesus is waiting to be King when he returns some remote day ahead, however, is not the Biblical idea. Nor is it the Biblical idea that, “Yes, Jesus is King, but only of the church.”

No, the Biblical idea is precisely that Jesus has been made both Lord (kyrios) and King (christos) and that as such it is to him all rulers and authorities must bend the knee. Psalm 2 is a good place to start:

Why do the nations assemble noisily and
the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his [King], saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart and
cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King on Zion,
my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me,
“You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and
the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron and
dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear, and
rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and
you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Hear now the words of the Westminster Larger Catechism on Jesus’ official status as King:

Q. 45. How does Christ execute the office of a king?

A. Christ executes the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself, and giving them officers, laws, and censures, by which he visibly governs them; in bestowing saving grace upon his elect, rewarding their obedience, and correcting them for their sins, preserving and supporting them under all their temptations and sufferings, restraining and overcoming all their enemies, and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory, and their good; and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the gospel.

Some key ideas to focus on are these:
a. giving laws
b. governing
c. restraining
d. overcoming
e. taking vengeance

Again, most of us are inclined to limit this reign to the church and then spiritually apply all of the gerunds somehow to that sphere. That, I fear, is too small of a King. What does Jesus think of his position as King?
He declares to his disciples at his Ascension (Ascension as what and whence does he ascend?), “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me–going therefore and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
What does Jesus mean “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”? “Heaven and earth” is a figure of speech wherein totality is expressed. Where does Jesus reign? “Where e’er the sun does its successive journeys run; his kingdom spreads from shore to shore til moon shall wax and wane no more!” Jesus not only rules and reigns over his people the Church, but also over all the other nations regardless of whether or not they name the Name.
That, then is part of our upward calling in Jesus: we are to go to the nations and declare that Jesus is King and that allying oneself to his person (taking refuge in him) is in one’s best interest, else one should find himself “perishing in the way.” That is the Gospel in a nutshell: Jesus is King. Submit to him. Or die.

This presentation of Jesus as King might very well be helpful in presenting the Gospel to unbelievers. One member of the group mentioned the difficulty of bringing up “sin” in sharing the Gospel. I suggested that this presentation above would be a way around that at least initially. What could then happen in regards to the “sin” issue is the honest confession by the one sharing the Gospel of his own personal rebellion against the Lord and his Anointed. This personal confession of sin will naturally plant the “sin” seed in the mind of the one hearing the Gospel and perhaps put them at ease, enabling them to reflect upon the posture of their own hearts.